Orcas Island Jazz festival returns Labor Day weekend

  • Fri Aug 24th, 2018 1:30am
  • Life

The Orcas Island Jazz Festival returns to the Orcas Center from Aug. 30-Sept. 2. Started in 2015 by Martin Lund, the festival has grown every year, allowing him to bring first-class musicians from all across the region for four days of jazz performances. Tickets are $28 per night or $79 for all four – Orcas Center members receive $2 off. Students pay $10 for Thursday and $16 for Saturday through Sunday.

Thursday: “Jazz: What’s the bag?”

Ever want to know what’s the bag about jazz? Professor Lund and friends guide you through the “Rules of the Game of Jazz,” how it is played, why it sounds the way it sounds, a brief history of where it came from and, best of all, chanteuse Miss Moqui guiding you through song in her quintessential jazz style.

This is a great opportunity to sharpen your game in knowing what’s happening on stage, who’s playing what and when, where’s the theme, where’s the variation on the theme and what is improvisation. Thursday night is a way to immerse yourself in the language of jazz, become a part of it and make this weekend even more enjoyable.

Friday: ‘Pearl Django: Best Gypsy Jazz’

With a performance history spanning more than two decades, Pearl Django endures as one of the most highly regarded Hot Club style groups working today. Although the band’s roots are firmly in the music made famous by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, their extensive repertoire includes traditional jazz classics and original compositions.

Pearl Django has performed at festivals, dances and night spots 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.”

The band’s signature style is marked by pristine and dexterous string work, colors of Bal Musette, the steady pulse of rhythm guitar and an unmistakable swing that delights audiences of all musical sensibilities. Throughout the years, Pearl Django has cultivated a devoted and enthusiastic following and they continue to play to packed houses wherever they perform.

Saturday: ‘Susan Pascal Quintet, featuring Pete Christlieb’

The Susan Pascal Quintet, featuring special guest tenor saxophone titan Pete Christlieb, presents “Remembering Stan Getz.” The band revisits the music of Stan Getz, highlighting his work with vibraphonists Cal Tjader and Gary Burton during the bossa nova craze of the 60s and beyond. Performing hits that changed the pop music landscape, from “Girl from Ipanema” to adventurous musical terrain with Chick Corea, the all-star group features tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb, vibraphonist Susan Pascal, pianist John Hansen, bassist Chuck Deardorf and drummer Mark Ivester.

Sunday: ‘Martin Lund and the Off-Island All-Stars’

Lund is a musician of many colors. He was trained classically at the Naval School of Music and University of Washington but has always kept an ear out for new sounds in pop, rock, jazz and other musical styles.

Lund has worked his whole life as a musician, played with some of the greats and would not trade what he has done for anything else. He has spent a considerable amount of time working in Los Angeles recording studios as an arranger, composer and musician for more than 20 years.

Since coming to Orcas, Lund has found great satisfaction in motivating others in learning how to succeed not only in music but in life. He was the Orcas school band director from 2010-2013 and has helped many students on the island achieve their goals of becoming accomplished musicians. Lund has also created some of the most exciting musical events on this island by combining professionals from off-island with on-island talent. In 2015, he started the Orcas Island Jazz Festival.

This festival is brought to you by Orcas Open Arts. For more information, visit orcasislandjazzfestival.org.