Northampton’s Fourth Annual Jazz Festival Set for September 2-6

Headliners include Etienne Charles & Creole Soul, the Seamus Blake Band, the Champian Fulton Quartet and the Steve Davis Quintet

NORTHAMPTON – The 2014 Northampton Jazz Festival will begin Tuesday, Sept. 2 with a special vocal performance at the Northampton Jazz Workshop, and various other shows during that week will lead up to the main event.

The official festival will take place Saturday, Sept. 6 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. in downtown Northampton on Hampton Street, behind Thornes Marketplace.

At Saturday’s signature Northampton Jazz Festival event, which is free and open to the public, featured performers will include: Etienne Charles & Creole Soul, the Seamus Blake Band, the Champian Fulton Quartet, the Steve Davis Quintet, Hendrik Meurkens and Scott Mullet with the Green Street Trio, the Miro Sprague Quintet and FlavaEvolution.

Musicians on tap will include some of the “most cutting-edge players, mostly from the New York scene,” said Tom Reney, host of WFCR’s Jazz a la Mode jazz radio show.

Events begin Tuesday, Sept. 2 with a performance by vocalist Giacomo Gatesat the Northampton Jazz Workshop at The Loft at the Clarion Hotel at 7:30 p.m. On Wednesday, Sept. 3 and Thursday, Sept. 4, Jazz and Food Nights are planned starting at 6 p.m. On Friday, Sept. 5, “The Northampton Jazz Strut” will give music lovers a chance to explore many different venues across downtown Northampton and hear local and regional jazz musicians perform.

“We’re proud to continue to make these concerts free for everyone,” said Rick Gifford, a jazz festival board member. “All of the music is supported by our sponsors and patrons of the arts and is designed to allow people of any walk of life with an interest in jazz to come to the jazz festival and not worry about buying a ticket.”

Gifford said the Northampton Jazz Festival offers the community a great cultural experience.

The main festival day will also include the 12-Mile Meal event, a battle between three local chefs who are given locally raised foods and must cook dishes on the spot with those ingredients. The fest will feature student bands, food booths, crafts vendors and the McLadden’s Beer Garden. The first annual Northampton Jazz Festival Home Brew Challenge and RETROFAIRE: a vinyl and fashion sale, will also be held during the main festival.

For more information or to help sponsor the event, contact Rick Gifford at 413-582-7925. Jazz fans can get more information at

Contributions may be sent to Northampton Jazz Festival, P. O. Box 641, Northampton, MA 01061.

Major Sponsors include: Baystate Health, McLadden’s Irish Publick House, North Coast Brewing Co., TD Bank, Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, Freedom Credit Union, 90+ Cellars, Florence Savings Bank, The Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts, Davis Financial Group, The Northampton Business Improvement District, Northampton Arts Council, Provisions for Pantry and Cellar, Steve Lewis Subaru, Alternative Recycling, Commercial Distributing, WRSI (93.9 – The River), Thornes Market, New England Public Radio, Downtown Sounds, A.P.E. Ltd. Gallery, Log Cabin, Klondike Sound, Falcetti Music and ABBA Motors.

Featured image courtesy of Maxime Auger via Flickr under Creative Commons.