All that Orcas jazz: three-day festival on the way

Greta Matassa

The Orcas Island Jazz Festival is on its way to being a local tradition.

After sold-out crowds last year, Martin Lund’s second annual three-day festival is back for another year of premier jazz performances.

“It was successful beyond my imagination and hopes,” Lund said.

The jazz festival will run from Sept. 2 to 4 at Orcas Center. Each night will feature a different show starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for individual concerts are $28; a three-show pass is $75. Tickets are available at www.OrcasCenter.org.

On Friday, Sept. 2, the show will showcase Oliver Groenewald and his band NewNet. Groenewald, who lives on Orcas, has gathered some of Seattle’s most “in-demand” jazz performers and improvisers in this nine-member group. NewNet brings energy, chemistry and a European flavor to a traditional American art form.

Greta Matassa and her sextet perform on Saturday, Sept. 3. Lund says she is one of the most talented singers working in jazz today. Matassa was voted “Northwest Vocalist of the Year” by Earshot Jazz seven times in 15 years. She was inducted into the Earshot Jazz Hall of Fame in 2014. She has been a mainstay on Seattle’s Jazz stages for many years and with her recent successful dates at New York’s Dizzy’s Club at Lincoln Center, tours of Russia, Singapore and Hawaii, Japan and New Orleans, Matassa’s sound is now reaching new audiences.

The festival’s closing night on Sunday, Sept. 4 features Pearl Django, one of the most highly regarded Hot Club style groups. The band blends the styles of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli with American swing music. Pearl Django has performed at festivals, dances and nightspots throughout the U.S. and abroad. They have played at the prestigious Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois sur Seine and have been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”

On Saturday, Sept. 3 during the Orcas Farmers’ Market, there will be a special jam session with some of the Orcas Jazz Festival Musicians. All are invited to this free concert at noon in the Village Green.

“You don’t have to go to Seattle to hear great jazz; they are coming here,” said Lund. “When putting a show together, I always try to think of the people on Orcas. I guarantee this one.”