When Mercer County decides to host an annual jazz festival, the jazz world sits up and notices. The first annual Sweet Sounds of Summer Music festival, a two-day outdoor celebration, Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17, will feature popular and internationally famous jazz musicians.
On Saturday, July 16, from noon to 8 p.m. audiences will hear concerts by Oli Silk, the British smooth jazz keyboardist, Choco Orta, perhaps the most acclaimed salsa performer of the 21st century; Phil Perry, a well known R&B singer/songwriter/musician; Dave Valentin, a Grammy-award-winning jazz flutist; and Ronny Jordan, a Grammy-nominated guitarist who headed the acid jazz movement in the late 1990s.
On Sunday, July 17, from noon to 8 p.m. attendees will be treated to performances by Marion Meadows, the internationally famous contemporary saxophonist; Chembo Corniel, a Grammy-nominated Latin percussionist; Maysa, the chart-topping smooth jazz singer; Miri Ben-Ari, the Grammy-award-winning Israeli hip-hop violinist; and Pete Belasco, a famous and multitalented jazz vocalist/saxophonist/keyboardist.
The event is sponsored by the Mercer County Park Commission, Corona Beer, Metro PCS, Children’s Futures, and David Lerner & Associates.
While no food or coolers are allowed to be brought into the park, attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets or lawn chairs. And guests will certainly not go hungry. Food vendors include G&L Gyros, Augustin Waffles, Nutty Bavarian, The Great American Cheesecake, A&H African & Jamaican Restaurant, Big Dogg’s Festival Foods, Oriental Marinated Barbecue, Sunny’s Deli, Bad Dog’s Boneyard Barbecue, Ribhouse Barbecue, and Black Jack Grill from Florida, which boasts some of the best seafood around. There will also be an entire host of vendors present, displaying wares from jewelry, clothing, and paintings to basement finishing systems and vacation resort opportunities.
Sounds of Summer Music Festival, Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17, noon to 8 p.m., Mercer County Park. Visit sweetsoundsofsummer.com for more information. $25 per day. www.tix.com.