Arts & Leisure

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The Anacortes Jazz Festival this weekend has an eclectic mix of jazz formats and styles with something for every taste. 

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(Dr. Lonnie Smith)

The Anacortes Jazz Festival this weekend has an eclectic mix of jazz formats and styles with something for every taste. 

In addition to three days of stellar music on two stages‚ You’ll have an opportunity to get your dancing shoes on with a free swing concert Saturday night. For those of you who may need a few tips‚ swing dance lessons will be provided during the show. Also‚ don’t miss the popular Jazz Walk‚ where one joint cover will get you into several venues on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

The Festival is kicked off by the Opening Night Gala and concert at the Port Warehouse featuring Kevin Mahogany. Drawing from blues, soul, gospel, and jazz backgrounds, Mahogany sings with great emotion and subtlety, in a huge, rich tone reminiscent of the great Joe Williams.

Saturday’s show is headlined by Jazz/blues guitarist, Doug Wamble, who is teaming up with by renowned guitarist Bill Frisell for an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind concert. Wamble has forged his own unique musical identity, creating a sound which combines his Tennessee roots with traditional jazz. Frisell is one of the most sought-after guitar voices in contemporary music, having collaborated with a who’s who of the jazz world as well as such eclectic performers as Elvis Costello, Rickie Lee Jones, David Sanborn, Ry Cooder, and Bono.

On Sunday, the Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio, a favorite of mine, returns to the Jazz Festival. Over his illustrious five-decade career, the “riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a turban,” (Jazz Times) that is Dr. Lonnie Smith has become synonymous with jazz organ. An authentic Master of the Hammond B3, Dr. Lonnie Smith has continuously advanced and redefined the sound and capabilities of his instrument.

On Labor Day, don’t miss singer-songwriter Kellylee Evans as she seamlessly blends her jazz, soul, R&B, blues, and world music influences, crafting a robust and energizing sound. The ever-popular Pearl Django combines eclectic artistry of the highest level in a toe-tapping gypsy-jazz form. Now celebrating more than thirteen years of existence, Pearl Django continues to be one of America’s busiest and most respect Hot Club style ensembles.

Tickets are just $30 for each day of the show, or get a three-day pass for $75. For $125, you get all three days on Curtis Wharf, plus the gala dinner and show.

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