Erie Art Museum Announces Blues & Jazz Festival Line-up

Headline talent includes Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, Junior Brown, Stew Cutler Trio & Rashied Ali Quintet

Erie, PA, July 04, 2007 --( The 15th annual Erie Art Museum’s Blues & Jazz Festival is thrilled to announce the music lineup as well efforts to take the Festival Green. The Erie Art Museum’s Blues & Jazz Festival, the largest jazz and blues event in the Erie region, is a 2- day Festival held August 4 & 5 at Frontier Park in Erie, Pa. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. A variety of festival fare will be available from local vendors and restaurants. Admission to all Festival events is free. More information about the Festival can be found at

“Each night, we have created a potent mix of musicians, each creating a vibe that is unique to the Festival,” said John Vanco director of the Erie Art Museum and artistic director of the Festival. “Saturday, we’ll play the blues and Sunday is jazz. We are particularly excited about the family performance opening the Festival on Saturday which will feature local drum and dance ensemble UpRise.”

According to Vanco, the Flagship Transitional School, of the Erie City School District, hosted artists, One World Tribe, for a music residency, during the past school year. The main goals were to establish an ongoing art infused curriculum to enhance the academic & social performance of the students, while placing special attention on world cultures. A twenty- piece student ensemble, named UpRise was formed through this residency which was funded through the Arts Council of Erie.

“The students learned 3 traditional African songs and dances, which in turn also taught them Geography, History, Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, Applied Art & the importance of “team work” The UpRise Ensemble is excited about a fantastic opportunity to share and present their accomplishments at the Erie Art Museum’s 2007 Blues & Jazz Festival,” said Kennedy Thompson, member of One World Tribe.

Vanco also announced that this year’s Sunday line-up will include legendary Rashied Ali (well known as the drummer for John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Archie Shepp and many others) leading an exciting young quintet. Also gracing the jazz stage will be the remarkable guitarist Stew Cutler with his trio.

Local artist John Oless created the original artwork for the 2007 limited edition Festival poster which will be available for sale at the Festival.

“I was very honored and flattered to be asked to design the poster for this year’s Blues & Jazz Festival. As I am always intrigued by the origins of things, I wanted my illustration to reflect the early history of American blues and jazz and the dueling passions of the musicians involved in each musical style. I hope everyone finds my illustration to be fun, colorful and interesting and that this year’s Blues & Jazz Festival is the best ever,” remarked Oless.

Organizers also announced plans to take the Festival Green. The Festival has partnered with the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (LEAF) in Green efforts.

“Festival goers can support our efforts in the 3 ways – buy a $5 Green Tag from the Bucket Brigade – monies raised will be given to LEAF to purchase trees for the park in the name of the Festival patrons – these trees will remove even more carbon from the air; recycle what you bring – recycling cans will be located throughout the Festival grounds; and walk, ride your bike or take the natural gas shuttle to the Festival,” said Tammy Roche, director of marketing and development for the Erie Art Museum and producer of the Festival. “Festival goers can check their bike at our new bike corral located at the Festival’s information tent.”

Festival visitors will also notice trees tagged with information on how much pollution they remove from the air. From the stage, emcees will deliver “green spots” in between musical acts, where experts in the field will talk about how to make and keep the Erie community a cleaner and healthier place to live.

LEAF will offer guided tours of Frontier Park throughout the Festival weekend as well.

Teaming up with WQLN Kids Club, the Festival offers a variety of hands-on art projects from 1-5 p.m. daily at the WQLN tent.

“Kids can craft percussion instruments and learn from Festival musicians,” said Tom New, creative services director at WQLN.

“Festival activities are free thanks to community support from many local companies including our patron sponsors Giant Eagle and the State of Pennsylvania. Also supporting the Festival are the Arts Council of Erie, Bob FM, Noble Electric, Erie Housing Authority, Erie International Airport- Tom Ridge Field, Erie Insurance Group, Erie Times News, Hamot Medical Center, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, JazzErie, JET 1400, LECOM, Mercyhurst College, PAPA Advertising, Rocket 101, Saint Vincent, Spiegel Management, Star 104, Wolf 93.9, and WQLN,” said Vanco.

Schedule of Events
Saturday, Aug. 4
12 p.m. One World Tribe with the UpRise African Drum and Dance Ensemble
2 p.m. Familiar Spirit Band
4 p.m. Geoff Achison
6 p.m. Lil-Ed & the Blues Imperials
8 p.m. Junior Brown

Sunday, Aug. 5
12 p.m. Gem City Jazz Band
2 p.m. Cat’s A Bear
4 p.m. Babik
6 p.m. Stew Cutler Trio
8 p.m. Rashied Ali Quintet

Contact: Tammy Roche, 814.459.5477 or

Erie Art Museum
Tammy Roche