On March 29, 2018, The Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival announced details about the 16th annual Festival taking place this year from June 1st to June 3rd in downtown Orangeville.
Josh Leitch, President of the Festival Board of Directors, and Larry Kurtz, Festival Founder and Artistic Director, welcomed an enthusiastic crowd of Festival insiders and supporters at the annual Festival Launch Event at Mill Creek Pub in Orangeville.
Festival President Josh Leitch said, “On behalf of the Festival and our thousands of attendees and hundreds of volunteers, we are deeply grateful for the funding and services that are generous provided to support the Festival. This Festival has become a signature event for Orangeville and the Dufferin region and we would like to thank all our partners, sponsors and funders for their tremendous support, particularly the Orangeville Business Improvement Association as a major partner with the Festival. We would also like to acknowledge the financial support from Heritage Canada in helping to showcase out outstanding local performers which has become such an important part of the Festival’s programming. We would also like to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the County of Dufferin and the Town of Orangeville for their outstanding support. We were very pleased to be recognized as one of the Top 100 festivals and events in Ontario for 2018 by Festivals & Events Ontario. This is our seventh year to receive this award and it is a great honour for our Festival to be recognized among some of the very best festivals and events in Ontario!”
The Festival would like to acknowledge the support from Central Counties Tourism who has partnered with the Festival again to help promote the Festival and the region as a cultural tourism destination. “As one of Ontario’s 13 Regional Tourism Organizations, Central Counties Tourism works to support and elevate the very best that York, Durham and Headwaters has to offer”, said Chuck Thibeault, Executive Director of Central Counties Tourism. “The Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival is one of Headwaters’ and Central Counties’ premier events, drawing tends of thousands of visitors each year. They continually evolve and grow to stay relevant and attract new audiences. Central Counties is proud to be a partner with the 2018 Festival.”
The Treasurer and Board Member of the Orangeville Business Improvement Association, Joe Sammut said, “I am pleased to announced on behalf of the members of the Orangeville Business Improvement Association that we will be providing $35,000 in funding to the Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival for this year’s event. As one of the Festival’s largest contributors over the last 10 years, Downtown Orangeville’s businesses and merchants welcome the economic activity this important Festival brings to our local business community. Our members consider this event to be the number one attraction for visitors in the area.”
In announcing this year’s outstanding line-up of performers, Festival Founder and Artistic Director, Larry Kurtz, stated “We are excited to announce the Festival will take place from June 1st to 3rd in Downtown Orangeville and will feature over 90 acts on 3 stages and in local pubs, restaurants and event venues with several pop-up bands performing on Broadway and Mill Street.”
The 16th Annual Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival starts on Friday night at 5pm with the extremely popular Blues Cruise, sponsored by Dairy Queen, and MacMaster Buick GMC and Orangeville Chrysler. The Blues Cruise features over 300 classic cars and 10 bands performing on Broadway including the Gary Cain Band, Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes, Jake Chisholm, Brian Blain, Alan Gerber, Ronnie Douglas, Bent Roots, the Glen Marais Band, Tamica and The Boys, Pete Temple & The Cornerstones, the Can-Am Blues Band featuring James Anthony, and the Andrew B Parkhouse Band.
The Royal LePage Main Stage will feature Larry Kurtz & The Lawbreakers with special guest singer Lisa Hutchinson going on stage at 8pm on Friday nigh followed by Raoul & The Big Time performing with a 7-piece horn section fresh off their appearance in the semi-finals at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
Throughout the entire weekend there will be live music featured in over 20 clubs, restaurants and event venues around town.
On Saturday the Royal LePage Main Stage will kick off at noon and feature and outstanding lineup of feature performers including Sugaray Rayford who was nominated for four 2018 Blues Music Awards, Crystal Shawanda, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Jimmy D Lane, Jenie Thai, Justin Saladino and Angelina Hunter.
The Festival also features plenty of great local talent performing in the TD Local Stars Tent on Saturday and Sunday. Also, on Saturday there will be many other bands and performers participating in the Festival as part of the “pop-up” performances taking place on Broadway which will be closed to vehicles to create a unique Festival vibe with a pedestrian friendly setting.
Also featured on Saturday, there will be a Blues & Bikes motorcycle event taking place on Mill Street. Special workshops will be offered in the Orangeville Public Library featuring songwriting with Rob Lutes, blues guitar with Jimmy D Lane and boogie-woogie piano with Alan Gerber.
Inside the Orangeville Opera House sponsored by Mortgage Architects and Orangeville Insurance Services, the lineup includes local piano man Stan Chang, Yukon-based Ryan McNally, Maple Blues Award nominee Rob Lutes, Canada’s premiere acapella vocal group Countermeasure, and Juno Award winners – the incredible jazz pianist Robi Botos and celebrated vocalist Kellylee Evans.
On Sunday, the Royal LePage Main Stage will start off at noon with Wayne Buttery and his eight-piece band featuring Danny Weis, followed by Toronto Blues Society Talent Search winner Dan McKinnon and multi-Maple Blues Awards winners the Paul Deslauriers Band. The Festival is particularly excited to present four-time Latin Grammy Award Winner Alex Cuba as the featured Main Stage performer on Sunday. Do not miss this act!
For more information about the Festival, including a detailed schedule of activities and performers, please visit orangevillebluesandjazz.ca
For Festival interviews contact:
Larry Kurtz – Festival Founder & Artistic Director (519-217-7875)
Josh Leitch – President, Festival Board of Directors (519-942-2937)