Every year the historic downtown area of Fredericton, New Brunswick is home to the annual Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. Among Canada’s top 10 festivals it attracts top international artists. Britain’s own Battle of the Blues, inaugurated in 2011, sees individuals and bands competing regionally and nationally for the opportunity to play at the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. For several days the historic buildings and squares of downtown Fredericton are given over to the all things jazz and blues. There are dozens of venues: streets and public places, clubs, several marquees and concert venues. Many are free.
2012 is the 21st Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival to be held and promises to be the biggest and best yet. In the past artists such as Monkey Junk, Kermit Ruffin from N’Orleans and the ever popular Homemade Jamz featuring two brothers and their 12 year old sister on the drums. Last year 24 Pesos, a UK band and winner of the 2011 Battle of the Blues took the stage on several occasions. They headlined as well supported. They went down a storm and I am sure we will see more of this talented band.
The ever popular award winning Kermit Ruffin is equally at home on the jazz trumpet and with a microphone.
Homemade Jamz use customised guitars made from car exhausts. The special effects smoke is produced from the guitars and is a fitting finale to their storming act.
The band is made up of two brothers on guitar with the older of the two as vocalist, father on harmonica and, the real star of the band, their young sister (12 in the photograph above) as a very accomplished drummer.
There are fringe events at any festival and Harvest Jazz and Blues is no exception. Street performers and graffiti artists have always been a feature, unofficially and officially, of the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival.
Over the weekend of the event there are a number of family orientated events, usually outdoors, where the children get to participate in a whole range of fun activities. They have their own live musicians, a graffiti wall for all that latent creativity and numerous opportunities to participate in various crafts.
This year Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival is 11th-16th September. Tickets go on sale 26th May.
You might also be interested in the post on this year’s New Brunswick Battle of the Blues