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Published: 2012/08/29

Sit ins Abound at the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival

Photo by Tom Uellner

The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival was held on August 18 and 19 at the historic Oceanside Salem Willows. This year’s lineup included The Pimps of Joytime, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and more. Over 5,000 people were in attendance throughout the two days. The Salem, MA festival has formed an after-fest scene, allowing many bands to play local clubs at night.

The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival is a nonprofit organization with the mission to put on free concerts and support music education on Massachusetts’s North Shore. Formed in 2007, the festival has donated around $25,000 to group homes, schools, and after-school programs to help foster music education.

A number of artists collaborated throughout the weekend. On Saturday night, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band guitarist Junior Mack sat in with funk and soul group HDRnB at the Chianti Jazz Lounge. Just down the street, Dub Apocalypse and Soule Monde took over the Spotlight Tavern for sold-out shows on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

Afro-Cuban jazz pianist Joel LaRue Smith played at the club Howling Wolf on Saturday while The Jackleg Preachers entertained a packed house at Pig’s Eye. There were even mini music-education classes offered. Highlights included Dirty Dozen Brass Band’s “Horns of New Orleans” demonstration and Russ Lawton’s (Soule Monde) drum clinic.

Other sit-ins included saxophonist Henley Douglas Jr. joining the Dirty Dozen on Sunday and trumpet player Ephrem Townes sitting in with the Boston Horns at the Chianti Jazz Lounge.

The festival board is currently preparing the festival’s 2013 lineup and working to help the youth of the region learn about music as an art form.

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