• NEA JAZZ MASTER DIANNE REEVES

    The Sound
    A superb interpreter of lyrics and a skilled scat singer, Reeves’s delivery is intensely soulful and full of finesse. Her uncanny range — from a smoky contra-alto to a soaring soprano — can cast a spell on ballads and invigorate on uptempo romps. Expect her to do both in her return to Exit Zero Jazz while also blurring the line that separates jazz from pop and contemporary R&B. “There’s always a sense of freedom and playfulness onstage,” noted London Jazz News about a recent risk-taking Reeves performance at Wigmore Hall. “And like Gregory Porter, she has a preacher’s skill in stirring up the audience.” Whether she’s swinging, summoning up a wealth of emotion on a sensitive ballad, dealing in sophisticated R&B or incorporating the sounds of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Reeves’ proves that she has few vocal rivals on the current jazz scene.

    When & Where
    Music Connects Stage Powered By Atlantic City Electric in Schmidtchen Theater, Saturday, November 10 at 7:00 PM.

  • MARCUS MILLER

    The Sound
    Miller’s band is packed world-class soloists who also know how to throw down infectious grooves. Expect to hear his virtuosic slap bass anchoring the proceedings, along with occasional forays on bass clarinet, in the service of clever covers and potent originals. Maybe he’ll even dredge up his 1988 hit single “Da Butt” (from School Daze). Get ready to get your groove on!

    When & Where
    Music Connects Stage Powered By Atlantic City Electric in Schmidtchen Theater, Friday, November 9, 2018 at 7:00 PM

  • KERMIT RUFFINS AND THE BARBECUE SWINGERS

    The Sound
    Close your eyes and you might hear Louis Armstrong, both on his vocals and in his trumpet lines. An ebullient entertainer, Ruffins carries on in the tradition of Louis Jordan while also bringing the spirit of Satchmo and New Orleans to every bandstand. This is one Crescent City native who knows how to get the party started and keep it going all night long.

    When & Where
    Music Connects Benefit Concert, Cape May Convention Hall, Thursday, November 8.

  • STEFON HARRIS & BLACKOUT FEATURING CASEY BENJAMIN

    The Sound
    The vibes virtuoso can shift easily from funky to fusion to straight ahead swingers, but with Blackout (named thus because they are “about blacking out the narrow views surrounding and constricting the definition of jazz”) you can expect him to groove mightily on the strength of Terreon Gulley’s backbeat. Solo sparks will be provided by alto saxophonist Casey Benjamin, who also performs on vocoder, and by Harris himself, who remains a leading light on his instrument.

    When & Where
    It’s a Breeze & Hawk Haven Vineyard Stage in Cape May Convention Hall, Friday, November 9 at 9:00 PM

  • KURT ELLING

    The Sound
    Part Sinatra, part Mark Murphy, part Jack Keruoac, Elling weaves a spell with his resonant baritone voice, four-octave range and suave delivery, whether he’s playing the sensual crooner, scatting firebrand or beatnik jivester. As London’s The Guardian wrote: “When it comes to expressiveness, technique and sheer beauty of voice, I can think of no male singer alive to equal Kurt Elling. As they used to say of Sinatra, he could sing the Manhattan phone book and have the audience on the edge of their seats. An Elling song can be a meditation, a demand, a lament, an expression of wonder, but never naive and rarely simple.”

    When & Where
    It’s a Breeze & Hawk Haven Vineyard Stage in Cape May Convention Hall, Saturday, November 10 at 9:00 PM

  • CHARLIE HADEN’S LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA CONDUCTED BY NEA JAZZ MASTER CARLA BLEY

    The Sound
    From the grandiose sweep of Haden’s “Silence” to a poignant take on Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” to a reworking of David Bowie’s “This Is Not America,” a raucous reimagining of “America the Beautiful” and a tender reading of Antonin Dvorak’s “Goin’ Home” (from his New World Symphony) this ensemble under Bley’s direction is a must-see. Stellar solos and stirring arrangements prevail when the Liberation Music Orchestra takes the stage.

    When & Where
    It’s a Breeze & Hawk Haven Vineyard Stage in Cape May Convention Hall, Saturday, November 10 at 4pm

  • BOB JAMES TRIO

    The Sound
    Upbeat, hook-laden and brimming with improvisation, Bob James’ signature sound has continued to capture smooth jazz fans for the past five decades. His acoustic piano trio is a far more swinging affair, which should appeal deeply to straight ahead jazz fans.

    When & Where
    It’s A Breeze / Hawk Haven Vineyard Stage in Cape May Convention Hall, Sunday, November 11 at 2:00pm

  • TERELL STAFFORD QUINTET

    The Sound
    Expect a compelling set of old school hard bop swingers and engaging melodies from Stafford and his powerhouse group along with a healthy dose of blues and graceful ballads that trigger the trumpeter’s lyrical side.

    When & Where
    It’s A Breeze & Hawk Haven Vineyard Stage in Cape May Convention Hall, Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 12:00 PM.

  • AMERANOUCHE

    The Sound
    Their sets are wildly eclectic, ranging from romps through Django’s “Rhythm Futur” and “Minor Swing” to interpretations of The Spinners’ “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” and the traditional Turkish folk tune “Hicaz Mandir” to refreshing originals like the gorgeous, contemplative “Miah Maull,” an homage to a lighthouse found on the New Jersey side of the Delaware Bay, and the flamenco “Andulusian Dreams.”

  • BANDA MAGDA

    The Sound
    Banda Magda bursts with humor and a quirky sensibility, powered by an unflagging energy. The dynamic group combines South American rhythms with jazz improvisation, cinematic arranging, sophisticated audience participation, mid-century classics and world ‘chansons’ sung in six languages. In their Exit Zero appearance, Banda Magda will perform material from its third album, the lavish and politically-tinged Tigre.

  • BIG SAM’S FUNKY NATION

    The Sound
    From their current hit single, “Buzzin’” (from Songs in the Key of Funk, Volume 1) to their signatures like “Big Ole Booty” (from 2010’s King of the Party), “Shake Yo Thang” (from 2006’s Take Me Back) and “Up In Here” (from 2008’s Peace, Love & Understanding), Big Sam’s Funky Nation is dedicated to the proposition of keeping the party going. “When you see us live or listen to our records, we’re all going to have a good time,” says Big Sam. “That’s what funk is all about. That’s what New Orleans is all about. That’s what Big Sam’s Funky Nation is all about. If you come to a show, you’re going to party. That’s what we’re here for.”

  • CONJUNTO PHILADELPHIA

    The Sound
    The infectious sounds of Cuban son and cha-cha-cha will keep feet and hips moving on the dance floor all night long when Conjunto Philadelphia hits the stage. Expect to hear such infectious tunes as “Lágrimas Negras,” “La Negra Tomasa,” “A Buena Vista” and “Guantanamera” in their return engagement to the Exit Zero Jazz Festival.

  • DAISY CASTRO

    The Sound
    The gypsy jazz phenom will put her jaunty spin on tunes by Django Reinhardt (“Minor Swing”), Duke Ellington (“Caravan”), Hoagy Carmichael (“Stardust”) and Charlie Parker (“Donna Lee”) along with engaging Hot Club-inspired originals like the driving “Deviation,” title track of her 2013 CD. She will also delve into world music on tunes from her latest recording, World On Fire. Expect a high degree of virtuosity when this outstanding violinist hits the Exit Zero Jazz Festival stages for the 4th time!

  • DAVINA AND THE VAGABONDS

    The Sound
    Expect a lot of jazzy, blues-drenched material from their latest record, Nicollet and 10th, recorded live at The Dakota in Minneapolis. That album includes such gems as Louis Jordan’s “Knock Me A Kiss,” Etta James’ “I’d Rather Go Blind,” Fats Domino’s “Ain’t That A Shame,” Mississippi John Hurt’s “Shake That Thing” and the Tin Pan Alley nugget “Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue.” Also expect a lot of fun and lots of sass from Davina and her energetic crew. “We’re like a hurricane…but a pleasant hurricane,” she says.

  • JOANNA PASCALE

    The Sound
    Whether she’s covering the tender J.J. Johnson ballad “Lament,” Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed,” the Gerry Goffin/Carole King favorite “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?,” the achingly slow Ray Charles vehicle, “Drown In My Own Tears,” or the jazz standards “I Remember You” and “I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You),” Pascale delivers with uncommon passion and finesse, incredible clarity and a touch of class.

  • KERMIT RUFFINS AND THE BARBECUE SWINGERS
  • MATT CAPPY

    The Sound
    Cappy and his funky crew throw down in the spirit of the Brecker Brothers on “East Philly” and the nasty “Cappy Bounce,” the latter featuring the trumpeter dialing up a healthy dose of wah-wah on his extended solo. Expect other tunes from his 2017 album Church and State, including the infectious “Rose Lane” (named for the street where he grew up in Berlin) and the hip-hop flavored title track (featuring rapper Chill Moody). Stay for the stellar Stevie Wonder medley. He may even encore with the Puccini opera classic “Nessun Dorma” or the spiritual “Amazing Grace.” This talented cat covers a whole lot of territory in the course of a single set. This is Matt Cappy’s second appearance at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival.

  • NEW BREED BRASS BAND

    The Sound
    Whether rocking crowds at Bonnaroo, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the French Quarter Festival or the Exit Zero Jazz Festival, the New Breed Brass Band spreads joy and good times on the dance floor with infectious, original numbers like “Whatcha Working It Fa,” “New Beginnings” and “Sidewalk Rock.” Get ready to party when these New Orleans natives with deep roots in the Treme neighborhood take the bandstand.

  • RHENDA FEARINGTON
  • ROBIN McKELLE

    The Sound
    While McKelle and her versatile crew will undoubtedly dip into the Great American Songbook during her set, expect her to also interpret Allen Toussaint’s “Yes We Can Can,” a powerful song of hope that was originally recorded in the early ’70s by The Pointer Sisters and seems so relevant to us today. As the lyrics state: “We gotta make this land a better land than the world in which we live./Help each man be a better man with the kindness that you give.” And as Robin says, “We must have hope. This is what music gives us when we need it most.” While McKelle regards her new album, Melodic Canvas, as a resolute return to jazz, she may also dust off a few R&B-inspired gems from past albums like 2014’s Heart of Memphis (recorded with The Flytones) and 2010’s Mess Around (featuring covers of “Cry Me a River” and “Lonely Avenue”), which she delivers with earth authenticity). If she’s taking requests, call out for her interpretation of Steve Miller’s “Abracadabra,” which she sang with seductive, swinging powers on 2008’s Modern Antique.

  • ROOSEVELT COLLIER

    ROOSEVELT COLLIER was born into the Sacred Steel tradition learning lap and pedal steel at a young age directly through his uncles and grandfather in the House of God church. Today he is widely acknowledge as a Master of Sacred Steel taking his sound into new directions with his position as an integral member of Bokanté (led by Snarky Puppy’s Michael League) and as the leader of his world famous “get-downs” featuring a mixture of “superstars and church folk”, his own “Jimi Hendrix Experiment”-style all-star trio. In 2018, will see the release of the long-awaited Roosevelt Collier
    debut album, featuring an incredible mixture of blues, gospel, rock, and funk all rolled up by producer and bandmate
    Michael League.

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