New Bedford is again on the cusp of summer—thank heavens!— and its waterfront will again be the site for, not fishing, as it has for centuries, but jazz!
On June 10, Whaling City Sound, along with various other local sponsors, present the 6th Annual New Bedford JazzFest, featuring national and local jazz talent. Headlining this highly anticipated event will be Gerry Gibbs and Thrasher People, an exhilarating and supremely talented New York-based trio and one of Whaling City Sound’s marquee artists. Gibbs’ last four recordings have climbed to the top spot on national jazz radio charts, including his latest release, Weather or Not, in part an ear-tingling tribute to jazz greats Weather Report.
Neal Weiss, the chief proprietor at Whaling City Sound, runs the fast-growing label, which is credited with many chart-topping jazz titles. WCS has been responsible for releasing much of Gibbs’ most recent work. “Gerry is a dynamic performer, who brings tremendous energy and excitement to the stage, and inspires his band-mates.”
In addition to Gibbs’ Thrasher People, the lineup at Jazzfest also features another Whaling City Sound artist, Dino Govoni and his quartet, which in turn stars the sublime vocals of Boston’s acclaimed Cassandre McKinley. By turns powerful and soulful, bluesy and jazzy, McKinley will surely be a highlight of the festival, as she fronts the impressive work of Govoni and his sax-led quartet.
To help keep the energy high, Matthew Hartnett and the Gumbo All-Stars bring a NOLA twist to New Bedford. Hartnett’s zesty creole jazz will certainly transport festival-goers to the French Quarter, where boogie and funky trombones reign.
The day kicks off early with the SouthCoast Jazz Orchestra, a thrilling 17-piece big band appearing at the festival for its sixth year. You’ll revel in their booming big band sound, led by Symphony Music Shopowner Bob Williamson.
The music kicks off around 2:15. But come early to take advantage of the food trucks and an “Artists Colony” curated by the New Bedford Art Museum.
The fun doesn’t stop after the festival. Bring your ticket stub to JazzFest partner the Greasy Lucky Brewery, where you’ll witness a funky jazz jam session with a house band and special guests.
JazzFest is produced by and for the benefit of Your Theatre, Inc. (YTI), New Bedford’s 70-year old community theater group. YTI has partnered with Waterfront Historic League (WHALE) to purchase, restore and convert 149 William St. (First Baptist Church) into a theatre for YTI. Proceeds from this event will assist in this partnership to preserve vital historic architecture and provide a lasting home for New Bedford’s longest running community theatre. www.yourtheatre.org