Rain cannot stop us!

The festival is scheduled to start Sat Aug 19th @ 11am rain or shine (but not active lightning).  Forecasts have been improving all week and we’re hoping for the best!  Click here to see the schedule!

Salem Jazz and Soul Festival, City of Salem, to host 8th annual Jazz Appreciation Day free concert

The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival will produce its 8th-annual City of Salem Jazz Appreciation Day concert in early April in downtown Salem.

Kicking off Jazz Appreciation Month in April, this event is coordinated in partnership between the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival and the City of Salem. Salem Five, a major festival sponsor, has donated the venue for the concert, which is free to the public.

The free show will take place in the Salem Five Community Room on the Essex Street Walking Mall, on Saturday, April 8, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Performing this year will be the North Shore Jazz Project (NSJP) All Stars, a big band made up of the North Shore’s premier high school-aged jazz musicians, directed by professional saxophonist Mike Tucker.

“The NSJP All Stars play our main festival each year, and the crowds are impressed by their talent. We want them to be featured at Jazz Appreciation Day,” said Ian Cannon the festival’s board president. “Having these young musicians on stage is at the core of what the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival is about – providing students with an opportunity to perform at no cost to the public.”

This show will open the festival’s eleventh season of producing free concerts and supporting music-education causes throughout the North Shore.

In the coming months, the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival (SJSF), a volunteer-run nonprofit, will put on:

  • The SJSF/Berklee Summer Series at Derby Square, Salem, with Berklee College of Music student bands, on May 13, June 10, July 8, and Aug. 12.
  •  The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival, a two-day, outdoor music festival at the Salem Willows, with 10 bands, a music-education tent, kids tent, 21-plus beer garden and artisans selling hand-made goods, Aug. 19-20.

Please visit www.salemjazzsoul.org for more information.

Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers


Many, many thanks to everyone who made our 10th festival a memorable one! We had beautiful weather and hot music that kept everyone dancing and smiling. Watch this space for photos, videos, stories and more!

10th annual Salem Jazz and Soul Festival takes place at Salem Willows, Aug. 20-21

Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco HellraisersThe nonprofit Salem Jazz and Soul Festival will cap its 10th season with a two-day music festival at the Salem Willows, Aug. 20-21.

August 2, 2016 – Salem, MA – The free festival will feature 10 bands, a MusicKidz tent, Salem Five Community Foundation Music-Education Tent, artisan fair and 21-plus Notch Brewing beer pavilion.

“We’re extremely excited to have made it this far as a volunteer-run nonprofit,” said Larry Claflin Jr., the festival’s co-founder and executive director. “Without the city’s help and that of our generous sponsors and growing number of patrons, this would not have been possible. This is truly a community effort.”
The festival will offer all styles of music over two days: Big band jazz, Latin, funk, soul, blues, zydeco and more. Bands hail from the North Shore, Boston, New York and Louisiana.

Organizers rarely repeat groups but made two exceptions this year: Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, who were such a hit at the 2015 festival; and Jen Kearney, who performed at the first Salem Jazz and Soul Festival, in 2007.

Saturday’s line-up consists of Salem High School Jazz Band; What Time is it, Mr. Fox; Austin Torpedoes; Brian Thomas / Alex Lee Clark Big Band; and The Nth Power, a powerful soul band from New York, led by drummer Nikki Glaspie, who has toured with Maceo Parker and Beyoncé.

Sunday will feature the North Shore Jazz Project All Stars; Edmar Colón; Jen Kearney; Tim Gearan and Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers.
Parking is limited at the Salem Willows and attendance is expected to be at an all-time high this year, so festival organizers and the city ask that attendees walk or bike to the festival, or park free at Shetland Park and take an inexpensive trolley to the festival.

The festival is a nonprofit, volunteer-run organization that produces free concerts and raises money for music education causes on the North Shore. Check salemjazzsoul.org for more information. Photos provided upon request.