Guitarist John Pizzarelli and Saxophonist/Clarinetist Ken Peplowski, two legendary and critically acclaimed jazz musicians, headline the 2022 Amelia Island Jazz Festival, October 2-9, 2022 in Fernandina Beach, FL. Peplowski and Pizzarelli’s Trio will appear October 7 and 8 respectively in the Grand Ballroom at the Courtyard/Springhill Suites by Marriott at 2700 Atlantic Avenue near Main Beach. Much of the 2022 AIJF program was originally set for 2021, but due to pandemic concerns some of the musicians had to postpone to 2022.
“We are thrilled to finally be able to bring in this exciting lineup,” said AIJF Artistic Director Les DeMerle. “Plus, they will be accompanied by a few highly talented special guests for several events as well.” Now in its 19th year, the festival will kick off a full week of shows beginning Sunday, October 2 from 12:00 – 2:00 PM with its traditional free concert, which, this year will present the 21-piece UNF Jazz Ensemble 2, directed by Dennis Marks at the Atlantic Recreation Center, 2500 Atlantic Avenue. DeMerle and his wife, singer Bonnie Eisele, will host the annual Sponsor’s Party, an invitation only affair on Monday, 10/2, at the Courtyard/Springhill Suites. Their special guest will be venerable Jacksonville vocalist/pianist/trombonist Joe Watts, known for his work with numerous big time acts, including Mary J. Blige and the Supremes’ Mary Wilson. For sponsorship opportunities, visit ameliaislandjazzfestival.com/become-an-aijf-sponsor/.
On Tuesday, 10/3, wine and jazz will come together at The Decantery, 117 Centre Street, as host DeMerle along with multi-instrumentalist Bill Prince and pianist Doug Matthews join in for exquisite music and fine vintages during two sets, beginning at 5:00 and 6:30 PM. The Dynamic Les DeMerle Little Big Band with Bonnie Eisele will headline the popular Jump, Jive and Wail! Swing Night Concert and Dance on Wednesday, October 5, at Sadler Ranch, 868 Sadler Road. Joining them will be special guest Matt Vance, one of the top call professional saxophonists in the southeast. A Hot Latin Concert/Dance will bring back the sizzling and soothing Trio Caliente with their inimitable blend of flamenco, pop, and Latin dance music, also at Sadler Ranch on Thursday, 10/6.
One of the world’s great woodwind players, Ken Peplowski, (“the man is magic”, says Mel Torme) will begin the weekend on Friday, October 7, followed on Saturday by the world-renowned John Pizzarelli Trio which includes Isaiah Thompson, piano and Mike Karn, bass. Also performing on each headliner show will be the Les DeMerle Jazz Quartet with Mike Levine, piano, Dennis Marks, bass, and Bonnie Eisele, vocals. Late night jam sessions on Friday and Saturday nights, from 10:30 PM – 12:00 AM will be hosted by the AIJF 2022 Scholarship winner, saxophonist, Cameron DeVane, at Mocama Beer Company, 629 South 8th Street.
The Amelia Island Jazz Festival will conclude with a Dixieland Jazz Brunch featuring the Spare Rib Six plus Eisele in the Courtyard / Springhill Suites Ballroom on Sunday, October 9 with two seatings at 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit the Festival website: https://ameliaislandjazzfestival.com. A not for profit 501(c)(3) corporation, Amelia Island Jazz Festival, distributes proceeds toward educational programs including a scholarship program to fund college educations for aspiring jazz musicians.
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