A new festival takes off in Severna Park this fall. Created as an annual community event, the attraction features top shelf jazz groups and fine art in the courtyard and interior of Cafe Mezzanotte at 760 Ritchie Highway (Route 2). Admission is $35 through September 1 and $40 thereafter. Parking is free and plentiful.
The courtyard and gardens will open to ticket holders at 1 PM, giving attendees an opportunity to enjoy viewing and purchasing fine art and gift selections from Benfield Gallery, Gallery 564, McBride Gallery and Side Street Framers. Festival foods and wine tasting stations will be on sale and the restaurant will offer its full Mediterranean menu.
Music begins at 2 PM. with some of the most popular and innovative sounds to come out of the nation’s capital in decades. Led by international saxophonist and former Chuck Brown protégé Elijah Jamal Balbed, The JoGo Project combines jazz and Go-Go music in one highly entertaining band. Balbed will also perform a soothing set of jazz and Brazilian music with a smaller group - the Balbed/Arnold/Berkowitz Trio. Besides Balbed, the trio features two of the busiest musicians in the region: bassist Steve Arnold and drummer Julian Berkowitz.
The festival grew out of the “Jazz at the Mezz” series begun by Paulina Phillips and Theresa Sise of Jazz Beyond Borders. To produce the event, they have joined forces with Cafe Mezzanotte owner Kosmas “Tommie” Koukoulis and Jonathan Katz of The Voice Media. Event proceeds will benefit The Food Project.