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Date Visited 2010:
Saturday, July 31
For 2011: Not Known
Costs: See Event Website
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Newmarket jazz+ Festival
(formerly the Aurora jazz+ Festival)
**TO HEAR MORE ABOUT GREAT CANADIAN MUSICIANS, LISTEN TO MUSIC ARTS MARKETALK. THIS IS A FREE SHOW THAT CAN BE LISTEN TO WEEKLY ON SATURDAY AFTERNOONS FROM 1:30 TO 2:30. THE HOST IS SHER ST. KITTS. CLICK HERE FOR THE SHOW'S LINK.**
Enjoy the Sights and Sound of the 2011 Aurora jazz+ Festival... Click HERE for SIGHTS ~ HERE for SOUNDS ~ HERE for FRIDAY NIGHT SIGHTS & SOUNDS ~ HERE for SATURDAY SIGHT
Aurora jazz+ Festival Re-Visited 2011
Well, Sher and George have done it again! That’s Sher and George St. Kitts, the originators and organizers of the Aurora jazz+ Festival. Judi and I were back again this year to a bigger and better Aurora jazz+ Festival. The line-up of musicians was great; we even saw and heard a colleague of Judi’s sister, Carol. Lawrence is also part of the Newmarket Citizen’s Band as is Carol. As always, Sher was all over the festivals grounds, greeting people and solving challenges. George was near the main stage making sure everything was running smoothly and snapping a few photographs! We even saw and talked with Festival Nomad Correspondent Pip Wild. She, as you may know, wrote a great article about her visit to last year’s Mariposa Folk Festival. Luckily she promises to visit more events on our behalf. Added to this year’s events were more vendor booths. Sher had included a number of talented artists to the new vendor area. I think that it added a nice touch to the event! The Jewel local radio station was also on hand to help celebrate this year’s event. Great job to everyone involved!
Aurora jazz+ Festival 2010
Discovering the Jazz...
Ever since I had heard from festival organizer, Sher St. Kitts, about the Aurora Jazz+ Festival, I had been thinking that it was an event Judi and I should visit. This became even more intriguing when we saw Sher’s husband, George St. Kitts and his band, perform on City TV’s Breakfast Television. George and his Band are internationally recognized musicians, thrilling audiences all over North America with their music and energy! With these thoughts, Judi and I traveled north west to Aurora. We wanted to "Discover the Jazz"!.
The festival was taking place in Aurora’s Downtown Park. The park was easy to find and, fortunately, there was convenient parking available. We knew that we were at the right place, by the music and by the volunteers wearing their white festival shirts. We paid our admission fee and entered the park. Now that we were at the festival, we wanted to meet our host, Sher St. Kitts. One of the many volunteers pointed Sher out to us. We walked across the festival grounds to meet her. In person, Sher’s enthusiasm was even greater than it had been over the telephone! She explained how the Aurora Jazz + Festival was organized and then she excused herself. She needed to introduce the next performer on stage.
Exploring the Festival...
While Sher was off doing her duties, we started looking at some of the vendors who were participating in the Aurora Jazz+ Festival. After gathering up a StarBucks coffee from their booth, we walked to the next booth and started talking to the two volunteers who were manning the booth. The volunteers were there to acquaint festival visitors with their organization, the CCAA (Canadian Centre for Abuse Awareness). This organization works with several women’s shelters across Canada, one of which is located in our hometown, Cobourg. After talking with the volunteers at CCAA, we walked the park perimeter. Along the way, several more vendors were set-up. These included a wine and beer beverage tent, homemade stone pizza with an open-fire oven, Kettle Corn popcorn and more.
The Land of Jazz...
When the Aurora Jazz+ Festival organizers say there are 11 hours of "continuous music", they mean it. They do this by using two large stages, the North Stage and the Band Shell Stage. The stages are conveniently set up side by side in the park. Not too close to interfere with one another, but close enough that audiences can stay where they are to hear both performances from stages. Joel Krivy (Folk/Blues) had just finished his segment on the North Stage. Sher St. Kitts, who had left us was on the North Stage immediately announcing the next performer, Stacey Kaniuk and her Band (Soul/Pop). Stacey, on the Band Shell Stage, began her performance without delay! It was a very smooth operation, as the on stage band performs, the previous band's equipment is removed and the next band's equipment is set-up! After walking the perimeter, we found a picnic table close to where the Band Shell Stage. We sat to listen. Stacey is a local musician who could and should be performing across North America! The audience loved her, and at the end of her session, they gave her a standing ovation and demanded an “encore”. Gratefully she accommodated them! Even George St. Kitts was "dancing in the aisles". After another smooth transition to the North Stage, Bob Rice and his Band (Latin Jazz) were introduced and they began to play. The beat of their drums had lots of people up and dancing. One lady was dancing and twirling around and soon had others up with her learning, “her intricate dance steps”! During the performance Judi and I moved through the crowds and listened to the interesting comments of the festivals visitors. We could see, and feel, that everyone was really enjoying themselves! After another smooth transmission, this time back to the Band Shell Stage, Michael Massaro & Band (Jazz Saxophonist) started the delight the crowds. With this, we said our goodbyes to Sher. It had been a fun festival to visit! The wonderful sounds of the Aurora Jazz+ Festival and its "Land of Jazz" echoed in our minds as we drove home.
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