Cape Breton Jazz Festival returns in August

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SYDNEY, NS – The Cape Breton Jazz Festival was one of the few local events to take place in 2020, so it should come as no surprise that it is going full steam ahead in 2021.

“Last year everything seemed to be tentative and you were almost on guard to make sure the mask was worn, that protocols were strictly followed,” said organizer and founder Carl Getto. “This year, I think ‘enthusiastic’ would be the word to describe it – people are scrambling to make it happen and make a difference.”

Getto hosted much of the 2020 event outside on the convent grounds last September, keeping everything socially at bay to keep up with COVID-19 regulations at the time. Now that regulations are easing, this year’s festival will be held inside the Sydney Boardwalk Taproom and Eatery on the lower level of the Sydney Civic Center on the waterfront as well as outside in the performance area. nearby on the promenade. The events will run from Wednesday to Saturday August 25-28 with a series of weekly workshops taking place in the weeks leading up to it.

“We do 12 shows in total and what’s really remarkable, eight of those shows are free events,” Getto said.

Each of the four festival days will feature a free afternoon concert, an early evening paid event in the Taproom, and nightly jazz sessions open to all.

The free afternoon event will run from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the performance hall on the promenade across from the Boardwalk Taproom and Eatery.

“It’s not set in stone that will perform in the afternoon shows, but it will be a variety of artists,” Getto said. “The website will be updated when this information becomes available. “

The nightly concerts will take place from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and will be paid events. Wednesday will feature guitarist Joe Waye and guests; Thursday evening will feature members and associated guests of the Carl Getto Jazz Group; Friday will be a “battle of the tenors” and will feature several renowned saxophonists, including Chris Mitchell and John Hollis; and Saturday will end with a perennial favorite, the Bill Stevenson Quartet.

The four late-night jazz sessions will feature players who are in town for the festival and any local players who wish to participate.

“There is a lot of emphasis on local talent,” said Getto. “There is a growing interest in playing this music so we try to give them the opportunity to play. “

Some of the musicians at this year’s festival will come from a series of jazz workshops that will be held on Saturday mornings in August at the Convent. Getto will be leading the sessions and there will also be instruction from professional players from outside the island participating in the festival.

Students involved in the workshop will have the opportunity to perform at the festival as part of an ensemble to open for one of the MainStage acts. You must attend at least three of the four workshops to participate in the festival and there is a fee of $ 50 to attend all four workshops, which also includes a free festival t-shirt. The workshops are open to local musicians of all ages who wish to learn to play jazz.

For more information or to register, contact Getto at [email protected] or 902-565-1092.

Elizabeth Patterson is a culture and health reporter for the Cape Breton Post.

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