© GUARDIAN PHOTO BY SALLY COLE
Doug Millington, festival co-chair, and Laurel Lee, representing Confederation Bridge, festival co-chair.
2014 marks the 10th anniversary of the TD P.E.I. Jazz and Blues Festival, Aug. 21-23.
Over the course of the past decade over 250 jazz, blues, R&B, soul, funk and gospel performances have taken place on the festival’s stages.
Since this is also the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, the festival is pulling out all the stops with a program called Confederation Jam.
With help from P.E.I. 2014, this year’s festival features artists from every province in the country.
New Brunswick has already been represented by Matt Andersen during Jazz & Blues day at the P.E.I. 2014 Celebration Zone.
Confederation Jam continues with the Hugh Fraser Quintet (B.C.), P.J. Perry (Alberta), Jack Semple (Saskatchewan), The F-Holes (Manitoba), Downchild (Ontario), Jim & Chet Doxas (Quebec), Joel Plaskett (Nova Scotia) and Sherman Downey (Newfoundland).
P.E.I. will be prominently featured in the countrywide celebration.
More Soul, one of the Island’s hottest bands, will take over Fishbones for a late-night R&B show Thursday.
More Soul’s alto player, Jon Macinnis is this year’s Doug Riley Artist, an annual title bestowed in honour of the late, great keyboard master who made P.E.I. his home.
MacInnis will perform a Saturday concert at St. Paul’s Anglican Church accompanied by the 19-member Charlottetown Jazz Ensemble.
P.E.I. singer songwriter Dylan Menzie will give a Friday afternoon free workshop and perform Friday evening at St. Paul’s.
The Doug Riley All-Stars (MacInnis plus former D-R Artists Alan Dowling, Chris Budhan, Sean Ferris and Ian Toms) will put on a Friday late-night show at the P.E.I. Brewing Company.
As well, Saturday afternoon there will be free music on Victoria Row presented by a quartet of veteran Island jazzmen: Dan Rowswell, Sean Ferris, Deryl Gallant and Alan White.
Confederation Jam is just one of innovations in this 10th anniversary year.
Organizers have programmed “outside the box” with indie singer-songwriters and musical experiments like the sax-drum pairing of the Doxas brothers.
As well, the festival has a brand new venue at the P.E.I. Brewing Company. The popular new brewery’s performance space is ideal for dance-till-you-drop shows.
Tradition continues with St. Paul’s Anglican Church remaining a source of great acoustics and intimate atmosphere, but St. Paul’s concerts have also changed with later start times and programming expanded to two artists per show.
As in past years, Fishbones Oyster Bar will host late-night jams and Victoria Row will be the downtown focus of Saturday afternoon free music and free workshops.
Performance and ticketing details can be found at www.jazzandblues.ca.