The Litchfield Jazz Festival is returning to its home base at Goshen Fairgrounds to mark its 17th anniversary, August 10, 11 and 12, with award winning jazz artists plus a new slant. This year swing is king under the tent and under the stars. The Festival launches with a Jazz Dance Party and Auction on Friday night, August 10. The iconic Four Freshmen open for this year’s Grammy Winning swing band, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks. A brief live auction and silent auction feature vacations, private concerts, dinners, autographed instruments, collectible art and more.
For those who want to hit the dance floor--not one but two will be provided! Feeling a little nervous about dancing? The Matthew Westerby Dance Company will fix that. Westerby, a Brit now living and working in the US, has collaborated on dance education projects with Litchfield Performing Arts, the Jazz Festival’s parent, for the past four years. He and his talented team will show jazz fans how to swing from top to toe and have great fun doing it. Opening Night Guests are encouraged to dress in the spirit of the swing era. The “best dressed” will win tickets to the 2013 Litchfield Jazz Festival. The evening’s hosts are WBGO Radio’s Michael Bourne and Dominic Chianese, a star of the HBO hit series The Sopranos (Uncle Junior), and more recently HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
The swing theme continues throughout the weekend, with New Orleans’ own Dirty Dozen Brass Band Saturday night and the festival close on Sunday—with Kevin Mahogany and Dave Stryker’s Kansas City Swing set. The Dirty Dozen, who have been credited with revitalizing the brass band worldwide, have been featured on albums by David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Dr. John and the Black Crowes. Mahogany, one of the outstanding vocalists in jazz (“There is little Mahogany can’t do”… The New Yorker) and guitarist Stryker with 73 CDs to his credit and long stints with Jack McDuff and Stanley Turrentine, have toured together in the US and South America. Both Mahogany and Stryker are on the faculty at the Festival’s educational arm, Litchfield Jazz Camp.
Dozens of other jazz stars will appear all weekend long, including Thelonious Monk Award winner trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusiere, multi-Grammy baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan who is the Festival’s 2012 Artist-in-Residence, pianist Benny Green, famed flutist Hubert Laws, Mac Arthur Genius Award winner Miguel Zenon and many others. For tickets which start at $25, accommodations and more information visit www.litchfieldjazzfest.com, call 860-361-6285 or find the Festival on facebook and twitter – www.facebook.com/litchfieldjazzfestival, www.twitter.com/litchfieldjazz