By Deborah Edmundson
September is a bittersweet month. I love the less-structured summer schedule, vacation time with family and friends, and certainly the warm weather, but I also love the “new year” feel that September brings – the refreshed air, and getting back into my school year routine, even though my kids are no longer living under my roof. And this September I have something more to look forward to – the Hingham Jazz Fest at South Shore Conservatory (SSC).
On Sunday, September 25, SSC will be presenting the third annual Hingham Jazz Festival and it will be a blast. Like the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, jazz here is loosely defined, and encompasses all sorts of music. The day will start with a lively and delicious jazz brunch on the Jane Carr Amphitheater stage from 11 am to 1 pm, and continue with ESP Vocal Trio, which features close harmony a cappella jazz standards. Elan Mehler, the pianist who wowed jazz brunch audience members last year, features some original new jazz, while Anthony Geraci, presents blues from his recent award nominated CD Fifty Shades of Blue. Finally, SSC’s Jazz/Rock/Pop faculty members celebrating the music of Prince, BB King, David Bowie, Merle Haggard and other artists no longer with us. It’s going to be a great day of music, featuring the outstanding faculty of the SSC!
SSC’s Jazz/Rock/Pop (JRP) department is near and dear to my heart, and to the hearts of many in Hingham and beyond. My daughters played piano and sang at SSC, after spending several years with me in Mom and Me music classes, and my son began playing percussion with Ed Sorrentino 14 years ago. Will is now a student at Berklee College of Music, majoring in jazz percussion performance. He was encouraged to pursue his music every step of the way. In addition to student recitals, over the years we regularly attended JRP faculty performances, and from those performances came the idea of a jazz festival in Hingham to highlight those amazing players who masquerade as our children’s music teachers.
What’s your hidden talent? During the day, these men and women look and act like the inspiring music teachers they are, but after a duck into the proverbial phone booth, they reemerge, caped, and we see hugely talented performers. Who knew? There’s so much talent hidden in the studios at SSC – in drums, keyboards, guitar, trumpet, bass, winds, and voice. You’d be forgiven for thinking that SSC is only about lessons for your children – that’s what a conservatory is, right? But when those teachers get a chance to play, really play, what an experience! You don’t have to go to Boston, or the Newport Jazz Festival to hear great jazz (loosely defined). If blues is your passion, or free jazz, or jazz standards, or Prince, you’ll find your place on September 25.
Jazz Fest will be the perfect way to end the summer, with a musical farewell party. Come for brunch, or bring a picnic to enjoy on the lawn. Join us!
South Shore Conservatory’s Hingham Jazz Festival, sponsored by Chateau Edmus, is Sunday, September 25, from 11 am – 5:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased online at http://sscmusic.org/hingham-jazz-festival.html or by calling 781-749-7565, ext. 20.
Deborah Edmundson lives in Hingham. She and her husband Phil own Chateau Edmus.