Want to check out the Harvest Jazz and Blues festival, but don’t know where to start? Well, start from the beginning with Wednesday night’s free kick-off show.
Not only is the show free, but it’s got two mad acts performing, Gypsophilia and your very own STU jazz. STU jazz is a huge swing band with a crazy horn section, guitars, drums and the occasional doo wop singer. These guys usually play a set filled with old school covers and funky originals. Dust of your dance shoes and get ready to shake your tail feather.
Don’t like the sounds of an old school jazz concert? No w-orries, just hold out a little longer for a complete twist on a classic style. Halifax’s Gypsophilia mixes gypsy jazz, funk, indie rock and classical music to create a fun atmosphere. Over the summer, the band played in Fredericton- the place was packed and there wasn’t a single person not stompin’ their feet.
You can check out this FREE and fun for all ages show on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 7 P.M at the Bell Aliant Mojo Tent.
Harvest gets bigger each year. This year, the festival has 10 venues and each of them has their own style. So, before gallivanting around Downtown you’re going to want to know which spot is right for you.
Here’s a rundown of the places to be this week.
The Alexander Keith’s Blues tent is the festival’s largest venue. It’s located right behind City Hall and will be home to the likes of JJ Grey and Mofro, The Avett Brothers, Gov’t Mule and other headliners. This is definitely the place to be if you like the party atmosphere, big crowds and even bigger acts.
The Bell Aliant Mojo Tent is where things get groovy. There’s a grass dance area so you can jive to this year’s funkiest bands. The Mojo tent is hosting the kick-off show, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, That Mojo Boogie, Next Gen Blues and a bunch more. This tent is for those of you who love to get down and dirty with jazz and blues.
The most popular venue among students is the Galaxie Barracks Tent. This tent is always home to some of the hippest bands at the cheapest prices which why you’re going find all the young folk herding to this spot all week long. If you’re looking to skip the wild jazz flutes for a night or two, the Galaxie Tent is where you will find Hey Rosetta!, Rich Aucoin and Radio Radio.
Looking for something a little more mellow? Try the Cox and Palmer Hoodoo House. This venue offers acoustic style sets up until midnight. Once the clock strikes 12, this place turns into a mad afterhours party and hosts most of the afterhours shows.
f you’ve got the cash laying around and are able to hop to multiple shows throughout the week, then here are some you can’t miss.
The Wailers, praise Jah! There is no band more legendary in Jamaican music history than The Wailers. Formed in 1969, the original lineup consisted of reggae icon Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston. In 1970, Bob, Peter and Bunny joined forces with the Barrett Brothers, Aston “Family Man” on bass and Carlton on drums. Together they recorded the first versions of classic tracks like “Kaya” and “Trench Town Rock”. Today Aston leads the band as it continues to spread the message of reggae and Rastafari.
You can feel the love, Sept.14, 5 p.m at the Alexander Keith’s Blues Tent- tickets are $25.
Canned Heat was formed in 1966. They are one of the most popular acts of the hippie era. The band specializes in updating obscure old blues recordings. After headlining Woodstock 69 the band obtained worldwide fame.
You can catch these blues-rock legends Sept.13, 7:30 p.m. at the TD Marquee Stage at The Playhouse. Tickets are $22.
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears. This band blends a unique mix of blues, funk and soul. While working at pawnshop Lewis first picked up the guitar. Shortly thereafter, he began to immerse himself in the blues scene. Lewis’s main influences are James Brown and Howlin’ Wolf. This makes for a signature screech that you can’t miss.
You can catch this renaissance man and his band Sept. 14 at 7:45 p.m. at the Bell Aliant Mojo Tent. Tickets are $29.50
Low cash flow?
Cash-strapped? No problem, here’s how to enjoy Harvest on a budget. Free shows are the ultimate penny saver. Harvest has many free shows and even a few free venues. The Daily Gleaner Officers’ Square venue offers free afternoon shows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Siemens Acoustic Stage on Queen Street has free shows each evening, as does the James Joyce Pub in the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Can’t sit still? Take a walk down Queen Street and check out JDI Busker Central. The street is going to be jam-packed with all different styles of buskers, street vendors and local artists.
Also, a few bars like the Capital Complex are planning a ton of events to coincide with the festival and they will surely help you save money, unless you start drinking it. Stick to these events and you’ll have a happy wallet.
Have a safe and happy Harvest.