Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Somers Point Jazz Fest - March 8 - 11

For tix go to:

Thursday, March 8, 2012
Venissa Santi Quintet
Venissa Santi-vocal; Tim Thompson-trumpet; John Stenger-piano; Madison Rast-bass; Francois Zayas-drums & percussion
Mission Point Church 900 W. New York Ave., Somers Point, NJ 7 – 10 PM
Luke O’Reilly Quartet
Luke O’Reilly-piano; Nimrod Speaks-bass; Anwar Marshall-drums; Dean Moore-alto saxophone
Gregory’s Restaurant 900 Shore Rd., Somers Point, NJ 8:30 – 11:30 PM

Friday, March 9, 2012
Mulgrew Miller Trio
Mulgrew Miller-piano; Ivan Taylor-bass; Rodney Green-drums
Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro 908 Shore Rd., Somers Point, NJ sets at 8 PM and 10 PM
Keith Hollis Quartet
Keith Hollis-drums; Frank Strauss-piano; Korey Riker-tenor saxophone; Dean Carrigan-bass
Gregory’s Restaurant 900 Shore Rd., Somers Point, NJ sets at 8 PM and 10 PM
Sheryl Bailey Quartet
Sheryl Bailey-guitar; Mike LeDonne-piano; Gary Wang-bass; Joe Strasser-drums
Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro -dining room sets at 9:30 PM and 11:30 PM

Saturday, March 10, 2012
Walt Weiskopf Sextet
Walt Weiskopf-tenor saxophone; Andy Fusco-alto saxophone; John Mosca-trombone; Joel Weiskopf-piano; Doug Weiss-bass; Jason Brown-drums
Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro 908 Shore Rd., Somers Point, NJ sets at 8 PM and 10 PM
Three Blind Mice
Victor North-tenor saxophone; Lucas Brown-organ; Wayne Smith-drums
Gregory’s Restaurant 900 Shore Rd., Somers Point, NJ sets at 8 and 10 PM
Jimmy Cobb and Cobb’s Mob
Jimmy Cobb-drums; Rick Germanson-piano; John Webber-bass; Javon Jackson-tenor saxophone
Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro – dining room sets at 9:30 PM and 11:30 PM

Sunday, March 11, 2012
Tim Horner Quintet
Tim Horner-drums; Jim Ridl-piano; John Hart-guitar; Marc Mommaas-tenor & soprano saxophone; Martin Wind-bass
Gregory’s Restaurant 900 Shore Rd., Somers Point, NJ sets at 2 PM and 4 PM
Grant Stewart Quartet with special guest Hilary Gardner
Grant Stewart-tenor saxophone; Hilary Gardner-vocal; Tardo Hammer-piano; Joel Forbes-bass; Phillip Stewart-drums
Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro 908 Shore Rd., Somers Point, NJ sets at 4 PM and 6PM

This program is made possible in part through the New Jersey State Council of the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts through the Local Arts Grant administered by Atlantic County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs.

SOMERS POINT – Jazzheads from around the country will attend the 14th annual Cape Bank Jazz @ the Point festival March 8-11. In the spotlight will be world-class musicians and homegrown talent, and local establishments will be center stage.

Performers from all over the world will be featured over the four-day festival. Some, like drummer Keith Hollis, will practically be performing in his own backyard.

Born and raised in Atlantic City, Hollis began playing the drums when he was 9 years old in his father’s church, Friendship Outreach Ministries in Atlantic City. He said Monday that he is grateful to be performing in the festival.

“I’ve always played in church. In around 2000, I really started getting out, gigging around here and playing jazz,” Hollis said. “I am meeting a lot of musicians – meeting people that I didn’t know existed – some really great players.”

Hollis has performed in Atlantic City’s Jazz on the Beach series sponsored by the Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation, and on Friday, March 9 he will be returning to Gregory’s Restaurant and Bar, where he played in the Blue Moon Winter Jazz Series last year.
The Keith Hollis Quartet will perform sets at 8 and 10 p.m. featuring Hollis on drums, Frank Strauss of Manayunk on piano, Korey Riker of Philadelphia on tenor saxophone, Dean Carrigan of Atlantic City on bass and guest Scott Lerner of Cherry Hill on guitar.
Hollis said that musically he is inspired by both pianists (he plays that as well) and drummers. He cited the fusion jazz band the Yellowjackets as his primary influence and said the band will perform a lot of “groovy, funky, fusion-y jazz.”

“I’m a huge fan of the Yellowjackets. I’m not trying to be like the Jackets, but I love that type of jazz. Whenever I get that opportunity to put a band together it so happens it is always the Yellowjackets sound,” he said.

Hollis said that for him it is all about the music. He gave thanks to the “loving creator for the gift of music and my dad, Raymond D. Hollis Sr., who was one of my biggest fans, may he rest in peace.”

“I’m grateful to be a part of the musicians circle in this area; I am really grateful. I’m looking forward to playing more music with as many great musicians in the area as I can,” he said.
Hollis is working on his first album, expected to be released next month. He said people can find him on Facebook to see where he will be playing next.

According to Somers Point Jazz Society President Nick Regine, the festival depends on the local community to support a national audience.

In its first year, Gregory’s and two restaurants that are no longer in town, the Pearl Restaurant and Brownie’s by the Bay hosted the festival. Each year the event is played at various venues throughout Somers Point.

“I love jazz. I’ve been a fan of jazz since I was in high school,” said Walt Gregory, co-owner of Gregory’s.

He said his 70-seat venue is reminiscent of the old smoky jazz clubs. During the festival, a Cajun menu will be featured.

“I think it’s going to be fun. With the food, people come in, sit down; when it’s too late to eat dinner but want they to snack on something, we’ll make these plates where more than one person can eat off of them,” Gregory said.

Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro owner Dan Anderson said that in his second year as host, music will be in the dining room in addition to the ballroom. Last year music was played in ballroom and the loft upstairs.

He said the daily special during the performances will be $5 for any of five types of appetizers.
“This year we’re adding more specials, drink specials, appetizers and things like that,” Anderson said.

Regine said in addition to the host venues, nearly 40 businesses will support the festival by advertising in the program book.

“Walt has been there forever. Dan is a new guy, and his heart is definitely in the right place,” he said Tuesday.

Anderson said he and his staff are looking forward to the festival.
“It’s really exciting for my wife and I and our team here. We’re happy the Jazz Society stuck with us and had the confidence in us to host it again. It’s a great event for the city of Somers Point.”

For information see

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