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Chester County Press

Second annual Kennett JazzFest draws top talent, packed venues

05/02/2023 01:01PM ● By Richard Gaw

Photos by Richard L. Gaw         Philadelphia-based trumpeter and arranger John Vanore led his big band Abstract Truth through a powerful set at the second annual Kennett JazzFest on April 29.

By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer

For the second year in a row, the organizers of the Kennett JazzFest -- David Mattock, Jeff Piscitello and Bryan Tuk – further buried the now smoldering memories of COVID-19 on April 29 with a sizzling and searing, three-venue concert that drew area jazz fans together in harmony and sound.

From the first strains of the E. Shawn Qaissaunee Trio at the Kennett Brewing Company at a little past noon to the last notes played by Grammy-nominated organist Pat Bianchi at the Kennett Flash later that evening, the festival was an all-day ode to a genre that has forever defied easy definition, as evidenced by the eclecticism of its 10 acts.

Sponsored by MacElree Harvey, LTD, the six-hour first leg of the event never took its hands off of the β€˜On’ button by effectively running continuous sets throughout the day at both the Kennett Brewing Company and next door at the second-floor studio of Holly Peters Oriental Rugs. On the heels of its latest album, More than Happy, Qaissaunee and his mates tore through a blend of jazz, funk and world music at KBC, which was followed by a set at Holly Peters by the Jason Newman Trio, made up of pianist and composer Newman, drummer Tony Deangelis and bassist Jason Fraticelli, who had also just performed with Qaissaunee.

Less than an hour into the festival, nearly every seat at the Kennett Brewing Company and the Peters studio was filled with an audience who enjoyed an entire afternoon of performances by Lancaster-based vocalist Calli Graver, jazz standards by the Terry Klinefelter Trio, the infectious notes of the Lucas Brown Trio, the big band sound of Abstract Truth, the Philadelphia-based U.S.E. Trio, the Brazilian dance rhythms of Ensemble Novo and the blues, jazz and soul fusion of the John Bickel Quartet.

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].