The headlining acts slated to take the main stage at this year's Historic Lewiston Jazz Festival were announced Sunday at "Jazz & Pasta," the festival's annual fundraising event. Keith Radford, WKBW news anchor and Lewiston Jazz Festival board member, named National Jazz Award "Best Female Vocalist" Molly Johnson the headliner for Friday, Aug. 26. Juno award-winning pianist Robi Botos will accompany Johnson on stage. Multiplatinum-selling singer Curtis Stigers returns by popular demand to close the festival on Saturday, Aug. 27. Stigers headlined the Lewiston Jazz Festival in 2009.
Stay tuned to www.lewistonjazz.com for a complete band schedule and for details on VIP tickets for each headlining set (coming soon).
•Molly Johnson (www.mollyjohnson.com): Known as one of Canada's greatest voices, award-winning jazz vocalist Johnson is a mother, singer-songwriter, artist and philanthropist who has grown to become a Canadian icon in the jazz scene worldwide. Her luscious interpretations of jazz and blues standards speak to an emotional depth few vocalists in any genre have ever reached.
•Curtis Stigers (www.curtisstigers.com): Multiplatinum-selling singer, saxophonist, producer and songwriter Stigers started his music career in Boise, Idaho, as a teenager. His smooth blend of jazz, soul and soft rock led him to lend his voice to records with Al Green and Shawn Colvin, in studios with venerated producers such as Larry Klein, Danny Kortchmar and Glen Ballard, and onstage with a plethora of legends, including pop and rock greats Eric Clapton, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Rod Stewart and The Allman Brothers, and jazz giants Nancy Wilson, Al Jarreau, Gerry Mulligan, Randy and Michael Brecker, Chuck Mangione, Toots Thielmans, Wynton Marsalis and Diana Krall.
Stigers' talent was recognized early on by music business impresario Clive Davis, who signed Stigers to a record deal after seeing him in a New York dive. A debut album sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide on the strength of self-penned hit singles "I Wonder Why," "You're All That Matters to Me" and "Never Saw a Miracle." A year later, Stigers contributed a cover version of Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding" for "The Bodyguard" soundtrack, which sold over 40 million copies worldwide.
Stigers' 2003 release, "You Inspire Me" was The Sunday Times (UK) Jazz Album of the Year. In 2007, BBC Radio 2 awarded him Jazz Artist of the Year. In 2010 and 2013, Deutsche Phono-Akademie named Stigers International Male Jazz Singer of the Year at the Jazz Echo Awards.
He received an Emmy nomination for "This Life," a song he co-wrote and sang for the popular television show "Sons of Anarchy." Stigers also recently recorded a duet of Cole Porter's classic "Well Did You Evah" with "Family Guy" creator and actor Seth MacFarlane and the John Wilson Orchestra. Stigers even made a cameo appearance in MacFarlane's movie "Ted."