The 2017 Bellhaven Jazz Festival


John Carswell photo by Fredrick Sears.

Saturday, September 9, 1pm
Fairhaven Village Green, Bellingham
Free & open to the public

On Saturday, September 9, Jud Sherwood’s Bellingham-based Jazz Project presents the seventh annual Bellhaven Jazz Festival, an opportunity for audiences to indulge in great Northwest jazz with artists from across the region. With the support of the festival’s generous sponsors, this event is free-of-charge and open to music lovers of all ages. Guests are invited to bring their own picnic blankets or lawn chairs, check out libations from the beer and wine garden, and celebrate excellent music in historic Fairhaven Village Green. Enjoy unmatched views in this gorgeous setting and delight in a laid-back day of jazz, blues, and Latin sounds.

Johnaye Kendrick, beloved Seattle jazz vocalist, opens the festival at 1pm with her quartet. She performs original compositions as well as personal interpretations of favorite jazz and blues standards. The talented multi-instrumentalist often accompanies herself on harmonium, violin, viola, and percussion. In 2013, she was nominated for a Golden Ear Award for Northwest Vocalist of the year. A dedicated educator, Kendrick currently serves as an Associate Professor of Jazz Voice at Cornish College of the Arts.

The jazz quartet of guitarist Ed Dunsavage and flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny takes the stage at 2:30pm. Dunsavage has performed regularly around the Pacific Northwest for the past 25 years with many artists, including Bernadette Peters, Greta Matassa, Mimi Fox, John Stowell, and others. Matheny is renowned for his warm tone, soaring lyricism, and masterful technique, and is lauded as “one of the most emotionally expressive improvisers of his generation” (International Review of Music). An honors graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Matheny vaulted onto the jazz scene in the 1990s as the protégé of jazz legend Art Farmer. Since then, he has garnered critical acclaim and a loyal international following, touring extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, and has released 11 albums as a leader. The quartet highlights timeless classics from the Art Farmer/Jim Hall songbook, modern favorites by Jimmy Webb, Pat Metheny, and Keith Jarrett, and favorite standards of American Popular Song. With Jeff Johnson on bass and Jud Sherwood on drums, they deliver an emotionally expressive, soulful experience.

At 4pm, Blues Union transports listeners to a place of soulful and bluesy sounds. Led by B-3 organist and singer John Carswell, the quartet also includes drummer Jud Sherwood, who has performed with Carswell throughout the region for 20 years, as well as saxophonist Josh Cook and guitarist Brian Cunningham, two Northwest musicians who perform regularly as sidemen and leaders of their own groups.

Rounding out the festival’s lineup at 5:30pm is EntreMundos Quarteto, a Seattle-based band with an infectious mix of deep Brazilian roots music and world rhythms—a deft blending of funk, jazz, and soul with the classic sounds of samba and bossa nova. With the elegant and lilting vocals of Adriana Giordano, the superbly versatile Eric Verlinde on piano, and the locked-in rhythm section of Jeff Busch on percussion and Dean Schmidt on bass, EntreMundos Quarteto delivers the goods: seductive, sparkling, and substantial, light as a feather but with a deep, earthy groove, and guaranteed to move the hips and lift the soul.

The 2017 Bellhaven Jazz Festival is made possible with the support of The National Endowment for the Arts, Washington State Arts Commission, The City of Bellingham, Premier Tents, Lithtex NW, Joyce & Terry Busch, Dorothy Sherwood, The Kolin Family, Peoples Bank, United Paint Specialty, Whatcom Educational Credit Union, Fairhaven Village Inn, Becky Brunk, The Boeing Company, BP, Phillips66, Ralf’s Pretzel Bakery, Boundary Bay Brewery, and Noble Wines.

Visit jazzproject.org or call 360-650-1066 for more information.

Marianne Gonterman


Posted on

August 28, 2017