Salem native Eric Reardon, for example, who has appeared in the blues jam at In a Pig’s Eye every Friday for the last 10 years, will appear at the festival with Berklee College of Music student Noe Socha.
Reardon got a head start on guitar from his father, Jonathan, who along with his wife, Jen, owns the restaurant on Derby Street. His skills have earned him a steady string of dates at other clubs in the region, where he works six nights a week, and sometimes seven.
He first heard fellow guitarist Sacha at an open-mike night at In a Pig’s Eye.
“My friend Judy Rudd was there, and she said, ‘You have to check this kid out,’” Reardon said.
Douglas has heard Reardon and Socha together and thinks audiences will enjoy checking out the pair.
“Eric Reardon and Noe did a show opening up for Dave Mason at the Shalin Liu in Rockport,” Douglas said. “They got a standing ovation and pretty much blew Dave Mason away.”
Even Turkuaz, Sunday’s Brooklyn-based headliners, have local connections, having formed while its members were attending Berklee, Douglas said.
Salem’s own DJ Radio Scotvoid, formally known as Scott Buchanan, has been spinning turntables for the last four Jazz and Soul Festivals, and this year will be no exception.
While the festival is focusing on local talent this weekend, they help to develop it every year, staging performances by local high school students.
This year, the Salem High School Jazz Band, led by Cynthia Napierkowski, will kick off Saturday’s lineup, while the North Shore Jazz Project All Stars, directed by Mike Tucker, will start things off on Sunday.
“Everything is grooving jazz,” Douglas said. “That’s what the festival has always been about.”
SALEM JAZZ AND SOUL FESTIVAL