Jazz Festival celebrates fifth year

  • Mon Aug 19th, 2019 11:49am
  • Life

Martin Lund’s fifth annual Orcas Island Jazz Festival will light up Orcas Center over Labor Day weekend. Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets beforehand. In past years, all nights of the festival have sold out.

“I think over the years, people have begun to know they’re going to have a great time at one of my concerts. It tells me I’m doing the right thing. I love to make people feel good through music,” said Lund.

As usual, all the Jazz Festival favorites are back, including “Martin Lund’s Off-Island All-Stars,” but new this year are Sunday afternoon workshops with Brazilian master pianist, composer and three-time Latin Grammy nominee Jovino Santos Neto and exuberant drummer/percussionist, composer and educator Jeff Busch.

The Sept. 1 workshops are free of charge and open to people of all ages, but students are especially encouraged to participate, and registration is required. The workshops will be held at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church Parish Hall.

“I am an educator at heart. I love working with people age eight to 88, and I’ve got ‘em.” Lund said. “These workshops are a reflection of that. I often notice the musicians I like to invite on stage are also educators. Neto is from Brazil, and he teaches in Seattle at the Cornish College of Arts. He teaches a lot about music in nature from a Brazilian point of view. And I’ve been to Jeff’s workshops before. He knows how to convey a message.”

Lund said he met Neto while he was in Rio studying the music of Brazil.

Tacoma’s “gypsy jazz” quintet Pearl Django returns to Orcas Island to perform Friday, Aug. 30, at 7:30 p.m. With a performance history spanning more than two decades, the band’s roots are firmly in the music made famous by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Pearl Django’s style is “reminiscent of the jazz clubs of pre-World War II Paris.” Performing with them will be Gail Pettis, an outstanding vocalist who has been very well received by Orcas audiences in the past.

Lund’s two music degrees from the University of Washington are perhaps simply a reflection of his rich love of all music. There aren’t many instruments that Lund doesn’t know how to play. His specialties are the clarinet, saxophone, flute and piano. He has performed with some of the “greatest blues artists of modern times” throughout his life and worked in Los Angeles studios as a composer, arranger and musician. Lund has knowledge of all styles of music from classical to rock to jazz to Broadway.

“Saturday night, I’m cooking up music that people are going to be really surprised to see. Simply knowing what people like on this island, I think they’re going to be very happy. We’re doing a few songs that are a little more country than you’d hear at a jazz concert. The ability to pull that off is not easy,” Lund said.

Martin Lund’s Off-Island All-Stars perform Sat, Aug. 31, at 7:30 p.m. Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto is set to take the stage Sunday, Sept. 1, featuring a pre-concert talk by Neto starting at 6:45 p.m.

“Brazillian Jazz — it’s jazz with a great beat,” Lund notes.

Three-time Latin Grammy nominee Neto, a master pianist, composer and arranger, is among the top Brazilian musicians working today. Neto’s personal style is a creative blend of energetic grooves, deep harmonies, telepathic improvisation, lyrical melodies and great ensemble playing, always inspired and informed by the colorful richness of Brazilian music. Neto brings to the island his Quinteto of masterful Seattle musicians who complement his style.

Each show will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Orcas Center. Tickets cost $28 for adults and $16 for students; three-day passes are $75 for adults or $40 for students. Further information and tickets are available at https://orcascenter.org/events/.

To register for the piano and flute workshop (2—3:15 p.m.) with Neto, go to: http://oijfpianoworkshop.rsvpify.com. Bringing an instrument to play is loosely suggested, not required.

To register for the percussion workshop (3:30—4:45 p.m.) with Busch, go to: http://oijfpercussionworkshop.rsvpify.com. Bringing an instrument to play is loosely suggested, not required.