THE ORANGEVILLE BLUES AND JAZZ FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES MUCH-ANTICIPATED PERFORMER LINE-UP FOR 2017

For Immediate Release March 23, 2017

The Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival announced details today about the 15th annual Festival taking place this year from June 1st to June 4th in downtown Orangeville.

Gary Brown, President of the Festival Board of Directors, and Larry Kurtz, Festival Founder and Artistic Director, welcomed an enthusiastic crowd of Festival insiders and supporters at the annual Festival Launch Event at Mill Creek Pub in Orangeville.

Festival President Gary Brown said, “On behalf of the Festival and our thousands of attendees and hundreds of volunteers, we are deeply grateful for the funding and services that are generously provided to support the Festival. This Festival has become a signature event for
Orangeville and the surrounding region and we would like to thank all our partners, sponsors and funders for their tremendous support. We would like to acknowledge the generous financial support from Heritage Canada which helps to showcase our outstanding local performers which has become such an important part of the Festival’s programming. We would also like thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the County of Dufferin and the Town of Orangeville for their important financial and operational support.

We were very pleased to be recognized recently as one of the Top 100 festivals and events in Ontario for 2017 by Festivals & Events Ontario. This is our sixth year to receive this award and it is great honor for our Festival to be recognized among some of the very best festivals and events in Ontario!”

Mr. Brown also noted this year’s Festival will be adding some new enhancements to further compliment a positive visitor experience. The Festival will feature a larger main stage with improved sound and stage lighting along with designating the entire main stage audience area
as a licensed area. These enhancements will create better sightlines of the stage and improved sound for all patrons. As part of supporting the ongoing advancement of the Festival, there will a $5 per person daily admission fee to the Royal LePage Main Stage and Opera House
performances. Children 12 and under will be free. Admission to other Festival events, such as the TD Local Stars Tent, the Friday Night Blues Cruise, the Saturday Blues & Bikes, pop-up bands on Broadway for Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, the Library workshops and the
Memorial Jazz March will all continue to offer free admission. The introduction of a modest admission fee to the Mainstage and Opera House events only will help to ensure the Festival has the funding in place to continue offering a community event of the highest standards.

To this end, the Festival extends a special thank-you to Central Counties Tourism who has generously partnered with the Festival this year by providing funding to support many of the new operational and marketing initiatives as part of building the organizational capacity of the
Festival going forward. “As one of Ontario’s 13 Regional Tourism Organizations, Central Counties Tourism works to support and elevate the very best that York, Durham and Headwaters has to offer”, said Chuck Thibeault, Executive Director of Central Counties Tourism.

“The Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival is one of Headwaters’ and Central Counties’ premier events, drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year. They continually evolve and grow to stay relevant and attract new audiences. Central Counties is proud to partner with them on the 2017 Festival.”

The Treasurer of the Orangeville Business Improvement Association, Joe Sammut said “I am pleased to announce on behalf of the members of the Orangeville Business Improvement Association that we will be providing $35,000 in funding to the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival for this year’s event. As one of the Festival’s largest contributors over the last ten years, Downtown Orangeville’s businesses and merchants welcome the economic activity this important Festival brings to our local business community. Our members consider this event to be the number one attraction for visitors in the area.”

In announcing this year’s outstanding line-up of performers, Festival Founder and Artistic Director, Larry Kurtz, stated “We are excited to announce the Festival will take place from June 1st to June 4th in downtown Orangeville and will feature over 9O ACTS performing on 3 STAGES and in local pubs and restaurants with pop-up bands featured on Broadway and Mill Street over the course of four days.

The Festival will kick-off on Thursday June 1st with a feature performance of the Ben Racine Band at our opening event sponsored by Meridian and taking place at the Best Western PLUS Inn & Suites.

The ever-popular Blues Cruise on Broadway sponsored by Dairy Queen, Ideal Supply, MacMaster Buick GMC and Orangeville Chrysler returns on Friday June 2nd starting at 5PM and will feature 10 bands performing including Paul James and Danny Marks with 300 classic cars all taking place on Broadway!

Following the Blues Cruise, the Royal LePage Main Stage on Friday night will feature Larry Kurtz and the Lawbreakers taking the stage at 8PM followed by the award-winning Dawn Tyler Watson Band from Montreal.

On Saturday, performances on the Royal LePage Main Stage will start at noon beginning with one of Orangeville’s most popular bands, Soul Collective followed by Harp Attack! featuring Lee Oskar, David Rotundo, Michael Pickett and Larry Kurtz. Spencer Mackenzie will take the stage followed by Turbo Street Funk who will lead the Dods & McNair Memorial Jazz March from the Main Stage with everyone invited to participate in the march along Broadway and then returning to the Stage area. Braithwaite & Whiteley, the Juno-nominated Paul Reddick Band, and from Chicago our headliners Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials will round out the evening schedule. Also, taking place on Saturday afternoon will be the Blues & Bikes event on Mill Street sponsored by Barrie Harley Davidson. Saturday afternoon will feature Free Music Workshops including Harmonica with Lee Oskar, Rhythm Section with Vince Maccarone and Ukelele with Manitoba Hal in the Orangeville Public Library.

The Royal LePage Main Stage performers on Sunday will include Chris Antonik, the Gabriel Palatchi Trio, Coco Love Alcorn with a special Festival closing performance of The LAST WALTZ – A Musical Celebration of THE BAND – Live.

The Opera House Series sponsored by Mortgage Architects and Orangeville Insurance Services, takes place inside the beautifully renovated Orangeville Opera House featuring jazz and acoustic blues performances on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. This soft seat intimate venue with amazing sound acoustics is the perfect venue to enjoy performances by Stan Chang & Eric Bruck, Carol McCartney, Juno-nominated Sean Pinchin and Los Variants during the day on Saturday followed by Manitoba Hal, Michael Pickett and from New York, Guy Davis performing on Sunday afternoon. The lobby will feature an exhibit of Blues & Jazz themed artwork and photography.

The TD Tent Local Stars stage on Saturday and Sunday will showcase the ODSS Jazz Band, Flashback, Orangeville Music Theatre, Southern Fryde Inc., Itchy & Scratchy, Andi Trepanier, Orangeville Chorus, the Travelling Wannabees, the Fire Cats, the Jazz Society Band and the Heather Katz Band.

There are many other Bands and Performers taking part in the Festival as part of the “pop-up” performances taking place on Broadway which will be closed on Friday night and all day Saturday to create a unique festival vibe with a pedestrian friendly setting.

For more information about this year’s Festival, please visit:
orangevillebluesandjazz.ca

For Festival Interviews contact:
Larry Kurtz – Festival Founder & Artistic Director, larryk@look.ca or (519) 217-7875
Gary Brown – President, Festival Board of Directors, (519) 925-5422

Download The Media Release (PDF Format).

Get Your Groove on during the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival Weekend!

The award winning 15th Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival returns to downtown Orangeville from Thursday, June 1 to Sunday, June 4.

Recognized as one of the Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario for the last six years, this year’s Festival features over 90 acts performing on multiple stages and in a variety of venues over the course of the four-day Festival. With concerts taking place on the Royal LePage Main Stage, in the TD Tent and Orangeville Opera House, in local restaurants and pubs, with special events and workshops, and even a Memorial Jazz March, there is sure to be something for everyone.

Headliners featured this year include the Ben Racine Band who will perform at the Festival Opening Gala. Ben’s soulful voice is reminiscent of the greatest Rhythm and Blues vocalists of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Inspired by artists such as Junior Walker, Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder and Clarence Carter, he will take you back to the days when vocals were the center point of music. He is also a lot more than just a voice. His guitar playing covers a wide range of styles – pleasing blues and funk fans alike. Winner of the “Albert King Award” for best guitarist
performance at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in February 2017, his contagious energy and charisma combine for a sound that is truly original. You’ll be tapping your feet within the first few notes.

dawn tyler watson

Featured on the Royal LePage Main Stage Friday night will be Dawn Tyler Watson from Montreal. Recently returned from Memphis TN, where she took home the coveted 1st place spot out of over 260 acts at the 2017 International Blues Challenge, Dawn is also the recipient of three Canadian Maple Blues Awards and nine Quebec Lys Blues Awards. She’s earned the Screaming Jay Hawkins Award for Best Live Performance, a Trophées France Blues for female Performance, a Trophées France Blues for female International Artist of the Year, and a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Best Vocalist. Playing festivals and concert halls across 4 continents, recording four albums, and appearing on numerous compilations, she has shared the stage with an array of premiere artists, including Oliver Jones, Jeff Healy, Koko Taylor, Susan Tedeschi, and Cyndi Lauper.

lil ed and the blues imperials

On Saturday night, the renowned Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials from Chicago will perform on the Royal LePage Main Stage. Coming from Chicago, a city overflowing with unrivaled blues talent, world-renowned Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials have been standing tall for almost 30 years. The band’s big sound, fueled by Lil’ Ed’s gloriously rollicking slide work and deep blues string bending, along with his rough-edged, soulful vocals, is as real and hard-hitting as Chicago blues gets. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials are the hottest purveyors of bottleneck boogie to come out of Chicago since Hound Dog Taylor.”

Bringing the Festival to a celebratory closing on Sunday will be a performance of The Last Waltz – A Musical Celebration of the Band – LIVE taking place on the Royal LePage Main Stage. An all-star Canadian cast of award-winning blues and roots musicians, under the direction of Juno award winning producer and musical director, Lance Anderson, will include Juno and Maple Blues Lifetime Achievement award winner Chuck Jackson (lead singer of the Downchild Blues Band), Jerome Levon Avis (Levon Helm’s godson) the always entertaining Johnny Max, and other special guest singers. The performance will recreate the atmosphere of The Band’s final concert, which was captured in Martin Scorcese’s award-winning concert film, The Last Waltz.

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Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival contributed 62 years of Volunteer service!

ontario volunteer awards

Festival volunteers were invited to join the Ontario Volunteer Service Awards at the Mississauga Convention Centre on Wednesday. Larry Kurtz, Festival founder says, “We are proud of our many volunteers who work tirelessly to create the Festival every year, and pleased to see them recognized in this way. Adults may receive awards after 5, 10 or 15 years, and youths, after only two years. We are able to nominate 6 adults and 3 youths each year. Congratulations to them all.”

Receiving their awards this year are: Candice Barrington (5 Years), John Bessie (10 Years), Ted Gerber (10 Years), Ryan Grist (10 years), Don Ladner (10 years), Daniel Olien (10 years). Youth awards go to John McKay-Brice (5 years) and Colin Medcalf (2 years).

During the ceremony, awards were presented by Bob Delaney MPP for Mississauga-Streetsville and Ted Arnott MPP for Wellington-Halton. The 272 volunteers in attendance contributed a staggering 3,955 years of volunteer service. Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival measured up bringing in 62 of those years!

To join our team and volunteer with the 15th annual Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival, please sign up online at www.orangevillebluesandjazz.ca/volunteer/

Calling all Volunteers!!

Call for volunteers

Join us for our Volunteer Information and Sign Up Meeting
Thursday April 6, 7pm
Orangeville Seniors’ Centre, Bythia Street

Hear about the 15th annual Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival that takes place 1-4 June 2017.
Meet team leaders and fellow volunteers. Everyone is welcome new and returning volunteers, adults, students and groups.
Join us to find out all about our wonderful volunteer team.

Sign-up online: https://orangevillebluesandjazz.ca/volunteer/
Questions: volunteers@orangevillebluesandjazz.ca

ORANGEVILLE BLUES AND JAZZ FESTIVAL NAMED ONE OF ONTARIO’S TOP 100 FESTIVALS AND EVENTS FOR 2017

Provincial association recognizes industry festival leaders

Orangeville, March 6, 2017 – The Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival proudly announces it has been recognized by Festival and Events Ontario as one of the 2017 Top 100 Festivals and Events in Ontario. The Top 100 recipients represent festivals and events that excel within the industry. This award represents the sixth year that the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival has been recognized as a Top 100 recipient.

“Festivals and events create jobs and bring Ontario communities together to celebrate our heritage and diversity,” said Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “I am pleased to join with Festival and Events Ontario in congratulating this year’s top 100 recipients. There are so many celebrations taking place across the province this year and our 150th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to get out and discover them.”

Submissions from FEO members were received for consideration in the fall of 2016 and were judged by an independent panel of judges. Festivals and events of all kinds from every corner of Ontario were represented in the submissions – from community festivals to internationally recognized events. The 2017 Top 100 Awards were given out on Friday, March 3 during FEO’s Annual Conference Celebrating the Past, Igniting the Future in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition once again of our Festival and we look forward to presenting our 15th annual Festival this June. I am particularly pleased that our Festival attendance grows steadily every year and we are able to present some of the very best in both local and Canadian talent” said Larry Kurtz, Festival Founder and Artistic Director.

“It is gratifying for the Festival and our community to be recognized by the festival and events industry. On behalf of the Board of Directors, volunteers and supporters of the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival, we would like to thank our community, funders and sponsors for their important role in creating an exciting festival of such importance” said Gary Brown, President of the Festival Board of Directors.

The 15 th Annual Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival will take place on June 1 to 4, 2017. Further information about the Festival is available at orangevillebluesandjazz.ca

# # #

Contact: Peter Ross
Cell: 647-525-8494
Email: prossobjf@gmail.com
Website: orangevillebluesandjazz.ca

Download The Media Release Here.

Blues Bash 2017 – A Terrific Evening!

The recent Blues Bash fundraiser was an terrific evening featuring the Paul James Band and Soul Collective. We wish to extend our thanks and appreciation to all those who attended, our sponsors and our generous silent auction donors:

Best Western Plus Inn and Suites
Orangeville Building Supply
Spirit Tree Estate Cidery
Farm House Pottery
Styling Essentials
Spa Zone
Caledon Ski Club
Forage
Caledon Country Club
Steakouse 63
Jackson’s Krown Body Maintenance
Westside Buggy Bath
Pita Pit
Cycling Elements
Sproules Emporium
Dragonfly Arts
Being There
Mark’s
Harmony Whole Foods
Dr. Roke Natural Health Care Clinic
Teen Ranch
Gord McWilliams
Davenports
Beauty Supplies
Wicked Shortbread
Blighty’s
Brewer’s Haven
9 Round
Carter’s Professional Corporation
Henry’s Lawn and Garden Equipment
Dufferin Supply
Headwater’s Raquet Club
Brampton Flying Club
Homegrown Woodworks
Theatre Orangeville
Sunlife Financial
Boston Pizza
Best Western Plus Inn and Suites
Orangeville Furniture
Clorox Company of Canada
Don’s Heating and Cooling
AlliKat
Orangeville Outlet Centre
Hidden Meadows Farms
Deep Running River
Dave the Butcher
Georgian College
Soulyve
Jonathan Ruelas RMT
Up Country Carver
Ray’s Bistro
Marlin Travel
Rose Theatre
Blackwolf Smoke House
Mochaberry
Orange Bistro
Monday Night at the Movies
KIA
Black Birch Restaurant
Dairy Queen
Philadelphia Kitchen
Shoeless Joe’s
Wimpy’s
Townline Fish and Chips
Dairy Queen
Fromage
Heatherlea Farms
BarBurrito
Coirander Kitchen
Holland Marsh Wineries
Hockley Valley Resort
GoodLife Fitness
Watermaker
David Tilson
MacMaster Buick GMC
Orangeville Chrysler
Taste of RJ Asia
Grand River Chop House
Kelsey’s
Auntie Joy’s
Marion Henry
Gemma Gallery
The Chocolate Shop
Off Broadway Boutique
Maria McGugan RMT
Shear Beaeuty
Shoppers Drugmart Broadway East

Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival Announces Blues Bash 2017.

Click here to view the Paul James Band

The Festival’s annual fundraising event will take place on Saturday February 18, 2017 at the Best Western PLUS Orangeville Inn & Suites. The evening will feature special guest performances by the renowned Paul James Band and local favourites, Soul Collective, along with a unique silent auction. Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 at the door and will go on sale in early January

Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival Receives Special Award!

best-arts-and-heritage-visitor-experience-objf-gary-brown

The Festival is thrilled to receive top honours at the recent 2016 Headwaters Tourism Awards by receiving the Best Arts & Heritage Visitor Experience Award.

The World (literally) comes to Orangeville

international-artists1
Every year tens of thousands of visitors come to Orangeville to enjoy the Fun, Food, Friends and Fantastic Music of the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival. Over 80 Acts, 5 stages, dozens of Pubs, Clubs and Restaurants together with hundreds of individual performers all at virtually no cost to the public make for a great weekend get-away. But in addition to those guests visiting from all over Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, BC, Michigan, NewYork, Ohio and Louisiana the Festival also showcases artists from all over the World. Each one brings their own unique story – including their diverse culture – to Orangeville to help shape a singular event that is not repeat-able.

This year, check out some of the Festival’s out-of-town artists including Harper from Australia on the MainStage Friday @ 9:30pm he “has written and arranged some of the most soulful blues rock filled music I have ever heard” and is backed by Midwest Kind from Detroit Mich. From Romania, Aura performs at the Opening Night Gala Thursday, Best Western PLUS Inn and Suites; catch Denise Reis from Brazil in a workshop at the Public Library Saturday @ 1:30pm and again on the MainStage Sunday @ 12noon. Check out Argentinian pianist Gabriel Palatchi at the Opera House Saturday @ 4:00pm. “…From the first note to the last, our entire audience had to keep picking their jaws up off the floor…”. Cecile Doo Kingué blends blues, afro-roots and soul to create a unique sound. Born and raised in New York City, first generation from Cameroon, she has lived in the USA, France, and is now an adopted Montrealer. On Friday night @ 9:30pm, you can see Blackburn, who, although they hail from Toronto, have a deep historic connection with the Underground Railroad. Alan Gerber now lives in Montreal but was born and raised in Chicago. You can see him Saturday at 12noon in the Opera House. The legendary Ray Bonneville performs at the Opera House Sunday @ 3:00pm. Ray’s music reflects the diverse social and cultural experiences he has claimed as his own, including years spent in Boston, Colorado and New Orleans.

Every artist performing at this year’s Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival will combine to create a unique weekend that will be a one-of-a-kind experience. Don’t miss it!

Is Charlie Cooley the Rhythmic Glue that holds the Festival together?

CC2

These days it’s getting increasingly difficult to spot truly great drummers.  All too frequently, excess substitutes for substance. In this crowded environment Charlie Cooley stands proud, his pulse unshakeable, his aesthetic sense finely tuned.

The Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival is now in its 14th year. Charlie Cooley has been a part of it nearly since the start.

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Charlie took advantage of the usual school programs—stage bands, concert bands, and orchestras.  Although his skill as a soulful drummer found him work locally, Charlie became restless and relocated to Toronto. That city is the seat of the Canadian recording industry and, with its history of rhythm & blues and ethnic diversity, was a perfect fit for Charlie.

When Amanda Marshall was in her prime, Charlie was her drummer and appeared on every major television spot in America, including Rosie O’Donnell and Good Morning America. Charlie also hit the bricks with Anne MurrayLong John BaldryPrairie OysterJimmy RankinGeorge FoxThe Guess Who and Sass Jordan.  Nowadays, turn on prime time TV and Charlie will be visible as house drummer on The Gemini AwardsThe Juno AwardsEast Coast Music Awards, and Canada Day backing countless artists. Charlie also toured extensively with Canadian Idol winners. Charlie recently finished a North American tour with The Blues Brothers with Musical Direction by Paul Shaffer and produced by Dan Aykroyd and Judith Belushi Pisano.

This list also includes dozens of appearances over the years at the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival playing for a variety of great artists who depend on his steady groove. It’s not uncommon for Charlie to have just enough time after finishing one gig to pack up his gear, move to another venue and set up just in time for the next gig. Some of the Festival artists Charlie has played with include Trouble and StrifeHeather KatzAuraHeillig Manouvre and the Orangeville Jazz Band. Now living in Orangeville, Charlie thinks it’s fantastic that an event of the quality and scope of the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival is – literally – right in his own back yard.

Charlie says “I have played at the festival off and on for many years – the past few years I have been spending a little less time on the road which has afforded me more local opportunities. I’m so thankful to the festival organizers for continuing to present this wonderful event and it’s a privilege for me to be part of it.

You can catch Charlie in action this weekend on Friday night @ 8PM MainStage with Larry Kurtz and the Lawbreakers; Saturday afternoon @ 1:30PM Public Library with Denise Reis; Saturday @ 6PM MainStage with Taylor/Kurtz Eruption; Saturday @ 9PM Holbrooks with Sil Simone and Sunday 12PM MainStage with Heilig Manoeuvre and Denise Reis.

Thanks Charlie! We’re so glad you help glue the Festival together!

Check out Charlie Cooley.com

(With copy from T. Bruce Wittet)