By: Andrew Boyd
Rock Island: This is the 15th annual Wreckhouse International Jazz & Blues Festival. How has the festival evolved over the years and what makes it special for you?
Brad Jefford: The Jazz festival has always been a part of my summer schedule as a musician playing jazz and creative music in St. John’s. I played my first festival back in 2005 when it was called the St. John’s Jazz Festival. Since then I have hardly missed a festival unless I was on the road! It has gone through many phases in the past 15 years from outdoor concerts, to indoor concerts, and as of last year the festival even moved into the fall rather than mid summer with this years dates being September 22nd-25th.
RI: You took on a new role this year focused on booking artists. How did you approach this and what did you look for when deciding what artists to book?
BJ: Last year was my first festival working as a staff member and logistics coordinator. It was a great learning experience after viewing the festival from a performer perspective for the past 11 years. I realized my experience as a working jazz musician and performer at the festival could really be an asset in assisting the Wreckhouse Jazz & Blues to continue to grow and expand. This year I am the Program and Artistic Manager with the festival and was given the task of booking the schedule. I was very happy to bring my knowledge to this job and worked hard to develop a schedule that would marry the festival with the current music scene that exists in St. John’s. I chose venues and artists that would highlight what was unique about our lovely city and brought in touring acts that would accentuate and compliment the enormous about of talent we have here.
RI: The Jazz scene here in St. John’s seems more vibrant than I think most people realize. Would you say that is accurate?
BJ: The jazz and creative music scene in St. John’s is very unique and its vibrancy is a product of our province's musical culture, demographics, and history. Newfoundland has a rich history of jazz that is tied in with the history of American military bases that used to be quite active in our province. My friend Dr. Patrick Boyle is currently writing a paper on this history so you’ll have to hit him up sometime to get all the details on his discoveries. I am happy to be working in this lineage and will continue to do everything I can to bring this beautiful art form to the music fans and students in our province.
RI: What events are you personally looking forward to the most?
BJ: I’m looking forward to so much this year! The events at Factory are going to be incredible! We are bringing in After Funk, an extremely high energy and groovy funk band from Toronto who will get everybody moving to their music. They will be sharing the bill on Thursday, September 22nd, with local hip-hop legends Hear/Say. On Friday, September 23rd, After Funk are teaming up with the great Ouroboros to give us a show that we will definitely need our dancing shoes for. Saturday, September 24th, the Factory will have a very special concert from Steve Maloney who will be performing with a new ensemble with strings and percussion! Steve is sharing the night with the amazing worldly sound that is the Kubasonics. So when I’m not running around behind the scenes you can find me on the dance floor at Factory in front of these amazing acts!
I’m also very excited to be performing at the Brunch with Brianna Gosse Band on Sunday September 25th at the Fifth Ticket! The Fifth Ticket has an absolutely amazing brunch menu created for us and I can’t wait to try it, I’m hungry now thinking about it! This festival has something exciting for everybody so be sure to go to www.wreckhousejazzandblues.com and check out the details!
2016 Wreckhouse Jazz and Blues Festival Full Schedule:
Tickets available at the door of each performance venue. Advance tickets available for Arts & Culture Centre and The LSPU Hall Shows
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22
11:30am – 1:30pm Tiber Reardon & Steve Ash Lunchtime Getaway at Rocket Bakery & Fresh Food
7:30pm Denis Parker & The Modern Saints with special guests Nick Earle and Joseph Coffin Nighttime Concert at The LSPU Hall. $25 + HST and Surcharge
9:30pm-12:30am Wreckhouse TD Jazz Jam w/ Brad Jefford Trio+
Open to all jammers! Nighttime Lounge at The Fifth Ticket
10:00pm-2:00am Hear/Say & After Funk Late Night Groove at Factory. $20 at the door
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23
11:30am – 1:30pm Chris Pond & Sam Westcott Lunchtime Getaway at Rocket Bakery & Fresh Food
4:00pm – 7:00pm Linda Jaine Trio Happy Hour! at The Fifth Ticket
7:30pm Jeff Johnston & Jeff Dyer CD Release with special guests Bill Brennan & Andrea Koziol Nighttime Concert at The LSPU Hall. $30 + HST and Surcharge
9:30pm – 12:30am Katie Hopkins Group Nighttime Lounge at The Fifth Ticket
10:00pm-2:00am Ouroboros & After Funk Late Night Groove at Factory. $20 at the door
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24
11:30am – 1:30pm Dunungbe Lunchtime Getaway at Rocket Bakery & Fresh Food
4:00pm – 7:00pm Scott Goudie & Mark Belbin Happy Hour! at The Fifth Ticket
9:30pm – 12:30am Johnston & Lear Nighttime Lounge at The Fifth Ticket
8:00pm Colin James – Up Close and Personal Arts & Culture Centre. $45, including HST and Surcharge
10:00pm-2:00am Steve Maloney & Kubasonics Late Night Groove at Factory. $20 at the door
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
9:30am – 11:30am Buffet Brunch & Concert by Brianna Gosse Band The Fifth Ticket
$35 + HST and Gratuity; $20 for children 12 & under. Reservations recommended
12:30pm – 2:30pm Brunch Buffet & Concert by Brianna Gosse Band The Fifth Ticket
$35 + HST and Gratuity; $20+ for children 12yrs and under. Reservations recommended
4:00pm – 7:00pm Mary Barry Trio Happy Hour! at The Fifth Ticket
8:30pm – 11:30pm Wreckhouse All Stars Festival Finale Jam Nighttime Lounge at The Fifth Ticket