Mt. Vernon, NY, and Martha’s Vineyard, MA, July 31, 2015—Lewis and Kirk Expeditions announced today that Grammy Award winner Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton, and six-time Grammy Award nominee Nnenna Freelon will headline the 2015 Martha’s Vineyard Jazz and Blues Summerfest (http://mvjazzbluessummerfest.com/), Labor Day Weekend, Thursday, September 3 thru Sunday, September 6. Tickets are $45, $65 and $100 and can be purchased online at www.ticketsmv.com.
Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton appear on Friday, September 4 and Nnenna Freelon on Sunday, September 6. “The music of these brilliant women takes you on a journey through song that causes the spirit to soar, the senses to smile and the surroundings to shine,” said Sheila Baptista, CEO and President of Lewis and Kirk Expeditions.
This is Fischer’s debut appearance at Summerfest. Winner of the Grammy for Best Female R&B Performance for “How Can I Ease the Pain,” Fischer has a multi-octave voice that when coupled with the outstanding musicians in Grand Baton, guarantees that the audience will be on its collective feet throughout the evening. With her astonishing range, spot-on intonation and a mastery of the stage, Fischer is sought out as a headliner for jazz festivals throughout the world. Fischer, who regularly tours and records with Beyoncé, The Rolling Stones, Sting and Chris Botti among others, is featured in the Oscar and Grammy-winning 2013 documentary “Twenty Feet from Stardom,” which shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century.
Freelon is also making her Summerfest debut. Her appearance is almost a trip home for the Six-time Grammy Award nominee. Born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she is a graduate of Simmons College in Boston. Freelon has a well-deserved reputation as a compelling and captivating live performer. In 2014, she starred in the critically acclaimed show “Georgia on My Mind: Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles” at The Venetian Las Vegas hotel. Freelon is a cast member of and a collaborator of “The Clothesline Muse,” which celebrates African American culture and women’s history amongst other themes through live music, dance, visual art and projection. She is the winner of the Billie Holiday Award from France’s Academie du Jazz and the Eubie Blake Award from the Cultural Crossroads Center in NYC.
On Thursday, Sept. 3, the festival hosts a free concert at Union Chapel, 55 Narragansett Avenue, Oaks Bluffs, featuring jazz greats 25 and under. The line-up includes Jazzmeia Horn, winner of the Sarah Vaughn 2014 competition, Liza Colby - Tribute to Tina Turner and the festival’s only male ensemble Orange Julius and The Beats. Doors open at 6:00pm, show time is 6:30pm.
The music moves to the Old Whaling Church, 89 Main Street, Edgartown, on Friday, Sept. 4, Saturday, Sept. 5 and Sunday, Sept. 6. Doors open at 6:00pm, show time is 6:30pm. In addition to Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton, Friday’s show includes Sharel Cassity, voted ‘Rising Star Alto Saxophone’ in the Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll, and Andrea and James Rohlehr and the AndJam Band, the dynamic husband and wife songwriting and performing duo. Saturday’s show is headlined by Women of the World, a Boston-based collective of women musicians hailing from Japan, India, Italy, Haiti, Mexico, and the United States. The core singers and their eclectic band perform original and traditional folk music in over 17 languages from across the globe and have performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Saturday will also feature Sage, the all-female jazz and blues vocal and instrumental ensemble that performed at the 2009 and 2013 Presidential Inaugural Balls for President Barack Obama and Major League Baseball All-Star Games among other major venues. In addition to Freelon, Sunday’s show features jazz pianist phenom Yayoi Ikawa, who has performed with Reggie Workman and Howard Johnson among others, and jazz and gospel blending musician Kersten Stevens, the Queen of the Sacred Violin.
Back by popular demand is the “Designers, Desserts and Drinks Reception,” which features vendors selling beautifully handcrafted and uniquely designed clothing, jewelry and art creations, along with some surprises, at the Old Whaling Church in The Bailey Room from 3:00pm to 10:00pm each day of the concerts. The reception is free and open to the public.
Sponsors include a mix of returning and new sponsors. Returning sponsors are Presenting Sponsor Entergy Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station (http://www.pilgrimpower.com/) and Small Business Sponsor G&K Sweet Foods (www.gksweetfoods.com), LLC, and welcome new sponsors American Legacy Magazine (http://www.americanlegacymag.com/), National Media Sponsor; N.E. Informer News Magazine (www.neinformer.net), Northeast Regional Media Sponsor, and Sadhana Tea House (http://www.sadhanawellnesscenter.com/), Small Business Sponsor.
For more information call (914)-363-9299, ext. 384. Excursion travel by coach bus from Westchester departs Sept. 4, returning on Sept. 7. For travel information call (914)-664-1515, (914)-363-9299 or (914)-500-3024. Sponsorship, vendor and advertising opportunities are available by calling (914)-837-1995 or (914)-363-9299.
A portion of the proceeds from Summerfest will benefit regional breast cancer networks and other local organizations assisting women who are receiving cancer treatments.
About Martha’s Vineyard Jazz and Blues Summerfest
The festival is designed to celebrate women in the jazz, blues and contemporary arts and support breast cancer treatment initiatives.
About Lewis and Kirk Expeditions –;; Lewis and Kirk Music and Lewis and Kirk Productions
Lewis and Kirk is an unlimited music enterprise, focusing on women’s ensembles in jazz, blues and gospel, engaging in the provision of professional music and entertainment services throughout the United States and abroad. The talented musicians and vocalists in the Lewis & Kirk family represents the finest in the performing arts and always endeavors to deliver an outstanding performance in any venue.