Louis Armstrong and Count Basie once played Olcott Beach’s crowded hotels and dance halls; jazz lovers will relive those halcyon days while starting a new tradition with the birth of the Olcott Beach Jazz Trail on July 23.
The daylong progressive jazz event features award-winning names in jazz performance and will be free from noon to 10 p.m. at five venues throughout Olcott Beach. All stages are located within a short, comfortable walk on the beautiful Lake Ontario waterfront, where there is plenty of free parking. In addition, members of the Niagara USA Wine Trail will offer tastings.
The Ralph Fava Quintet kicks things off from noon to 2 p.m. at the Lakeview Village Shoppes (5955 Ontario St.). The group features guitarist Fava, bassist Bud Fadale, pianist Tom Paladino, saxophonist Phil DeRe and drummer Carmen Intorre, a 2011 Grammy nominee.
Directly across the street at the Olcott Gazebo on Main Street, you’ll find the great Bobby Militello and his quartet, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The quartet also features bassist Jim Coleman, pianist Bobby Jones and drummer and percussionist John Bacon, Jr.
Boston trombonist Phil Simms and his quartet pick up the beat from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in front of the Captain’s Galley Restaurant (5885 Main St.), featuring vocalist Katy Miner, bassist Paul Zapalowski, keyboardist Harry Glaser and percussionist Bacon.
Drummer Dan Hull and friends take the Thomas Kelley Theater stage at the Olcott Beach Carousel Park (5979 Main St.) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. His group features bassist Dan Vitali, guitarist Bob Sneider, Juno Award winner and saxophonist Pat Labarbera and Jones on piano.
The headliner is Nancy Kelly, a jazz singer extraordinaire from Syracuse who has twice been named DownBeat Reader’s Jazz Poll’s Best Female Jazz Vocalist. She will play from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Mariner’s Landing Restaurant (1540 Franklin St.), accompanied by saxophonist Militello, Sneider on guitar and Intorre on drums.
For the most dedicated of jazz buffs, a jam session welcoming any musician who played during the day will be occur at 10 p.m. at Mariner’s Landing. The house band includes pianist Wally Jedermann, bassist Dave Conlin and Intorre on drums.
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