The Beaches International Jazz Fest's 23rd Anniversary began its blockbuster live shows this year, with three stellar days and nights of entertainment outdoors at Toronto's Woodbine Park. This huge, manmade park on the edge of the Beach and Queen St. E. in Toronto, is a musical highlight for all die-hard jazz, blues, soul and R&B fans who converged here for the inaugural concerts that launched the 23rd Annual Beaches Jazz Fest. It was founded by Lido Chilelli, with Artistic Director Bill King, one of Canada’s most respected blues and jazz piano players.
Woodbine Park is also the site for the Waterfront Blues Fest every June, put on by blues promoter extraordinaire Rico Ferrara, with assistance from Beaches Jazz Fest co-founder Chilelli. Ferrara was the charismatic host for all three days and nights of blues, jazz and R&B at the Beaches 23rd Jazz Fest outdoor kickoff at Woodbine Park, Friday July 15th, to Sunday July 17th, 2011.
Chicago guitarist, composer and producer Vince Agwada has worked the Chicago music scene for over 25 years. This heavily blues and rock oriented musician has worked with artists like Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Magic Slim, Otis Rush, Syl Johnson and Sammy Lawhorn, to list but a few. Of his many awards the most standout one was when, in 1996, Agwada was listed as one of the top 40 Blues artists under 40 by Living Blues Magazine. Basic Blue is his second release as a leader.
One of the more delightful bands to come out of Sweden in the most recent past is The Soup. This quartet of keyboards, guitar, bass and drums has a rockabilly type of backbeat that is incredibly infectious. With drummer Tom Steffensen's two-beat dance hall backbeats and Johan Bendrik's B3 organ playing, this quartet gets down to the nit-and gritty from the first notes of the first track to the last beat of the final 11th cut.