News Midsummer 2013 Jazz Festival Update

By J. R. Carroll

Boomtown Festival schedule corrected and updated. The 2013 jazz festival season is getting into high gear as we head into mid-July. Here are some additions to the summer schedule as well as further details about previously announced events.

Somerville Artbeat 2013

Somerville Artbeat 2013
Design by Frank Germano

The coming week will be a busy one in the Boston area. In addition to the Outside the Box Festival (see this preview from a few days ago), Somerville Artbeat and Festival Betances have announced many of their scheduled performers.

Artbeat, centered around Davis Square, brings together a variety of art forms and musical genres. Of particular interest to the jazz community will be back-to-back performances on Friday, July 19, at the Seven Hills Stage (near the T stop and Somerville Theatre) by the unpredictable and always amazing Either/Orchestra (at 7 p.m.) and then by Bahian percussionist Dendê Macedo and his propulsive Afro-Brazilian ensemble (at 8 p.m.). The next day you can get your Gatsby on with the Hot Club of Somerville (a swing band spinoff of Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band) at noon at the Elm St. Stage, and then catch the quartet of Venezuelan drummer Pablo Bencid back at the Seven Hills Stage at 1:30 p.m.

Exact times haven’t been announced, but the general lineup for Festival Betances’s annual celebration of Latino and especially Puerto Rican culture includes José González y Banda Criolla on Friday evening, July 19 (following a 6 p.m. parade to the festival site at Plaza Betances, 100 West Dedham Street, in Boston’s South End), and Ralph Irizarry y SonCafé on Saturday, July 20 (probably in evening of a day of activities that runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.). The festival wraps up on Sunday, July 21 (from 1 to 8 p.m.) with a performance by Tato Torres y Yerbabuena and a community plenazo (plena jam session) led by Jorge Arce.

We have several new additions to the 2013 summer festival lineup.

The Puerto Rican Festival of Massachusetts shifts from Franklin Park to City Hall Plaza this year and runs from Friday, July 26 through Sunday, July 28. Performers will include vocalists Paquito Acosta and Julio Sanabria.

The Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center’s Boomtown Festival returns with nightly performances at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 29, will feature a tango jazz concert led by guitarist John Stein (with Fernando Brandão on flutes, Evan Harlan on accordion, John Lockwood on bass, and Bertram Lehmann on drums); on Tuesday, July 30, saxophonist Allan Chase and his septet (trumpeter Daniel Rosenthal, trombonist Randy Pingrey, saxophonist Charlie Kohlhase, pianist Joe Berkovitz, bassist Dave Clark, and drummer Mike Connors) will present a Sun Ra 99th Arrival Celebration Concert (see Jon Garelick’s review of an earlier performance); and the festival concludes on Wednesday, July 31 with a tribute to Abbey Lincoln by vocalist Diane Richardson (with trombonist Bill Lowe, pianist John Kordalewski, bassist Dave Clark, and drummer Yoron Israel).

El Mundo Latino Family Festival takes place on Sunday, August 25 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Fenway Park and will be headlined by salsero Tito Nieves.

In other festival news

  • The eclectic Bang on a Can Summer Festival at MassMOCA has fleshed out its schedule of performances, starting on Wednesday, July 17, and culminating with the legendary Bang on a Can Summer Marathon on August 3.
  • The Onset Beach Jazz Festival, alas, appears to be history.
  • In addition to headliners Freddie Bryant, Phil Woods and Greg Caputo, the Berkshire Gateway Jazz Weekend has added several performances by local jazz artists to this year’s lineup.
  • Details of this year’s Bar Harbor Jazz Festival in mid-August are still very much up in the air: “The Bar Harbor Jazz Festival is going through a transition this year as Ned Ferm is going to be spending his time with other endeavors in Europe. Stay tuned on how things will end up.”
  • The September 2 Bread and Roses Festival in Lawrence, MA has posted its schedule, which will include performances by Itchy Feet, Ten Tumbao, and headliner Marcia Ball.
  • The Northampton Jazz Festival on September 7 has announced the headliners for this year, including the Al Foster Quartet, Ben Allison, Hailey Niswanger, and Houston Person with the Green Street Trio. The full schedule is still TBA.
  • The Merrimack Valley Jazz Festival in Lowell, MA has been rescheduled to September 21. It will take place in Boarding House Park noon to 6 p.m. and will feature the UMass-Lowell Faculty Jazz Ensemble, the Greg Hopkins Jazz Orchestra, the Amanda Carr Quintet, the Adagio Big Band, and Henri Smith’s New Orleans Friends and Flavors.

For the summer’s full lineup of events, see our Summer 2013 Jazz Festival Preview, and watch for another festival update in August.

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