Music festivals are a week away -- Gazette.Net


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If you like free music, two of the area’s top festivals of the year are coming soon.

The 11th annual Silver Spring Jazz Festival will be from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 6 at Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring.

Then, on Sept. 7, the 37th annual Takoma Park Folk Festival will be held 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Takoma Park Middle School, 7611 Piney Branch Rd.

Most of the lineup for the Silver Spring festival is new, except for popular local favorite Marcus Johnson, said Susan Hoffmann, manager of communications and public outreach for the Montgomery County recreation department. The department is a presenter of the event, along with Celebrate Downtown Silver Spring Foundation and the Silver Spring Urban District.

Attendance in past festivals has reached about 20,000, Hoffmann said. “It is consistently the largest crowd for any event in downtown Silver Spring,” she said.

The headliner, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, developed in the 1960s out of New Orleans’ famed Preservation Hall, promoting that city’s traditional jazz music. Its original players included the late Kid Thomas Valentine and Sweet Emma Barrett. The band tours worldwide and has played at the Grammy Awards and Carnegie Hall.

The band is slated to play at 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 6 in front of the Silver Spring Civic Building at Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street.

Johnson, a founding member of the festival, began playing piano at age 9. A graduate of Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring and Georgetown University, he has both a record label and a wine label. His Urban Jam Band is scheduled to perform at 7 p.m.

Other acts include funk and rhythm and blues performer Elliott Levine at 4:30 p.m., world jazz-style band David Bach Consort at 5:45 p.m. and an eclectic mixture from the Jazz Academy of Music in Silver Spring at 3:15 p.m.

Attendees are encouraged to use public transportation and to bring folding chairs.

Takoma Park festival to feature more than 50 acts

The Takoma Park Folk Festival will feature more than 50 acts on seven stages, including a dance stage and children’s stage with interactive games, storytelling and participatory events.

Andy Wallace is doing a tribute to the late folk singer Pete Seeger. He was an original member of the singing crew of the sloop Clearwater, a vessel founded by Seeger that sailed and raised money to protect the Hudson River.

Other performers include Shenandoah Valley-grown singer Kipyn Martin, singer Lisa Moscatiello, the modern string band Avril Smith and Big Chimney, the traditional Irish music duo Lilt and the Ocean Celtic Quartet.

There will be an arts and crafts show, food and tables for nonprofits groups. Shuttle buses will run to and from the Takoma Metro station.

The event is run by the nonprofit Takoma Park Folk Festival Inc., which is supported in part by the Takoma Foundation, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland State Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts.

kshay@gazette.net