This year, historic Lewiston celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Lewiston Jazz Festival, which will be held on Friday, August 26 and Saturday, August 27. This year’s celebration will kick off on Friday (8/26) at 4:45PM with The French Quarter Hounds parading down Center street. Festival times are 4:45PM to 10PM on Friday (8/26) and Noon to 10PM on Saturday (8/27). The annual festival is presented by the Lewiston Jazz Festival Inc., in partnership with the Town and Village of Lewiston.
There will be five stages of performances throughout the two days. The two headliners announced this year will feature National Jazz Award winner for “Best Female Vocalist”, Molly Johnson at the Festival’s Main Stage on Friday, August 26th (8PM). Returning for the 15th Anniversary celebration, multi-platinum selling singer, saxophonist, producer and songwriter Curtis Stigers, will close the Festival on Saturday, August 27th (8PM).
Molly Johnson has garnered much praise and a Juno nomination for her latest CD, Because of Billie. The CD is a celebration of the music of Billie Holliday, a source of personal inspiration to Molly Johnson. Here is a wonderful video in which Molly Johnson talks about the making of Because of Billie:
Curtis Stigers performed at the Lewiston Jazz Festival several years ago and is back by popular demand. He draws from the Great American songbook to put on an energetic show. Stigers also brings contemporary interpretations to his style of jazz singing, drawing from pop, rock, soul, and R&B. Here is Curtis Stigers performing John Lennon’s Jealous Guy:
VIP Seating Tickets are $20, and now available for each headliner performance at www.lewistonjazz.com.
The festival includes many local and regional jazz talents who will be performing on the various stages. On the main stage, My Cousin Tone’ will kick-off the festival on Friday, August 26 at 5 pm with other main stage performers that include Wendell Rivera’s Latin Jazz Ensemble, Big City Horns, and Sabu Adeyola and Friends. Throughout the festival, you can see such local and regional jazz artists and groups as Joe Baudo and Cheryl Ferris, Wayne Moose Trio, The Ralph Fava Quartet, Carina and the Six String Preacher, The Mary McMahon Project, The Frontstreet Men, John Bacon and the Jazz Current, Jennifer May’s Ladies First Jazz Big Band, The Fredtown Stompers, and several more. You can visit the festival website for a full schedule at https://www.lewistonjazz.com/schedule.
Unique to the festival, is the second annual Jazz Mass at St. Peter’s RC Church on Center Street that will take place Saturday afternoon at 4:00pm. The jazz mass features alto saxophone great Bobby Militello.
The festival accommodates the casual jazz lovers to the aficionados with a variety of music, foods, the annual jewelry tent, foods, drinks and the general festive environs. Recognized by the Buffalo Spree and other local media as one of the best festivals in the region. Let us hope for good weather so we can enjoy what promises to be two days of great jazz music filling the summer air!
Keep Jazz Alive In WNY!!
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