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International stars to headline first Havre de Grace Jazz and Blues Fest this weekend

Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers will headline the inaugural Havre de Grace Jazz & Blues Fest this weekend.
Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers will headline the inaugural Havre de Grace Jazz & Blues Fest this weekend. (Courtesy David Spagnolo)

International stars will headline the inaugural Havre de Grace Jazz & Blues Fest Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the city.

The Havre de Grace Arts Collective is hosting three days of music, film and more in a city-wide festival, sponsored by Visit Harford!

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The festival kicks off with First Friday and outstanding jazz and blues performances at multiple venues in the HdG Arts & Entertainment District — the Cultural Center at the Opera House, Frank J. Hutchins Memorial Park and the HdG High Auditorium.

Festival headliners include two-time Grammy-nominated Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers (along with opener Johnny Neel, a pianist who played with the Allman Brothers); and The Cab Calloway Orchestra (with the Nico Sarbanes Trio as opener and guest artist).

Calloway’s daughter and Harford County resident, Camay Murphy, is scheduled to make an appearance.

Tickets are available online at HdgJazzBluesFest.org with a complete listing of events.

The festival lineup also includes English international rising star Jack Broadbent (dubbed “New Master of the Slide Guitar” at the Montreux Jazz Festival and featured on Joe Bonamassa’s ‘Blues Musicians to Watch in 2018’); the internationally known Eric Byrd Trio; The Headhunters Band, featuring Mike Clark and local jazzman Benny Russell; the Maryland Rising Stars Concert featuring pianist/keyboardist Mark G. Meadows and the Movement, saxophonist Tony Hancock “Saxl Rose” (Havre de Grace High School alumnus who recently completed a UK tour) and Harford County up and coming guitarist Noah F. Pierre.

There will also be a free concert by the Havre de Grace High School Jazz Band, the Cecil County All-County Jazz Band and Country Roots, the Cecil County faculty jazz band.

The musicians will be fresh from an inspiring clinic with international trumpeter Dr. Shawn Edmonds, who will also be performing later in the day as part of the Cab Calloway Orchestra.

Local businesses/organizations/museums have joined the festival as community partners also featuring jazz and blues artists in their establishments. Other festival sponsors include the City of Havre de Grace, Integrity Real Estate, APGFCU, Guitar Restorations and Neil’s Transportation.

The festival will also include a film series starting with a free screening of “Jazz on a Summer’s Day,” Bert Stern’s documentary record of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival; Charlotte Zwerin’s ground-breaking documentary “Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser;” a lecture/film “Animated Jazz” featuring film scholar Stuart Hudgins, tracing the parallel development of art in animated films and jazz; and “Deep Blues,” a documentary dedicated to the blues artists born and raised in the Mississippi Delta and Northern Mississippi will round out the film series.

Raffle tickets are available to win a custom Fender Telecaster guitar (modeled after a 1951 Fender broadcaster/telecaster) donated by Charles Carter of Guitar Restorations valued at $1,000.

For a full lineup, information about other Festival-related events in Havre de Grace and to order tickets, visit www.HdgJazzBluesFest.org or visit the Havre de Grace Visitors Center (450 Pennington Ave.).

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