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The Northwest Jazz Festival in Historic Lewiston, NY (Image courtesy of the Jazz Festival Board)
The Northwest Jazz Festival in Historic Lewiston, NY (Image courtesy of the Jazz Festival Board)

Northwest Jazz Festival to return for first time since 2019

Mon, Aug 22nd 2022 07:00 am

Lewiston event set for Aug. 26-27

Jazz is back.

The Northwest Jazz Festival in Historic Lewiston, NY will take place Friday and Saturday, Aug. 26-27. It will be the event’s first time back since the coronavirus pandemic halted activities in 2020-21.

“After a two-year COVID hiatus, the Northwest Jazz Festival board, as well as the fans and public, are more than ready to see the return of Western New York’s largest outdoor jazz festival,” said Carol Calato, chairwoman of the Jazz Festival board of directors.

The much-anticipated two-day event brings live music to Center Street with a select representation of the region’s finest local food and beverage vendors, including local wineries, distilleries and breweries. It will highlight local, international and North American jazz artists, including Sally Terrell, John DiMartino, Stacey Kent, Corinne Mammana, Allison Au, Emmet Cohen and Joey DeFrancesco.

This year, the board of directors will celebrate the festival’s 20-year anniversary alongside Northwest Bank as the presenting sponsor and an impressive listing of supportive businesses and organizations. The 2022 music lineup is curated by Music Director Tony Zambito.

“The headliners this year are all incredibly shining stars in the jazz world who have demonstrated creative resourcefulness in overcoming the pandemic,” Zambito said. “We are excited to have Grammy nominees and a Juno Award-winner on the Main Stage this year.

“This year, we will celebrate the festival’s 20th anniversary and we could not be happier to welcome Joey DeFrancesco back to the Niagara Falls region where his father, Papa John, cemented the DeFrancesco legacy. In addition, we welcome back jazz vocalist Sally Terrell, who is also from this area and has a fabulous new album being released with jazz pianist extraordinaire John DiMartino.

“We are excited to share that we will have a rare appearance and debut performance by Grammy nominee and jazz vocalist Stacey Kent.

“If anyone embodied perseverance during the pandemic, it was Emmet Cohen and we are excited to have him and the trio perform.

“Having Juno Award-winner the Allison Au Quartet from Canada is a chance to welcome our Canadian fans back to the festival.

We are also delighted to have the opportunity to showcase an up-and-coming jazz vocalist, Corinne Mammana.”

The lineup includes:

Main Stage Performers

•Friday, Aug. 26

√ Jazz vocalist/pianist Sally Terrell with acclaimed jazz pianist/arranger John DiMartino (6-7:30 p.m.)

√ Grammy Award nominated jazz vocalist Stacey Kent – a regional debut performance (8:45-10:15 p.m.)

•Saturday, Aug. 27

√ UB Zodiaque Dance Company (12:15-1 p.m.)

√ Acclaimed by Jazz Times Magazine, jazz vocalist Corinne Mammana (1:45-3:15 p.m.)

√ 2018-19 Juno Award-winner the Allison Au Quartet (4-5:30 p.m.)

√ 2019 American Pianist Award-winner and “Live from Emmet’s Place” Emmet Cohen Trio (6:15-7:45 p.m.)

√ 5-time Grammy nominee and Downbeat Critic’s Poll No. 1 jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco (8:45-10:15 p.m.)

In addition to the big stage, music continues across the village.

Zambito said, “The festival has five stages spread throughout Center Street, giving us the opportunity to showcase the rich and diverse talent we have in the region. And more importantly, allowing for our up-and-coming next-generation of fabulous musicians to have a chance to shine in the festival. The festival provides a place for them to be discovered by a broad audience of festival attendees.”

The Center Street Stage

•Friday, Aug. 26

√ 6-7:30 p.m., MMVPT

√ 8:15-9:45 p.m., Charlie Ballantine Quartet

•Saturday, Aug. 27

√ 1:30-3 p.m., Original River Dogs

√ 3:45-5:15 p.m., Maria Sebastian American SongBook

√ 6-7:30 p.m., Summer Wind: A Tribute to Frank Sinatra

√ 8:15-9:45 p.m., George Caldwell Sextet

The Frontier House Stage

•Friday, Aug. 26

√ 5:30-7 p.m., Rick Strauss Quartet

√ 7:45-9:15 p.m., The Skiffle Minstrels

•Saturday, Aug. 27

√ 1-2:30 p.m., Far Trio

√ 3:15-4:45 p.m., Jay/Sharp-tet

√ 5:30-7 p.m., Paradigm Shift

√ 7:45-9:15 p.m., Hanna PK

The Peace Garden

•Friday, Aug. 26

√ 5:45-7:15 p.m., Becky Davis Trio

√ 8-9:30 p.m., Alex McArthur

•Saturday, Aug. 27

√ 1:15-2:45 p.m., Saranaide

√ 3:30-5 p.m., Dozo My Lady

√ 5:45-7:15 p.m., Hot Club of Buffalo

√ 8-9:30 p.m., Buffalo Dolls

DiCamillo Courtyard

•Friday, Aug. 26

√ 5:15-6:45 p.m., Adam Bronstein Duo

√ 7:30-9 p.m., The Autonomous Vehicles

•Saturday, Aug. 27

√ 12:45-2:15 p.m., Lance Tanner Duo

√ 3-4:30 p.m., Stu and Avery Weissman Duo

√ 5:15-6:45 p.m., Dale Toiver Duo

√ 7:30-9 p.m., Jared Tinkham Duo

“This year, each of our five stages will be swinging with local, national and international talent,” Calato said. “Stroll along Center Street and listen to local heroes such as George Caldwell and Stu Weissman. Or some national names like Corrine Mammana. And on the main stage, catch a double-header: Allison Au followed by Stacey Kent on Friday night, and Emmet Cohen followed by Joey DeFrancesco on Saturday night.

“Over the course of the two days, there will be plenty to eat and drink from some of the finest food vendors around. Take some time to stop at the jewelry tent to do some damage. 

“And remember, this free festival could not take place without the support of our local businesses and individuals that generously sponsored each year to help keep the upscale and free. A big thank you to you all! So come to Lewiston and enjoy!”

Support the Jazz Festival

Each year, the Jazz Festival relies on the support of donors and sponsors to remain the largest free jazz festival in the region.

“We are grateful for the overwhelming support we have already received from the generosity of sponsors to make sure a 2022 event takes place,” Calato said. “We are hard at work on the anniversary celebration and plan to give you another two days of spectacular entertainment, featuring international stars as well as some of our own local super talents. It is clear that everyone loves and misses the Jazz Festival, and wants it to continue to be a success.”

The Jazz Festival cannot take place without the support of the volunteers who help make the two-day event a success. Volunteer positions range from set-up/clean-up, parking, 50/50 raffle sales and more. Volunteer description and sign-up times are available online at www.lewistonjazz.com/volunteer.

‘Jazz Mass’ is back!

St. Peter's R.C. Church, located in the heart of Center Street in Lewiston, announced the return of the “Jazz Mass” as a part of the Northwest Lewiston Jazz Festival.

Music will begin at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, with songs performed by St. Joseph University Church Buffalo Contemporary Music Ensemble, directed by Tim Wells and featuring renowned saxophonist Bobby Militello, plus Mike Morrissey and Chris Hart. This will be followed by Mass at 4:30 p.m. with Christian jazz music provided by the same group.

The Rev. Cole Webster and parish members invite all to “attend this special celebration of the Mass and music. Come to sing, pray and enjoy celebrating out time together. We look forward to seeing you there!”

Official Notice to Center Street Businesses & Residents:

Street Closing Dates, Times for Northwest Jazz Festival

Center Street will close at 5 a.m. Friday, Aug. 26, from Fourth Street to Seventh Street. The cross streets at Fourth and Seventh will remain open north and south. Center Street will reopen to traffic on Sunday (by 4 a.m.).

Fifth Street will be closed at Ridge Street to Plain Street during these same hours.

Organizers said, “Please be sure make any necessary arrangements for delivery trucks during these hours, as vehicles will not be permitted onto Center Street while it is closed.”

Denise and John Eckl, Ryan Eckl and Carol Calato (Submitted photo)

Carol Calato Scholarship

The Northwest Jazz Festival board of directors announced Ryan Eckl of Lancaster is the winner of the 2022 Carol Calato Jazz Scholarship. He is a music education and music performance major at SUNY Potsdam, Crane School of Music. Ryan’s main performance instrument is the French horn, but he also plays the piano, steel drums, electric bass, guitar and drum set.

A press release said, “The scholarship is given out each year to a student pursuing a degree in a music field. The applicants must prepare an audition video and application process.

“Wayne Moose, John Bacon and Ray Barry served as adjudicators for the scholarship process.”

Ryan is the son of John and Denise Eckl. He was presented the $1,000 scholarship by Calato.

Watch his audition here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUxF0ATEixg.

A full schedule of musicians, vendors and frequently asked questions can be found online at www.LewistonJazz.com. For more information, call 716-754-9500.

The Northwest Jazz Festival in Historic Lewiston, NY (Image courtesy of the Jazz Festival Board)

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