The Delaney Chevrolet Westsylvania Jazz & Blues Festival is pleased to announce the lineup for its fourth annual festival on May 27, 2017. The free, outdoor, one-day festival will once again present a full afternoon and evening of jazz and blues performances in IRMC Park, in downtown Indiana, Pennsylvania.
“This is a really solid lineup,” said David Ferguson, chair of the Steering Committee. “We’ve got three high caliber jazz groups in the afternoon and a fantastic blues headliner to top off the evening. We’re highlighting great local talent with Nevin Saylor’s big band and The Jazz Trip. Plus, as part of our Next Gen Jazz program, we’re giving students from area high schools the chance to perform and to learn from a working jazz musician.”
The festival kicks off at 10:00 am with a performance from festival founders Dad Band. The rest of the day moves from high school bands, regional acts, and top-flight, nationally known acts. Music continues into the wee hours at locations around town. High school musicians who perform will be invited to a behind-the scenes educational clinic with pianist Mark Shilansky.
10-10:30 Dad Band
10:30-11 United H.S.
11-11:30 Marion Center H.S.
11:30-12 Westsylvania High School All-Star Combo
12:15-1:15 Laura Ferguson & The Jazz Trip Trio
1:15-1:30 Seventh Street Stompers
1:30-2:30 Nevin Saylor Big Band
2:30-2:45 Seventh Street Stompers
2:45-4:00 Reggie Watkins and the Steeltown Horns
(3:15-4:15 Next Gen Jazz Clinic with Mark Shilansky)
4:15-5:30 Steve Blum and the Molecular Organ Trio
5:45-7:00 Mark Shilansky and Join the Club
7:30-9:00 Joanna Connor
Next Gen Jazz
The festival continues its tradition of educating the next generation of jazz and blues musicians.
Musicians from United and Marion Center High Schools will perform in the morning, followed by an all-star combo made up of the best high school musicians from across the county. In the afternoon, students will have the opportunity to participate in a master class conducted by pianist Mark Shilansky. Shilansky is assistant professor at Berklee College of Music and a gigging jazz musician who has studied or performed with Kenny Werner, Hal Crook, and Charlie Banacos, Steve Kirby, Kenny Wheeler, David Jamrog, George Garzone, and many others.
Formed in 2004, Dad Band is a jazz quintet made up of, yes, dads. During their earliest performances, at the daycare their kids all attended, they were dubbed “the dad band” and the name stuck. Since then, they have played everywhere from homecoming parade floats, to cornfields, to downtown Indiana, to the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival. In 2014, in celebration of their tenth anniversary, they started planning an anniversary concert. That concert turned into the annual Delaney Chevrolet Westsylvania Jazz and Blues Festival, which brings jazz and blues artists from across the nation and world to Indiana, PA.
Nevin Saylor Big Band
Formed for last year’s Westsylvania Festival, Nevin Saylor’s big band provides a showcase for some of the region’s best jazz players.
Seventh Street Stompers
Westsylvania’s own second-line band provides music between performances.
Laura Ferguson & The Jazz Trip Trio
Laura Ferguson is a vocalist who re-conceptualizes pop tunes through an American Songbook lens. She’s also a national leader in elementary jazz education. Anyone who has seen her perform can attest to the passion and excitement she brings to the stage. Since 2011 Jazz Trip has been on a mission to highlight the finest and most talented jazz musicians in the area. Their lineup is a powerhouse with roots in Johnstown and Pittsburgh that evokes the sounds of the past while forging ahead. Each band member is proficient in their craft and a leader in their own right, but the combination of the three truly is an all-star lineup of talent and experience.
Reggie Watkins and the Steeltown Horns (Pittsburgh, PA)
Presented by the Pittsburgh JazzLive International Festival, a project of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
The Steeltown Horns band is Pittsburgh’s premier instrumental funk band playing powerful original and classic funky instrumentals, and featuring a truly all-star lineup. The eight piece band is fronted by the three man international touring horn section The Steeltown Horns: Reggie Watkins, trombone; Rick Matt, saxophone; and JD Chaisson, trumpet. The group also features many of the area’s most talented musicians including iconic drummer Poogie Bell. The other members are Anton Defade – bass, Anthony Ambroso – guitar, Justin Bechak – Keys, and David Glover – percussion. The band made a big splash on the Pittsburgh scene when they formed in 2016 and played the official Festival after-party, several well attended shows at The Rex Theater, and finishing off the year at First Night Pittsburgh in Downtown Pittsburgh. The group has recently hit the studio and is currently producing their first studio EP.
Steve Blum and the Molecular Organ Trio (New York, NY)
Born in New York City and playing professionally by the age of fifteen, guitarist Steve Blum has mastered many styles from jazz to blues, reggae to Latin. As a teenager Steve performed in such top NYC jazz clubs as Birdland, Smalls Paradise, and The Village Vanguard. He joined Peggy Lee in 1966 whom he toured and recorded with. Over the years, Mr. Blum has played with such jazz luminaries as Joe Williams, Ira Sullivan, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and many more. Other performance highlights include: The French Quarter Festival (New Orleans), The Iridium (NYC) Yoshi’s Jazz Club (SF), Snug Harbor, Teatro Santo Andre (Brazil), The Troubadour (LA), Smalls (NYC) and many other venues and festivals
The Molecular Organ Trio will also feature Akiko Tsuruga (Hammond B3) and Jason Tiemann (drums). Akiko Tsuruga is one of Downbeat’s’ up and coming jazz organists. She has played with Lou Donaldson and Grady Tate. Jason Tiemann, a fine New York freelance drummer, has worked with such jazz greats as Benny Golson and David Liebman. In its three years of existence, the trio has played The Iridium in New York City as well as other NY metro venues. Come hear these veteran musicians “play the molecules.”
Mark Shilansky and Join the Club (Boston, MA)
Join the Club has been described as “21st Century Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music,” and features original compositions and Latin-jazz renderings of jazz standards and contemporary pop tunes by the bands Police and the Cardigans. Reviewing the band’s CD, Jon Garelick, Boston Phoenix, says “Shilansky knows how to make every moment engage, [with] long arcs of melody as he works through the chord changes… this ‘club’ is one anyone would be happy to join.”
Mark Shilansky is a pianist, composer, producer, and vocalist who has performed with Jamie Baum, Jerry Bergonzi, the New York Voices, Rebecca Parris, Luciana Souza, Syncopation, Lisa Thorson, Kenny Wheeler, and Patrice Williamson at such venues as Regattabar, Scullers, Ryles, the IAJE convention, Birdland, and the Blue Note Jazz Club. His recordings as leader include First Look (1997), Different Songs (2000), Other Voices (2003), and Join the Club (2007).
The lineup for the festival will include Mark Shilansky, piano, voice; Jay Ashby, trombone; Jared Sims, saxophones; Andrea Capozzoli, vocals/trumpet; Ian Ashby, bass; James Johnson III, drums.
Joanna Connor (Chicago, IL)
Joanna Connor a Chicago-based blues singer,/songwriter, and a virtuoso guitarist. Brooklyn-born, Massachusetts-raised, Connor was drawn to the Chicago blues scene at an early age. Her mother took her to concerts by Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder and Buddy Guy in concert. After moving to Chicago at the age of 22, she began sitting in with local luminaries like James Cotton, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, and A.C. Reed. Since forming her own band in 1987, she has recorded 10 albums and become a talented blues songwriter.
The festival will continue into the wee hours with performances and jam sessions at locations around town. (Locations and performers will be announced closer to the festival date.)
The fourth annual Delaney Chevrolet Westsylvania Jazz & Blues Festival takes place May 27, 2017 in Indiana, Pennsylvania’s IRMC Park. The free, one-day jazz and blues festival has featured nationally and internationally known musicians, regional acts, and student musicians playing in a classic American small town.