, Salem, MA


August 15, 2013

Jazzing it up

7th annual Jazz and Soul Festival spotlights big talent with local roots


Finding new people to play with is an important part of a musician’s development, Tucker said, and the festival will feature several intriguing match-ups.

Some musicians, like Saturday headliners Dwight Ritcher and Nicole Nelson, always appear together — except when Nelson was turning judges’ heads on the third season of NBC’s “The Voice.”

In other pairings, such as Diane Blue with Toni Lynn Washington, the history is limited to a handful of appearances but entails plenty of mutual admiration.

“She’s a really amazing woman, to be so beautiful and still enrapture the crowd like she does,” said Blue, who lives in Boston.

Blue has no shortage of her own admirers, which include Henley Douglas Jr.

“Diane Blue is without a doubt one of the best blues musicians on the scene today,” he said. “We set this up because it’s something you won’t see very often.

“It’s going to be a rockin’ blues show. They can do ballads and all the different genres. When they get it on with a jump blues thing, people will get up and start dancing.”

Blue said she will open the set with some vocals and then will support Washington on harmonica.

“I don’t take on a song unless I can put it over,” she said. “I need to be able to deliver it with some sincerity. Maybe it’s not my story, but I can tell it with some sincerity.”

One of the reasons Douglas chose a local line-up for this year’s festival was to draw attention to local venues where many of the acts play on a regular basis all year.

“There’s world-class musicians who play on a nightly basis on the North Shore, playing the Rhumb Line, Chianti or the Pigs’ Eye,” he said.

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