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Berlin’s 11th annual Jazz and Blues Bash, Saturday

By Josh Davis | May 03, 2018
Photo by: JOSH DAVIS/OCEAN CITY TODAY Despite a forecast of rain and some showers late in the day, Berlin’s annual Jazz and Blues Bash, last year, went off largely without a hitch. Hundreds flocked to the downtown area to enjoy free concerts on two stages, along with local beer, wine, food vendors and several merchants set up along Main Street. The Berlin Chamber of Commerce hosted the event. Pictured here are the U.S. Navy Jazz Band Commodores.

(May 4, 2018) Live music, local beer and wine, street food, and ample shopping highlight the 11th annual Berlin Jazz and Blues Bash, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., downtown.

Steve Frene of the Jazz and Blue Bash Committee said the music lineup would include something for everyone, starting with the Salisbury University Jazz Ensemble.

Also scheduled, in order of appearance, are Dark Gold Jazz, the Joe Baione Quartet, Honey Shine, Holly Lane and Shore Jazz, Chris English, Earl Beardsley and the Heritage Dixieland Jazz Band, and Tom Larsen.

“This year’s jazz bands will feature less fusion style and more traditional jazz, with some new groups to Berlin and a few that have been here once or twice before over the previous 10 years,” Frene said. “One such band is Holly Lane and Shore Jazz. Holly has a great voice and will be singing many familiar Jazz standards. Her band has been around in many forms for decades and continues to preserve the tradition of this great American style of music.”

Also returning is the Joe Baione Quartet.

“Baione and his quartet was part of the very first Jazz and Blues Bash lineup and Joe is one of the East Coast’s premier vibraphonists,” Frene said. “It is extremely rare to see jazz music performed on this exciting and interesting-sounding instrument.

“Dark Gold Jazz is new to the lineup, but are no strangers to the Eastern Shore jazz scene,” Frene continued. “They play regularly at the Globe Theater and have also performed on WBOC TV’s Delmarva Life program.”

Frene said keyboardist Earl Beardsley has performed with local jazz bands for more than four decades, including with the Backfin Banjo Band and solo during his longstanding Monday Night slot at the Atlantic Hotel.

“Dixieland Jazz is a southern style of jazz that features a lot of brass and woodwind instruments, as well as a banjo and piano,” he said. “It will hard to sit still during their performance.

“On the blues side of the equation, we are proud to welcome back both Chris English and bluesman Tom Larsen and their talented and electrifying bands,” Frene continued. “Both bands have been busy performing and creating new music, and bring large followings wherever they play. A relatively new blues band, Honey Shine, is anxious to show off their funky blues style to Berlin.”

Stages will be set up at each end of Main Street downtown. Music is free with limited seating, and guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

Wine tents will be set up outside of Sisters on 113 North Main Street, offering six tastings for $15. Burley Oak Brewing Company will sell locally made craft beer.

Food will be available for sale from several vendors set up along Main Street, as well as dining and carryout from about a dozen downtown Berlin restaurants.

Additionally, Frene said popular local artist Pedro Mule was commissioned to design posters and commemorative T-shirts for sale.

Free parking will be accessible at Berlin Intermediate School on Franklin Avenue, with a free shuttle service running downtown.

Following the festival, Washington, D.C. blues stalwarts The Nighthawks are scheduled to play a ticketed show at the Globe from 7-10 p.m. For ticket information, visit www.globetheater.com.

“The take away is the same as always – Berlin is one of the shore’s most charming and unique concert and festival venues, offering free, family entertainment, food and shopping,” Frene said. “We invite everyone to bring a chair, utilize the free shuttle from our expanded parking area at Berlin Intermediate School, and enjoy a fun day.”

For information, visit www.berlinchamber.org or call 410-641-4775.

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