A few years ago, Eddie Sherman and Peggy Raley launched the True Blue Jazz Festival in Rehoboth Beach as a competing event to the long-standing and popular Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival.
The two events are held on the same weekend, but have decidedly different core audiences, depending on the type of jazz music that you prefer.
If you like more traditional, community-centered jazz, then True Blue is probably going to be more to your liking. If, however, you prefer the bigger acts and more well-known artists, then you may want to visit one or more of the venues that are associated with the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival.
But regardless of your personal preference, there's no mistaking the fact that the sounds of jazz music are going to be filling the air pretty much anywhere you go in Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches this weekend, with more than a dozen venues hosting popular jazz musicians.
We're going to break down a few of each festival's expected highlights for Friday night through Sunday, and give you things like ticket and contact information along the way.
So, let's start with the festival that's been around the longest. And that's the immensely popular Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, which is celebrating its 29th year in 2018 and is consistently one of the most well-attended events of southern Delaware's Fall Festival Season.
Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival (Oct 11-14)
Featuring eight venues in 2018, "the greatest jazz festival in the world" draws thousands of visitors to Delaware's coastal region every fall and seems to grow in popularity each year.
The venues for the 2018 edition of the popular festival are as follows:
- The Performing Arts Center at Cape Henlopen High School
- Rehoboth Beach Convention Center
- The Performing Theater at Rehoboth Beach Elementary School
- The Rusty Rudder
- The Rusty Rudder Deck
- Epworth United Methodist Church
- The Bottle & Cork
- St. Jude's Catholic Church Parish Hall
We can't possibly feature every act that will be performing this year at the 2018 Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, but we will give you a taste of what's to come at this year's event.
Event tickets for the 2018 Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival can be purchased by visiting www.rehobothjazz.tix.com.
Incognito featuring Maysa. This popular group will be performing on Friday evening at 9:30 at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center. Incognito is recognized as one of the best funk/jazz/soul outfits in the world and as a pioneer of the "acid jazz" movement that has delighted listeners and dancers for decades. Maysa first gained fame as the featured voice on Incognito’s defining `90s era hits such as “Don’t You Worry About A Thing”, “Still A Friend of Mine” and “Deep Waters.”
Keiko Matsui with the Ebony Strings. Keiko Matsui is a Japanese keyboardist and composer, specializing in smooth jazz, jazz fusion and new-age music. Her career spans four decades, during which time she's released 20 CDs, as well as various compilations. She'll be appearing at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, at Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth Beach.
Morris Day & The Time. A longtime Prince collaborator, Morris Day is one of the most swaggering and peacockish funk performers to hit the stage since Prince himself. As the frontman of the Time, Day built a serious name for himself in the 1980s with his colorful showmanship, introducing international audiences to his slick stage presence in musical films like "Purple Rain" and "Graffiti Bridge." Day is a consummate showman, and fans can expect him to pull out all the stops during his appearance in Rehoboth Beach. Morris Day & The Time will be performing at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 10 p.m.
Lucky Chops. Lucky Chops has been unleashing high-energy brassy funk on the world since forming in New York City in 2006. The intensity of the band’s energy is fueled by the desire to share the healing and inspirational power of music with others. Lucky Chops will be performing on Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach.
2018 Closing Party. Scheduled for the Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach, this year's customer appreciation event features music from Matt Marshak, Marcus Anderson, Phil Denny, JJ Sansaverino and Jeff Kashiwa and will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. The event includes a dinner buffet, which begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 9:30 p.m.
Okay, so that's just a sampling of the great acts that will be appearing this year at the annual Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival. Pick your act, choose your venue and have a great time!
True Blue Jazz Festival (Oct 10-14)
Moving on now to the newer and ever-growing True Blue Jazz Festival, which is now in its sixth year in the "Nation's Summer Capital." As we did with the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival, we'll give you a taste of what's to come at this year's event, but you can click below for a full schedule of events.
Venues for this year's True Blue Jazz Festival are:
- Bethany Blues
- C.A.M.P. Rehoboth Community Room
- Boardwalk Plaza Hotel
- The Avenue Inn & The Blue Hen Restaurant
- Cape Henlopen High School
- The Atlantic Sands
- The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand
- The Rehoboth Beach Fire House
- Salero on the Beach
Event tickets for the 2018 True Blue Jazz Festival can be purchased by visiting www.instantseats.com.
True Blue Women of Jazz Concert. Scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 12, at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, this event promises some of the best female jazz performers in the region and will be opened by "Shades of Blue," always a favorite in coastal Delaware. Also performing at this unique Friday evening event will be "3 Divas."
True Blue Latin Jazz Celebration with Bobby Sanabria & ASCENSION. This show is scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m. at the Atlantic Sands Hotel on the Boardwalk. Featuring Sanabria and his nine-piece Latin Jazz Band, this will be a two-hour show of high energy, heart-filled Latin Jazz music and is not to be missed.
Smokin' RED HOT Fire House Jazz. As the name implies, this up tempo event will be held at the Rehoboth Beach Fire Department on Rehoboth Avenue, and is scheduled for 1 to 6 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 13. This event began in 2017 and, due to its popularity, is returning for 2018. Scheduled performers include "The Bill Dilks B3 Organ Trio w/Jackie Browne & Vince Lardear," "The Olney Band" and "The Columbia Jazz Big Band," among others.
Wycliffe Gordon with the MidAtlantic Jazz Fest All-Star Band. With nearly 30 CDs to his credit, Wycliffe Gordon is a master musician who can play more than 20 instruments and is a prolific jazz recording and performance artist. He is as renowned for his prowess on the trombone as he is as a composer, conductor and arranger. He's an original member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and was a a featured guest artist on Billy Taylor’s “Jazz at the Kennedy Center” series. Gordon will be performing with the MidAtlantic Jazz Fest All-Star Band at 9:30 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel.
2018 True Blue Jazz Brunch Bash. Enjoy the fantastic ocean views from Salero on the Beach, as the 2018 True Blue Jazz Festival wraps up with a Sunday brunch. Special performers for this event include "The Fred Hughes Trio" and special guest artist Giacomo Gates.
Hopefully, that gives you just a small sampling of what should be a great weekend here in the greater Rehoboth Beach area, as jazz music fills the area wherever you happen to be.
Pick the shows you're most interested in and have a great time in and near the "Nation's Summer Capital" of Rehoboth Beach.
Have a great Jazz Festival Weekend everyone!