9th Annual Salem Jazz and Soul Festival Takes Over Salem Willows on Aug. 15 & 16

SALEM – The 9th Annual Salem Jazz and Soul Festival will take over the Salem Willows on Sat. August 15 and Sun. August 16, 2015 with a free concert that features 10 bands, a family tent, a music-education tent, an artisan fair, and a 21-plus beer tent. The nonprofit hosts the festival this third weekend of August at Salem’s popular waterfront park. 

“We’re so excited to put on another festival for the people of the North Shore,” said Larry Claflin Jr., the festival’s co-founder and volunteer executive director. “We’re prepared for another weekend of amazing music in a fun, family-friendly environment.”

Day one opens with a performance from the Salem High School Jazz band from 11AM to 12PM Noon, followed by The Interlopers, a band made up of students from the Berklee College of Music, from 12:30 to 1:30PM. Lydia Harrell, a talented singer based in Salem, will entertain with her band from 2 to 3PM, and Krewe de Groove, led by Brandon Tarricone, a North Shore native who recently returned from more than 10 years living in New Orleans, plays from 3:30 to 5PM. Nephrok! Allstars will finish out the day from 5:30 to 7PM. The funk and R&B band made up of some of the top Boston-area musicians.

Sunday opens with a performance by the Ipswich High School Jazz Band at 11AM, led by Gerald Dolan, the retiring director of fine arts for Ipswich High School in one of his last performances with the school. Following the performance, the festival will award Dolan its second annual Music Educator of the Year Award. The North Shore Jazz Project All Stars follows from 12:30 to 1:30PM. This band is made up of some of the North Shore’s best young musicians led by saxophonist and Berklee professor Mike Tucker. Gringo Kings play next, from 2 to 3, just before Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, a Louisiana-based group led by Dopsie, who hails from a famous Louisiana family known for zydeco music. The festival concludes with a performance from North Shore favorite Barrence Whitfield and the Grits & Groceries Orchestra, from 5:30 to 7PM.

Organizers are warning that traffic is expected to be heavy all weekend, recommending that people walk, ride a bike, or carpool to the event. Salem Trolley offers an inexpensive ride to the event with stops at the National Parks Visitors’ Center and Salem Ferry Landing. Free parking is available at Shetlantd Park, 45 Congress Street in Salem.

The festival is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization that produces free concerts and raises money for music education causes on the North Shore.


What? The 9th Annual Salem Jazz & Soul Festival

When? Sat. August 15 & Sat. August 16, 2015 from 11AM to 7PM

Where? The Salem Willows, Salem, MA

Cost? Free

For more information, visit


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