Litchfield Jazz Festival Friends Gala to be Held July 31 at Morrison Gallery, Kent, CT


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Litchfield Jazz Festival Friends Gala to be held at Morrison Gallery, Kent, CT

5:30 7:15 pm, Friday, July 31st followed by performances at 7:45 and 9:15 pm

Gala at Morrison Gallery, Kent Village Barns; Festival Opening Concerts, Kent School Grounds, One Macedonia Road (Route 341), Kent, CT 06757

$156 for Friends includes Gala, VIP parking and upfront seating July 31st. $360 Best Friends VIP weekend pass includes Friends benefits plus VIP seating/ parking all weekend.
Ph. (860) 567-4162 / info@litchfieldjazzfest.com

The 14th Annual Litchfield Jazz Festival kicks off on Friday, July 31st with the Friends of the Festival Gala from 5:30 7:15 pm at the Morrison Gallery in Kent, CT. The Morrison Gallery is co-hosting the event with Kents finest dining establishments, The Fife n Drum Restaurant, Docs Trattoria, and Bulls Bridge Inn along with Northeast Beverage Company. Delicious hors d'ouvres are signatures of each restaurant; fresh mozzarella and grape tomato lollipops, asparagus bruschetta, crab cakes with chipotle aioli, melon wrapped in prosciutto, gourmet cheeses, sausages, fruits and fresh bread, a carving station with beef, chicken and pork and for dessert, mini cannoli, chocolate torte, tiramisu and more. Fine wines and Magic Hat microbrews will accompany the food. Music will be provided by outstanding students from Litchfield Jazz Camp, whose scholarship program the event supports. Guest will also get to enjoy the exhibit on display at the Morrison Gallery of new mixed media works by Connecticut Modern Artist Jonathan Perlowsky.

The party is followed by the Opening Night performances at nearby Kent School At 7:45 The Lewis Nash Quintet performs under the Mainstage Tent. His all-star group features Renee Roses, piano, Jeremy Pelt, trumpet, Jimmy Greene, saxophone, Rufus Reid, bass, with Nash on drums. Litchfield Jazz Festival has a reputation for presenting the “next big thing," and Jane Monheit, who headlines the evening at 9:15, was just that in 2001 when she appeared on the Litchfield Jazz Festival very early in her career. An early overachiever, she took second place in the 1998 Thelonious Monk Competition as a 20-year old college senior the youngest ever to place in the Monk Competition. Now one of the post-millennial jazz world's foremost vocalists and with a new hit record, The Lovers, The Dreamers and Me (Concord Records) she has become a star.

The Litchfield Jazz Festival continues on August 1st and 2nd, and features music from noon through the evening with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Poncho Sanchez, Trio Da Paz, Huston Person, Bucky Pizzarelli, Benny Green, Trio da Paz with Leny Andrade, Lionel Loueke, Dena DeRose and many, many more. Guests may shop the fine artists and crafters, dine on lobster, thai food, sushi, Greek specialties, barbeque and more. Music is non-stop with intermission performances by the students of Litchfield Jazz Camp and master classes by festival stars. And dont miss the After Party & Jam on Saturday night from 10 PM 1 AM at the Fife n Drum at 53 North Main Street in Kent.

The Litchfield Jazz Festival is sponsored in part by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, Steinway & Sons, The Republican-American, DownBeat Magazine, Kent Chamber of Commerce, Kent School, Litchfield Magazine, Charter Communications, Infinity Hall, Sothebys International Realty, Northeast Beverage Corporation of Connecticut, Magic Hat, Crystal Rock Water, WAMC, WBGO, WFCR, WSHU, WNPR, Continental Airlines, LPA Members and others. Litchfield Jazz Camp students, who study for up to a month prior to The Festival and perform on the student stage, participate through generous support from the CT Department of Education Bureau of Choice and new support this year from the Joe Williams Fund, Faye and Jim Preston of the Kent Village Barns, Jazzd 4 Life, Friends and Best Friends of the Festival and donors to Litchfield Performing Arts, the 28 year old non-profit which runs the Camp and Festival.

Premium tickets are $360 for Best Friends weekend passes, which include the Friends Gala, and $156 for the Friends of the Festival gala and performances on Friday night. These include upfront seating and VIP parking. Advance-purchase general admission tickets are $39 for lawn and $59 for tent. Children under 12 are free on the lawn. Kent is accessible via the Harlem Line on Metro North from New York to the Tenmile River stop where a quick shuttle bus to the grounds of Kent School will be available for select trains. Visit litchfieldjazzfest.com for more information and to purchase tickets or call 860-567-4162.

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