A new jazz festival takes off in Severna Park this fall. Created as an annual community event, the attraction features three trend setting jazz groups along with fine art in the courtyard and interior of Cafe Mezzanotte at 760 Ritchie Highway (Route 2). Admission is $35 and $40 at the door. Parking is free and plentiful.
The courtyard and gardens will open to ticket holders at 1 PM. Attendees can view and purchase 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 with global jazz group Amoroso featuring three of the region's most influential and longstanding musicians: multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Elizabeth Melivn (Mama Jama, Caribbean Arts Ensemble, Freedom Choir), guitarist and vocalist Richard Rausch, and equally versatile Annapolis favorite Dick Glass, who will play flugelhorn in this appearance.
Next up, jazz lovers will hear 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. Before the day is over, Balbed will also perform a soothing set of jazz and Brazilian music with a smaller ensemble - the Balbed/Arnold/Berkowitz Trio. In addition to 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 joined forces with Cafe Mezzanotte owner Kosmas “Tommie” Koukoulis and Jonathan Katz of The Voice Media. Event proceeds will benefit The Food Project.