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THURSDAY, AUG. 7: JAZZ CRUISE, 5:30-8:30 P.M. Te Central PA Jazz Festival will kick off with a riverboat cruise on the Pride of the Susquehanna, which leaves from

City Island in Harrisburg. During the summer months, CPFJ sponsors a weekly Tursday evening series called “Jazzin’ on the Pride,” but, according to Rudolph, “we beef up the money for the band on festival night.” Te Dave Stahl Quintet, featuring Stahl and woodwind master Tom Strohman, will provide the entertainment. Food and drink will be available, and there is a $10 admission charge.

FRIDAY, AUG. 8: JAZZ PARTY, 6:30-11:30 P.M.

New for this year’s festival is a jazz party held in three different venues in the 1500 Condominium building at N. 6th and Reily streets in Harrisburg. Two restaurants in the facility, Café 1500 and Crawdaddy’s, will feature live jazz. Crawdaddy’s is scheduled to honor legendary area drummer Sammy Banks with music by pianist Danny Stuber and his trio. In addition, CPFJ will host “Jazz Under the Stars” on the building’s rooftop patio, featuring jazz vocalist Diane Wilson Bedford and Jimmy Wood’s Trio. Tere is no cover charge for the restaurants, but tickets are $12 for “Jazz Under the Stars.”


Te Jazz Picnic, a festival highlight for many, will be held this year on the grounds of Indian Echo Caverns at 368 Middletown Rd. in Hummelstown. Many activities for families will be available, including tours of the caverns and a petting zoo. Continuous music will be provided, including the Larry Marshall Trio at 2 p.m., Central PA Youth Band at 3 p.m., Greg and Tom Strohman at 4 p.m., the Sonia Vrooman Group at 5 p.m. and No Last Call at 6 p.m. Food is available for purchase or picnic-goers can bring their own. Complimentary beverages are included with the ticket, which is $15 for adults and free for children under 12.

SUNDAY, AUG. 10: JAM, 3:30-6:30 P.M.

A jam session will be held in the afternoon preceding the concert at Te Timbers Restaurant at 350 Timber Rd. in Mt. Gretna. Jonathan Ragonese will be coming home from New York to lead the jam session, and all aspiring jazz musicians are welcome to sit in. Everyone is also encouraged to enjoy a meal at the restaurant. Admission to the jam is $5, but free for students, children and musicians who participate.


Te festival will culminate with a concert featuring two jazz luminaries—harmonica and vibraphone virtuoso Hendrik Meurkens and legendary bassist Lee Smith. It will be held in cooperation with Gretna Music at the Mt. Gretna Playhouse at 200 Pennsylvania Ave. in Mt. Gretna. Hendrik Meurkens is first on the bill. He will appear with his New York Samba Jazz Quartet, which features Russian pianist Misha Tsiganov and Brazilian musicians Gustavo Amarante on bass and Adriano Santos on drums. Meurkens, who is German born, fell in love with the music of Brazil while living there. He currently resides in New York, where he has recorded 15 CDs for Concord Records. “Hendrik is a fantastic jazz musician,” said Rudolph. “He is widely considered to be the greatest jazz harmonica

player ever.” Te Lee Smith Sextet will close out the festival. Te group features Smith on bass, Marc Adler on flute, Tim Tompson

on trumpet, Tim Warfield on sax, Joshua Richmond on piano and Justin Faulkner on drums. Perhaps better known as a sideman for jazz greats such as Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and Roberta Flack, Smith started focusing on his own compositions and arrangements while working on his latest recording, “ Sittin’ on a Secret.” Now, with a new recording due out in the fall, Smith has had the opportunity to explore a growing repertoire with the members of his sextet. “When I write, I try to compose in such a way to reach out to as many people as possible and not just the jazz enthusiasts,” he said. “At the concert, people are going to hear some songs that they know and some that they don’t. Tey should just expect to hear some really good melodies.”

For tickets and to learn more about the festival, visit

Lee Smith’s Sextet, Hendrik Meurkens, & CPFJ Youth Band

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