Greta Matassa photo by Ziggy Spiz.
Lake Chelan Wine Valley, WA
As life gradually emerges from pandemic-induced confinement, the Lake Chelan Wine and Jazz Festival celebrates its third anniversary with a top-notch lineup of nationally and globally renowned jazz artists. Festival pass holders revel in four days of 23 outdoor musical offerings held at ten idyllic wineries and venues nestled along the picturesque Lake Chelan Wine Valley. Lake Chelan AVA wines and various food options are available at each music venue during the performances.
Launching the festivities, nationally acclaimed flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny with fellow Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award winners Bill Anschell (pianist), Jeff Johnson (bassist), D’Vonne Lewis (drummer), and vocalist Holly Pyle set alight the stage highlighting the music of Stevie Wonder. As the festival continues into the evening, hear from fabulous vocalist and Golden Ear Award winner Stephanie Porter, whose soulful and silky voice has been appreciated at clubs and festivals throughout the Northwest.
On Friday, the fearless, immensely talented, and boundlessly versatile Greta Matassa takes the stage. Matassa has toured across the globe and was voted best Northwest jazz vocalist seven times and inducted into the Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame. With 11 albums to her name, her latest release Portrait is receiving rave reviews. Seattle pianist Collin Provence, who plays with the Jim Cutler Jazz Orchestra, Smith Staelens Big Band, and Roadside Attractions Band, leads a trio at Lake Chelan, melding an eclectic mix of jazz standards, upbeat melodies, and modern tunes. The Kobie Watkins Grouptet is a surge of musical groove and melody. Chicago native drummer, percussionist, and mentor Watkins has cultivated dynamic relationships with his peers in and out of the jazz, Latin, and gospel communities. He toured internationally and collaborated with many jazz legends including Sonny Rollins, Bobby Broom, Kurt Elling, Joe Lovano, Branford Marsalis, and Terence Blanchard.
Next, we head into the weekend with DoctorfunK. Established in 1995, they have set the standard for new soul music in the Pacific Northwest. Echoing the legendary passion of famed horn band Tower of Power and channeling that “Bay Area Sound,” this 10-piece ensemble has maintained the tradition and more. Deseo Carmin also graces the Saturday stage. Carmin is a dancer, singer, songwriter, guitarist, and percussionist showcasing Flamenco-infused jazz and funk. At age 15, she joined the National Ballet Folklorico Municipal of Asuncion, Paraguay and became a principal dancer. She represented her country as an ambassador of the Paraguayan culture in festivals worldwide.
Seattle Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Bill Anschell returns with his brilliant trio on Sunday. Then, the 18-musician Ellensburg Big Band takes the festival home by creating sounds energized by the sheer joy of making good music with good friends. Most band members are alumni of Central Washington University’s outstanding jazz program. Whether straight-ahead jazz, soul, funk, or international rhythms, the festival offers a rich palette of sounds to concert guests.
Complying with COVID-19 guidelines, all events are held outdoors with social distancing measures in place and attendance capped at 50 percent. Masks are required at all times, unless eating or drinking.
Thursday night’s performances are 21+ while Friday, Saturday, and Sunday concerts are open to all ages. Sunday shows are free.
Visit chelanwinejazz.com for a complete schedule, artist, ticketing and other information.