In addition to the jazz luminaries, legends, and emerging stars on the Main Stage of the Northwest Jazz Festival in Lewiston, NY this year, there will be plenty of the area’s best jazz talents hitting the stages of the festival. For the first time in the history of the festival, two youth groups will also be performing to help kick-off each day of scheduled performances.
The Rising Stars Stage, located on Center and 6th Street, will start with Matt’s Vocal Performance Team from North Tonawanda. A talented youth group of aspiring singers. Following them will be Paul Hage and Mirage Band, a unique blend of Mediterranean-influenced jazz featuring original compositions. On Saturday, the 17-piece Niagara County All-County Jazz Ensemble gets the stage performances underway. My Cousin Tone’, the popular 9-piece jazz ensemble takes the stage to be followed by Buffalo’s premier gypsy jazz group, The Hot Club of Buffalo. The Jon Lehning Sextet featuring local rising stars close out the evening.
The Frontier House begins on Friday with local rising star Marcus Lolo and his group to be followed by the Bossa-infused trio Wazmopolitan. Saturday, the legendary guitarist Greg Millar and his quartet get the performances underway with one the area’s best jazz trumpeters and his musically infectious Tim Clarke’s Soul-Tet following. Phil DiRe, the long-time sax giant from Buffalo, leads a quintet. Eric Johnson, the jazz guitarist icon from Pittsburgh, who has played with many of the greats such as Lou Donaldson, bring the porch to a close on Saturday evening.
The Peace Garden, located off Center Street, will begin with two fantastic guitar duos on Friday, the Lance Tanner Duo and the Mastrantonio/Pinnavaia Duo. Saturday begins with the stellar duo of guitarist George Kane and bassist Wayne Moose. Another of Buffalo’s pool of great guitarists, Drew Azzinaro and his trio follow. The dynamic vocalist Zach Carr will bring his quartet to the garden and the uniquely superb accordion-based French ConeXion will perform into the evening.
The DiCamillo Courtyard will once again feature some of the area’s best female vocalists. Friday starts with two wonderful vocalists, Kathy Carr and Cheryl Ferris. Saturday kicks off with the fantastic Mary McMahon and her collection of the Great American Songbook. Maria Sebastion follows with her beautiful blending of jazz, folk, and pop with rising star vocalist Alex McAruther to follow. The intoxicating bluesy style of DeeAnn Dimeo Tompkins will be the final performance on Saturday evening.
The festival will feature in total 30 performances and over 120 musicians. Making it one of the largest festivals in the region. The wealth of local talent we are fortunate to have also make the festival one of the top jazz happenings in the region. The festival gets started at 5:00 pm on Friday, August 24 and at 12:30 pm on Saturday and will run through the evening each night until 10:30 pm.
The day and stage schedule is available here: Northwest Jazz Festival Schedule by day and Stage