Main Stage activities resume late morning Saturday February 14 with the Mid-Atlantic "Jazz Voice"--Vocal Competition with six semi-finalists competing for a $2000 Grand Prize. Shortly afterwards an afternoon session features DC drummer Samuel Prather and Groove Orchestra with the marvelous vocalist Christie Dashiell. They are followed by Chelsey Green and the Green Project, led by the talented violinist. Saturday Evening’s Main Stage performance opens with a Tenor Saxophonist Summit with three of today’s most compelling tenor players: James Carter, Craig Handy and Marcus Strickland. After their set, vocalist Allen Harris will captivate the audience followed by Ellis Marsalis and son Delfaeyo, on The Last Southern Gentleman Tour.
Sunday evening’s final Main Stage session opens with one of this writer’s favorite vocalists, Janine Gilbert-Carter backed by a trio that includes pianist Eric Byrd with a saxophonist to be named. Carter brings plenty of warmth and a touch of Dinah Washington to a varied selection of material. Next is tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene whose backing group includes the legendary Kenny Barron on piano and will focus on music from Greene's latest album, “Beautiful Life” on Mack Avenue Records. Greene is a masterful saxophonist with a robust tone and this recording is part of his ongoing grieving process at the sudden and tragic loss of his 6-year old daughter, Ana Marquez-Greene, who fell victim to the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass murder in Newtown, CT. After this performance, vocalist Carmen Lundy will close out the Main Stage with the great Patrice Rushen on piano and keyboards.
Throughout the festival, there will be plenty of music in the MAJF Club and the MAJF Juke Joint rooms. Friday night the Marcus Strickland Quartet performs two sets in the MAJF Club while David Cole will be laying down blues in the Juke Joint. Saturday shows in the MAJF Club include the Terry Koger Sextet, vocalist Chad Carter, and the great drummer Winard Harper, while Memphis Gold will be in the Juke Joint. Sunday evening Shirletta Settles, Anthony Compton, and Sarah McKenzie are among the MAJF Club room performers while Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark will be blowing his harmonica and shouting the blues in the Juke Joint.
Additionally there will be free performances in the Hotel Atrium including Big Band and Combo competition performances. There will also be interviews with a number of the artists and workshops for students that are led by some of the performers. One can see how packed the weekend will be. For more information with fuller artist biographies, information on accommodations and tickets along with special features on several of the performances visit, http://www.midatlanticjazzfestival.org.