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Free jazz; Big names mark 10th year for Lewiston festival

The Lewiston Jazz Festival is 10 years old. What started as an afternoon festival has grown to two days, three stages and 30,000 people.

The names, too, have grown. This year's festival, opening today, features Kurt Elling, the Grammy-winning jazz singer based in Chicago. Elling, who has reigned for about a decade as Downbeat magazine's most favored male vocalist, is the Saturday headliner.

Today's festivities culminate in a performance by pianist Hilario Duran's Latin jazz band, with Toronto-based vocalist Jane Bunnett. "She's good, and Hilario has a huge following," says Sandy Hays-Mies, the festival's executive director.

Buffalo knows Duran through his performances with the Spirits of Havana, the Cuban band with whom Bunnett has performed at venues including Buffalo's old Calumet Arts Cafe and the Toronto Jazz Festival.

"It might help us draw more of the Canadian market," Hays-Mies says. "This is the first year we've really invested in a headliner for Friday night."

The music is only part of the fun. A classic car show and a jewelry show add to the fun. Wineries from the Niagara Wine Trail will be pouring out reds, whites and roses -- and a few exotic vintages.

Food is also on hand.

"After the jazz, it is a culinary festival," says Hays-Mies. "That would be the second way I would describe it. There's not only traditional foods, either. Wegmans is coming to do sushi. We're going to have very interesting foods."

As always, the festival takes place along picturesque Center Street in Lewiston. Because it has become so popular, there is going to be free parking available at Artpark's lower parking lot, off Fourth Street. A free shuttle runs continuously from 5 to 10 p.m. today and 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

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Here is the schedule:

>Today

Main Stage

5:30 p.m. Pete Malinverni and Jody Sandhaus

8 p.m. Hilario Duran's Latin Jazz Band with Jane Bunnett

Lewiston Peace Garden

5:45 p.m. Joe Baudo and Cheryl Ferris Duo

8:15 p.m. Mike Moser

*

Frontier House Porch

5:45 p.m. Sabu Adeyola's Oasis with George Caldwell

8:15 p.m. Ron Paladino Quartet

M&T Bank Rising Star Stage

5:30 p.m. Cindy Miller

8 p.m. Alistair Robinson Quartet

***

>Saturday

Main Stage

Noon Don Menza Quartet

2 p.m. Janice Mitchell and the Jim Beishline Trio

4:30 p.m. The Clay Jenkins Quartet

8 p.m.: Kurt Elling

*

DiCamillo Bakery Courtyard

2:45 p.m. The Joe Baudo and Cheryl Ferris Duo

5 p.m. Mike Moser

7:15 p.m. Christian Campos

*

Lewiston Peace Stage

12:30 p.m. Joe Brancato

2:45 p.m. Laurie Bordonaro and John Murphy

5:15 p.m. Steve Parisi

8 p.m. Randy Stirtzinger

*

Frontier House Porch

12:15 p.m. The Magpies

2:30 p.m. Dave Schiavone Quartet

5:15 p.m. John Hasselback Jr. Quartet

7:45 p.m. Dan Hull and Friends

M&T Bank Rising Star Stage

12:30 p.m. Mike Kaupa Quartet

3 p.m. Mary Stahl and the Jim Calabrese Trio

5:30 p.m. The Guitar Summit

8 p.m. Hard Logic

email: mkunz@buffnews.com

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PREVIEW    

WHO: Lewiston Jazz Festival    

WHEN: 5 to 10 tonight and noon to 10 p.m. Saturday    

WHERE: Center Street, Lewiston    

ADMISSION: Free    

INFO: www.lewistonjazz.com

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