Erie Art Museum Blues & Jazz Festival Reveals Line-Up Headliner Talent to Include Lee Konitz Trio and Red Baraat

Erie, PA, August 03, 2012 --( The Annual Erie Art Museum’s Blues & Jazz Festival returns to Frontier Park to celebrate its 20th Anniversary on Saturday, August 4 & Sunday, August 5, 2012. For two days and two nights, Frontier Park comes alive with what has proven itself to be the region’s most dynamic musical event, and the largest of its kind; this free community event is held rain or shine.

The Erie Art Museum Blues & Jazz Festival, attracting more than 20,000 visitors, features musicians that range from regional favorites to international super-stars. The event opens Saturday, Aug. 4, 12 p.m. until 10 p.m., and Sunday, August 5, 12 p.m. until 10 p.m. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is sponsoring a Kids’ Activity Tent, free to the public, and open from 1 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Headliners include Super Chikan and Oliver Mtukudzi & the Black Spirits on Saturday’s blues lineup and Lee Konitz Trio and Red Baraat on Sunday’s jazz lineup.

Headliner Super Chikan takes the stage at 6 p.m. James “Super Chikan” Johnson has been called a “present day exponent of an edgier, electrified version of the raw, uncut Delta Blues sound.” He began playing at the age of 13 on a second hand acoustic guitar with just two strings, and was deeply influenced by artists like Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, and John Lee Hooker.

Oliver Mtukudzi & the Black Spirits wraps up the night with an 8 p.m. set. One of the biggest names in Afropop music, Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi got his start along with fellow Zimbabwean artist Thomas Mapfumo in the Wagon Wheels band in 1977. Tuku soon developed a successful solo career, with a wide following in his native country that has spread across Africa and the world.

Headliner Lee Konitz Trio kicks off his set at 6 p.m. A true jazz legend, Lee Konitz has been a major contributor to the development of modern jazz, from bebop to the avant-garde, and his name is part of any definition of Cool Jazz. He was one of the few saxophonists in the 40’s and 50’s to push the music forward without copying Charlie Parker’s style.

The Festival concludes with Red Baraat, closing the weekend with an 8 p.m. set. The public is welcome to attend a 5:30 p.m. “meet the artist” session with Sunny Jain in the Gazebo. Dubbed “Brooklyn nine-piece party-starters,” the members of Red Baraat are as likely to be found in a small club playing to a packed house as they are to be touring the major festival circuit. Combining Indian Bhangra, Jazz, Funk, Go-Go, and Latin, they have created their own unique style of infectious dance music. Led by Sunny Jain on the dhol (a type of double-sided, Indian drum), Red Baraat is one of the most popular multi-ethnic bands in America today.

Almost as signature as the legendary music at the Festival is the original artwork for the 20th Anniversary limited edition Festival poster created by artist John Bavaro.

Festival merchandise for purchase includes limited edition organic cotton t-shirts, posters and fun items for the kids such as instruments, bubbles and glow-in-the-dark necklaces. Local vendors will cook-up festival fare ranging from Pittsburgh-style sandwiches and veggie burgers to funnel cakes and fresh squeezed lemonade.

Again, this year, the Festival has partnered with Waste Management, the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park and WJET-TV, Fox 66, and build upon the Festival’s efforts to reduce the environmental impact and to create awareness of the need for environmental stewardship.

The Erie Art Museum does not permit any tents to be set-up prior to 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6. Tents set-up prior to this time will be taken down and can be redeemed at the Festival’s Information Tent.”

Hallmark to the Festival is the Bucket Brigade – a group of community volunteers, which circulate through the crowd to collect a minimum $5 donation per person.

The Erie Art Museum Blues & Jazz Festival is sponsored by Patron Sponsors Giant Eagle/GetGo, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and WJET-TV, FOX 66, Also supporting the Festival are Contributing Sponsors Action Printing, ArtsErie, Connoisseur Media, Erie Community Foundation, Erie Times News, Gannon University, Mercyhurst University, Northwest Savings Bank, Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Printing Concepts, Ron Foth Advertising, WQLN Radio, and Sustaining Sponsors Community Access Television, Erie Reader, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Jazz Erie, JAZZ FM, Otto Imig Fund of the Erie Community Foundation, Penn State Erie--The Behrend College, and New Music USA.

For Festival policies visitor tips and more information, visit
Erie Art Museum
Carolyn Eller