Saturday, October 25, 2014

Jazzing It Up At The Rehoboth Beach Jazz Fest 2014

Words can't begin to describe our jazzy weekend in Rehoboth Beach Delaware, for their 25th Anniversary Jazz Festival.  It was busy, entertaining, relaxing, fun, exhausting and the weather was absolutely gorgeous!  There is nothing quite like spending a fall vacation at the beach, with beautiful weather, and not your typical summer beach crowd.

This particular crowd came to party, be entertained, wine and dine, shop and just have some old fashioned fun. Children of all age groups were also in the mix but when the street lights came on, the adults definitely came out to play.

I don't know what other beach towns do this at this time of year; I am sure many of them have their own festivities going on being in the midst of the fall season, and Halloween approaching, but I must say Rehoboth beach rolls out the red carpet for their annual jazz event.  Not only are there major shows at the convention center and the Cape Henlopen High School, but many of the local restaurants and bars are getting a piece of the action. The whole towns welcomes musicians and singers with a big hug.  Walk down Rehoboth avenue from the beach to the convention center and you are bound to hear music and singing coming from one of the many restaurants on the strip. Talk a little detour off the main strip down one of the side streets and you will discover the same.

We stayed at the Avenue Inn and Spa again this year, and with the addition of their new lounge, there was also live entertainment. They did not have this last year.  Smart move on their part. Not only was the music nice but it attracted a nice crowd as well.

Walk along busy Rehoboth avenue and the some of the side streets, and you see people flowing in and out of restaurants and lounges and you hear an abundance of music and singing.  From traditional, contemporary and smooth jazz, vocal jazz, to a mix of rock and roll and blues it was all there.  With a combination of music, dining and dancing, there was something for everyone.

Docktar D and his band at Nicola Pizza on the Avenue

Purple Parrot Bar and Grill with Duo Debra & Patrick

Boney James

This year we scaled back a little (if you can call it that) and attended 4 major shows instead of 5.  It was just too much last year and it did not give us a chance to really check out some of the local talent like we were fortunate enough to do this year.  Of the major shows we attended, my absolute favorite was seeing Boney James, Brian Simpson and Marc Antoine at the Cape Henlopen High School. This is a great venue for a concert.  Not only is their auditorium beautiful, but the acoustics were fantastic. This was my first time seeing Boney James in concert and I was pretty excited, but although he was great, I really enjoyed Marc Antoine. I love his Latin and Brazilian sound on the guitar, and Brian Simpson is always amazing. One stood out about this particular event, you got to hear the artist play their own music from their current and past CD's.

Brian Simpson

 Friday was a relaxing day of meeting some friends for Mimosas and conversation in the morning at the Purple Parrot, hanging around the hotel and anything else on a whim. We had no shows scheduled during the early part of the day, but we had a after party show featuring guitarist Nick Colionne and Marcus Anderson; Waiting around for this late night show to start gave us a chance to visit some of the local places for music.

Our jazzy friends - Debra and Rudy

Saturday was the busiest of days because we had two shows; Jazz Meets James Brown part II and the All Star Show.  Next year we will scale back again because 2 shows in one day is exhausting. Both events were great and we had fun, but we missed out "bar hopping" with our friends who said how good the music was at the local spots they were in. It's not always what you do but how you do it. They did it smart, we did it overkill but overall we all had a blast.

Last year in Rehoboth during the jazz fest, we meet 2 very nice couples both from Maryland and we met up with them again at this years event.  We really enjoyed their company. One of the couples who are frequent flyers of the weekend event, we met for Mimosas one morning as we did last year.  I told my husband I think this is going to become a yearly meet and greet.  Debra and Rudy also from Maryland, have been renting a beach house for the past few years and they invited us to their home for brunch one morning.  We had a great time with them all weekend as well, and look forward to hanging out with them again.

"Jazz Fest" Crew with Entertainment duo Debra & Patrick

Me and Drummer Third Richardson
Our Jazz Fest Crew - Rachel & Scottie

One of the best things about travel, the people you meet along the way.  Some you may never see again, and others you become life long friends with.  I have already named this group the "jazz fest" crew.  We also saw another couple, Rachel and Scottie, whom we met last year at the Berks Jazz Fest in Reading PA and they also attended this years event in Delaware.  It was great seeing them as well and I have adopted them as honorary members too!  My social media buddy Wendy was also in attendance at this years fest but unfortunately we did not get to meet up. Next year for sure.

Brian Culbertson

Sunday, the grand finale and the end of our long fun-filled weekend. Our final show of the weekend was the Jam Session which was filled with an all star cast of musicians and singers.  Nick Colionne, Marcus Anderson, Brian Culbertson, Maysa, Nicole Henry, Brian Simpson, Art Sherrod Jr, Kim Waters, Gerald Albright, Marc Antoine, Paul Taylor, Stanley Jordan and more.  What a grand way to end a weekend of festivities. The place was sold out and rightly so.

There was so much energy at this finale jam session, no matter what your favorite musical instrument is, it was here. Saxophone, Keyboards, Drums, Guitars (electric and bass).  Jam sessions are always great because you get to hear music of different genres to fit all tastes and style and you get to see and hear the artists master their instruments.

Rehoboth Beach is a great destination to host a jazz festival such as this. You can have the best of both worlds, between the major shows with an all star lineup, or wine and dine your way throughout the many local places who have local artists from jazz trios, solo artists, R&B and blues, rock and roll as well as other flavors of music, free outdoor entertainment (weather permitting), and of course shopping.  We are looking forward to 2015 and meeting up with the "Jazz Fest" crew again.


Marc Antoine
Matt Marshak
Stanley Jordan

Me and my selfie with guitarist Nick Colionne

All Star Jam - Grand Finale

Brunch at Debra and Rudys beach house

Walking past these quaint places, you never knew what live music you might discover

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