Chelsey Bennett (left) performs at a Jazz Jam.
Chelsey Bennett (left) performs at a Jazz Jam.

On April 30, 2011, United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared this day as International Jazz Day. This declaration is a way of highlighting jazz and its way of bringing people and communities together all over the world.

This year on April 8, Mayor Daryl Bennett will proclaim April 30 as International Jazz Day in Peterborough. At the Venue from 1-2:30pm there will be a Jazz Day Launch where Bennett will officially make the announcement followed by a celebration. Considering how active Peterborough’s art communities is, to officially declare April 30 as International Jazz Day means that for all years to come there will always be a day when the community can gather together to celebrate the wonderful music of Jazz! “We really want it to kick off the buzz in town for Jazz Day. We want it to be, tell everybody you know please,” says Chelsey Bennett, chair of the International Jazz Day Committee. “There will be Cuban Jazz, Brazilian Jazz, small snippets from each performer.”

Now while the launch of the event at The Venue will be fun, the real festivities will take place on April 30, of course! Both Bennett and Craig Peterson, the co-chair of the International Jazz Day Committee, have organized what is going to be a very fun Jazz filled evening. The evening will begin with ‘Dine with Jazz’ with four participating restaurants and bands. Starting at 6pm and going until 8pm, there will be live music at the following places:

At the Shish-Kabob-Hut, Pete Woolidge and Federico Pontani will be playing. Woolidge is an accomplished Peterborough based jazz pianist who has been playing for more than 30 years, and Pontani is a talented guitar player who has played in many bands, both here and in Italy.

Mike Francis and Neal Davis will be playing at Dolce Vita. Davis is joining Francis as a bass player. Francis is an accomplished guitar player, having recorded with people such as Joe Sealey, Natalie McMaster, and many more.

There will be music at Currie Village by The Lazy Devils. This Jazz trio is inspired by the early Jazz of the 30’s and 40’s. The trio consists of a fiddle player, guitar player, and a musician playing the upright bass.

The fourth restaurant is Brio Gusto where Mike Graham and Dennis Pendrith will be playing.  Graham is a successful guitarist and vocalist. Pendrith plays the bass and has toured and recorded with many Canadian acts such as Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Café.

After you have enjoyed the musical talents at the restaurant of your choice, there will be a feature act at The Junction starting at 9pm. Important Notice: The above restaurants will give a 10% discount on meals if diners have a ticket for the feature performance! For only $15 go and see the Mike Murley Trio perform. Mike Murley is one of the top saxophonists in Canada, having played with Rob McConnell, Time Warp, Don Thompson, and that’s just the beginning of the list. Murley has won four JUNO awards among many other awards and has appeared on eight other JUNO award-winning recordings! Reg Schwager has played with important jazz musicians such as George Shearing and Diana Krall and has recorded on more than 80 albums. Schwager as been a member of the Mike Murley Trio for three years now. Steve Wallace, making the trio a trio, is often considered one of the most powerful jazz bass players in Canada, having recorded with Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones, Ed Bickert, again just to name a few.

The Mike Murley Trio will play a 70-minute set and tickets for the show will be sold prior to the event for only $15. Tickets can be purchased at Bluestreak Records, Bennett’s Home Furnishings, and online at www.showplace.org. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door if there is still seating available.

After the feature concert, everyone is invited to head over to the After Party Jazz Jam at The Black Horse Pub at 10:30pm. The house band will be playing and people are welcome and encouraged to join them onstage to continue the Jazz Day Celebrations.

On April 30, Peterborough will partake for the first time in International Jazz Day, which is celebrated throughout the world in places such as Paris, Milan, NYC, and San Diego. This event and this day is to be celebrated by anyone and everyone; all ages welcome! “In the history of Peterborough, April 30 will always be International Jazz Day,” says Chelsey Bennett.