Generations of artists who have made a name for themselves not only in the United States but also around the world will take to the stage this summer for the eighth annual Rockport Jazz Festival. 

This year’s expanded festival, which runs from Aug. 4-11, will bring a lineup of performers representing a variety of jazz styles to Shalin Liu Performance Center.

Tony Beadle, president of Rockport Music, which presents the festival, said that there will be music for everyone’s taste. 

“We are excited about the incredible lineup,” he said. “We open with the jaw-dropping talents of guitarist John Scofield, followed by the jubilant Afro-Caribbean sounds of trumpeter Etienne Charles and the vintage vocal sounds of Kat Edmonson.” 

Scofield’s international career as a bandleader and recording artist began more than 40 years ago after attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. He exemplifies the global nature of jazz, touring roughly 200 days a year, from South Africa to Japan and from Chile to Europe. 

An adjunct professor of music at New York University, he has recorded more than 30 albums, including collaborations with many jazz greats.

Charles, a 35-year-old native of Trinidad who moved to the U.S. in 2002, has earned a reputation as a rising trumpeter who melds jazz and Caribbean music. He has a master’s degree from The Juilliard School in New York and is now an associate professor of jazz trumpet at Michigan State University.

“Along the way, Mr. Charles has developed a magnetic sound on trumpet — clear and mellifluous, with a deep sense of economy ... and he’s becoming a composer to be reckoned with,” wrote Giovanni Russonello of The New York Times. 

Also featured will be pianist Aaron Diehl, a graduate of Juilliard who performs everything from Jelly Roll Morton to Gershwin to Mozart, Beadle said. In 2011, Diehl was named the Cole Porter Fellow by the American Pianists Association. He became the youngest commissioned artist for the Monterey Jazz Festival in California in 2014.

“Rounding out the lineup is the Hot Sardines, who promise to provide an evening of vintage swing for the new age,” Beadle said. “The festival closes with a feature on the finest drummers performing today with Ulysses Owens Jr., followed by the incomparable Jack DeJohnette.”

The Grammy Award-winning DeJohnette was awarded an honorary doctorate of music from Berklee College of Music in 1991 and was inducted into the Percussive Arts Society’s Hall of Fame in 2010.  

Owens is also a Grammy Award winner and a graduate of the inaugural Jazz Studies Program at The Juilliard School. 

There will be other jazz musicians featured throughout the summer, such as bassist Christian McBride, guitarist Pat Metheny and saxophonist Ben Wendel, as well as the ensemble Mikarimba, which includes Mika and Richard Stoltzman and Steve Gadd.



What: Rockport Jazz Festival

When: Aug. 4-11

Where: Shalin Liu Performance Center, 37 Main St., Rockport

How much: Subscriptions for the festival and other summer concerts are on sale Friday, March 29. Single tickets go on sale April 12.

More information:

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