Salem Jazz and Soul Festival News and galleries

Salem Jazz and Soul Pre-Festival Cruise!!

Sarah Seminski of Sarah and the Wild Versatile is a featured artist in this year's Salem Jazz and Soul Festival (performing with The Nephrok! Allstars), and we'll be getting the party started with a booze cruise the night before! Come on out, party down with us and support a great cause!



Main Stage Schedule for Saturday August 15, 2015

Salem High School Jazz Ensemble (11am – noon)


Led by Cynthia Naiperkowski, coordinator of music and band director, the Salem High School Jazz Band has opened the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival every year since its inception.


The Interlopers (12:30pm – 1:30pm)

Grown locally from the rolling green hills of Berkshire County Massachusetts, The Interlopers are best described as a young, organic, and joy-inducing musical organism. Drawing upon the uplifting sounds of classic R&B/ Soul as well as 70’s era rock and pop music, The Interlopers create a unique and fresh approach to a genre-bending, feel-good music style all their own. With a tight rhythm section, led by Lead Vocalist and Drummer Curtis Kelley and Guitarist Nicholas Veinoglou, along with the bright and lively horn section led by Trumpet Player Ariel Shrum, The Interlopers are sure to inspire listeners of all ages to jump to their feet, smile from ear to ear and dance with a joyful ferocity. Showcasing their uplifting lyrics, unmistakable hooks, and fierce musicianship, The Interlopers have released 2 self-produced recorded works and will be releasing their 3rd independent album in 2014. This also marks their final year at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, and one can be sure to expect great things from these young musicians as they plan their first national tour next summer.


Band Manager
The Interlopers Music
Cell: (570)-234-6242


Lydia Harrell (2pm – 3pm)

Lydia Harrell aka The LovelySinger is one of New England’s finest musical treasures. Her sultry, soulful voice and evocative phrasings have garnered her the attention and respect of the area’s finest musicians and venues. Lydia’s dedication to extracting the pure essence of song goes virtually unmatched.

Consistently performing more than 150 shows a year, in all different styles and settings, Lydia has shown an unbreakable ability to mold herself into any musical situation. In addition to her own bands, LovelySinger and Platinum, Lydia provides back-up vocals for the Steely Dan tribute band, No Static.


Krewe de Groove (3:30pm – 5pm)

After 16 years living deep in the thick of New Orleans funkiness, band leader Brandon Tarricone is back in the Northeast and bringing together some of the best musicians in the area to create his own version of Groove and Soul based music. With John Iltis on drums, Dave Walker on Bass, and John Cooke on organ the Rhythm section is a tight syncopated place to be.  Sax players Henley Douglas Jr, Eric Schindler, and Mark Early rotate through the horn section and do what they do best on top of these tight mostly original grooves. Tarricone’s compositions, arrangements, and driving guitar work keeps every show fresh, fun and danceable.  If you haven’t seen this band yet, check them out, we promise you won’t be disappointed.

Immediately following Krewe de Groove’s set will be a second line performance from Ken Field of Revolutionary Snake Ensemble in honor of Bob & Allen Berzofsky. Anyone interested in performing as part of the second line are invited to attend Ken’s workshop at 3:15 in the education tent.  Bring your instruments! 





Nephrok! Allstars (5:30pm – 7pm)

Legendary. How else to sum up the music of some of the most talented musicians in the land. The Nephrok! Allstars specialize in Funk and Soul music, but after one set folks come to realize their bag is way way deeper. Music that spans decades and genres seamlessly. Music that is both original and creative, as well as a revival of the timeless Funk classics that changed music forever. Music that is an explosive body rockin party and also at times a soul inspired heartfelt social commentary, steeped in love; which in itself is a throwback to the days when music was a voice  to raise awareness, express feelings and unite people. Nephrok!’s live show is an electrifying experience of unmatchable energy with an Allstar cast of Amy & Aaron Bellamy on Keys and Bass (The A-Beez), Daniel McDowell on Bass, Peter MacLean on Drums, Jeff Buckridge on Guitar, Nephrok!, Kit Holliday, & Sarah Seminski on vocals, plus Eric Schindler, and Arnetta Johnson on Sax & Trumpet.




 DJ: Radio Scotvoid (spinning fantastic music during intermissions)



Schedule for Sunday August 16, 2015

Ipswich High School Jazz Band (11am – noon)


The Ipswich HS Jazz Ensemble is directed by Gerald Dolan and James Fremont-Smith.   The jazz ensemble, is a curricula course for students with rehearsals held each Tuesday evening from 7:00-9:00.  Acceptance into the Jazz Ensemble is through a competitive audition held in September.

The Ipswich Jazz Ensemble has shared the stage with many outstanding performers including Rufus Reid, the United States Navy Commodores Jazz Band, Roomful of Blues, Kendrick Oliver and the New Life Jazz Orchestra, the Glenn Miller Band, the Tommy Dorsey Band, Herb Pomeroy, Mike Tucker, Tom Palance and Mark Earley.  The Jazz Ensemble performed at the premiere jazz festival in the United States-the Newport Jazz Festival- by kicking off the festival with their opening performance in the summer of 2008.  The band has also taken part in a concert tour of China with performances and jazz workshops and clinics in Beijing, Tianjin, and Xi’an China.

North Shore Jazz Project All Stars (12:30pm – 1:30pm)

North Shore Jazz Project All Stars is a world-class, youth jazz band featuring the best high-school aged musical talent on Boston’s North Shore. The group is led by local tenor saxophonist, Mike Tucker, a Berklee College of Music graduate and professor.


The Gringo Kings (2pm – 3pm)

Driven by five horns, piano, bass and drums, The Gringo Kings deliver earfuls of groovin’ sounds for the dancer and listener alike.The brainchild of tenor saxophonist and composer/arranger Ed Harlow, the Gringos walk the infinitely fine line between art and fun, hot and cool, seriousness and bedlam – all this without ever loosing the groove!The Gringo Kings bring an amazing array of talent and experience to the stage. Collec- tively, the musicians have played with some of the most famous musicians and bands of our time, including Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis, Tierney Sutton, Tower of Power, Clark Terry, Chaka Kahn, Bob Brookmeyer, Maria Schneider, Extreme, Jean-Luc Ponty and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Individuals from the Gringo Kings have toured the US, Latin and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.The Gringo Kings take the Latin elements of Salsa, Merengue, Choro, Bolero, then get up a good head of steam, and drive it head-on into the jazz cosmos.The resultant music might be a Tito Puente record copy, a Chicago derangement, or an entirely new piece of music colored and inspired by the music of all the Americas.


Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers (3:30pm – 5pm)

“America’s Hottest Accordion” winner, Dwayne (Dopsie) Rubin, plays a unique, high energy style of zydeco. Dwayne hails from one of the most influential Zydeco families in the world. Although inspired by tradition, he has developed his own high-energy style that defies existing stereotypes and blazes a refreshingly distinct path for 21st century Zydeco music. This singer/songwriter and accordionist has performed all over the world since debuting his band, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, at age 19.Dwayne, born March 3, 1979 in Lafayette, Louisiana, was the last of eight children.  Dwayne attributes his musical ablilities to his father, Rockin’ Dopise, Sr., a pioneer of Zydeco music.  As a small child, Dwayne wasinterested in the washboard, but quickly realized he hadincredible talent with an accordion.  He has played the accordion since age seven and states, “This is my calling – Zydeco music is in my blood and it is my heart and soul.”  As a tribute to his late father,  the most influential person in his life,  Dwayne plans to record an album of his Dad’s greatest Zydeco hits.


Barrence Whitfield and the Grits & Groceries Orchestra (5:30pm – 7pm)

Barrence Whitfield, winner of seven Boston music awards, is a full-throttle soul screamer in the spirit of Little Richard, Wilson Pickett and Solomon Burke. He has been described as the owner of one incredible pair of lungs, with limitless energy and unmatched enthusiasm for his music and his audience. For the better part of two decades, Whitfield has sustained that energy, bringing his yowling brand of classic and roots rock ’n’ roll from New England’s working-class stages to the summer festivals of Europe and Japan with a rotating cast of backing musicians. Barrence also performs regularly with local greats the Grits & Groceries Orchestra who recently performed a New England tour with George Thorogood and the Destroyers. The Grits and Groceries Orchestra consists of Robert Lyons (Tenor sax), Charlie O’neal (guitar), John Anthony (Bass) and Kemp Dunn (Drums).


DJ: Radio Scotvoid (spinning fantastic music during intermissions)



Education Tent Schedule for Saturday August 15th, 2015

Paul Dumas African Drum Demo (12pm – 12:45pm)

Come join in on a drum circle led by Paul Dumas, drum instructor at Zach Field Drum Studios in Newburyport. Learn some basic African rhythms on djembe drum and play together in a traditional drum circle. Come and go as you please. All ages are welcome!

Molly Pinto Madigan / Celtic folk music (1:30pm – 2:15pm)

What exactly does “Celtic music” mean, and what are some of its distinguishing characteristics?  In this presentation, we will explore the rich world of Celtic folk and learn about the different types of vocal and instrumental music the tradition boasts.  With demonstrations of Sean-nós singing and ballads from different Celtic countries, the presentation will culminate with the learning of a song in Irish Gaelic.

Second Line Demo with Ken Field of Revolutionary Snake Ensemble (3:15pm – 4:15pm)

Musicians of all levels are invited to attend this special workshop. Ken Field, leader of the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, along with members of his group, will talk about the powerful New Orleans second line funeral tradition, and will teach workshop attendees some particularly appropriate songs deeply associated with that tradition. Following the workshop, we will jointly lead a massive second line to honor the memories & celebrate the lives of beloved Salem icons Bob & Allen Berzofsky in front of the main stage and in a loop around the Festival grounds.

Beatles Sing-a-Long with the Rocking Horse People (5:00pm – 5:45pm)

Come join us and sing hits by The Beatles.  Maybe you were there, maybe they were hits before your mother was born, either way, we bet you’ll know them.

Education Tent Schedule for Sunday August 16th, 2015

The World of Jazz Guitar with Steve Lacey  (12pm – 12:45pm)

Interested in jazz guitar? Local guitarist Steve Lacey will demonstrate different jazz guitar techniques. He will give tips on solo jazz guitar, accompanying soloists, or playing in larger ensembles.

Zydeco and Cajun music with Dwayne Dopsie  (1:30pm – 2:15pm)

Join Dwayne Dopsie, King of the Accordion, as he discusses the elements that makeup Zydeco music as well as other New Orleans music and plays some examples of a truly American musical form. This exciting workshop will precede Mr. Dopsie’s set on our main stage!

Mbira Workshop with Samanyanga Mbira Group (3:00pm – 3:45pm)

The mbira is a traditional instrument played by the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Samanyanga Mbira Group is a community music group that meets monthly at Tufts University, offering lessons for beginners and small ensembles for more experienced players. Come learn more about the instrument and its place in African culture, hear the instruments in performance, and try to play one yourself!

The Art of Songwriting with Ross Livermore (5:00pm – 5:45pm)

Singer/songwriter Ross Livermore discusses the songwriting process giving tips on songwriting techniques, inspiration and the creative process in general. He will also be performing original material from his recent releases.


Sunday August 16, 2015

The Boston Horns Blowdown! Salem Jazz & Soul Fest After Party
Chianti Beverly

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

When is the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival? 

August 15-16, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.

Where will it take place?

At historic Salem Willows, 167 Fort Ave., Salem, Mass.

How much does it cost?

It’s all FREE, although we ask that you make a donation or purchase festival merchandise to help further our mission of producing free concerts and supporting music-education causes on Massachusetts’ North Shore.

What kind of music is expected?

You can see our 2015 Festival Lineup Here!

What if it rains?

The event is rain or shine, unless there is catastrophic weather. Check our homepage for updates.

Is there parking?

Very little. Seriously, it gets tight.  You can park in all the normal Salem Willows parking areas, but we advise walking, riding a bike, carpooling or using our alternate transportation partners listed here:

Do you have alternate transportation?

Yes! Yes! Yes!

— Salem Trolley offers an inexpensive shuttle with stops at the National Parks Visitor’s Center, Blaney Street Wharf and Shetland Park at 45 Congress St., where there is adjacent parking. The trolley is free to Salem residents; just stop by the office on Central Street for a pass and bring your I.D.

Don’t sit in traffic, fight for limited parking or risk getting towed. There are plenty of options.

Also, The ride-sharing company, Uber,  is offering new users $25 off a ride to the festival, Aug. 15-16.

Download the app on your smartphone and receive $25 off your first ride using promo code SALEMJAZZ or sign up at


Can I bring my dog?

Only if it’s leashed and friendly.

What else should I bring?

A lawn chair, blanket, snacks, nonalcoholic drinks and a good attitude.

What is prohibited?

Alcohol, weapons or fireworks. The Salem Willows is a city park and the Salem Police Department will be patrolling the grounds.

Can I have a beer at the festival?

Yes, our Ipswich Ale beer tent overlooks the stage but bring your Mass. ID or U.S. passport if you plan to imbibe. The beer tent is cash-only and there is just one ATM nearby, located at Salem Willows Arcade and Casino.

What else happens at the festival?

Besides our 21-plus beer garden, there will be a music-education tent with mini-performances, and a 30-40 artisan vendors selling hand-made crafts, jewelry, clothing, artwork and more.

Anything for kids?

Yes, there will be a kids tent, sponsored by Salem Five Charitable Foundation, where children (under their parents’ supervision) can learn about music, do crafts and play games.

Tell me about the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival

We’re a volunteer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of producing free concerts and raising money to support music education causes on Massachusetts’ North Shore. We were founded in 2007 and have produced more than 60 free concerts and raised $50,000 for music-education causes.

Can I volunteer?

Yes! We’d love your help. Please email Jenny at

More questions?

How do I get there?

Our Mission

The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival is a nonprofit organization that produces free concerts and raises money to support music-education programs on Massachusetts’ North Shore.


SJSF’s season lasts May through August – when we put on monthly, free concerts in partnership with Berklee College of Music – and culminates in a two-day festival at the Salem Willows in mid-August, featuring local, regional and national bands. The season is book-ended by ticketed fundraisers at area venues. The festival is financed through merchandise sales, personal donations, grants and corporate sponsorship. We’re a grass-roots organization run by a volunteer board of directors made up of North Shore residents.


Since 2007, we have raised $45,000 for music-education causes north of Boston.


  • Disbursed scholarships for students to attend regional music camps
  • Made grants to area group homes and after-school music programs
  • Donated money and new equipment to North Shore high school jazz bands
  • Created a monthly music series for grade-schoolers at Salem Public Library and homeless families at a North Shore hotel
  • Produced more than 50 free concerts
  • Run an annual music-related art contest for children in elementary school
  • Funded an 8-week interactive workshop for children in the autism spectrum
  • Developed an intern program in which local high school students can learn audio production
  • Won Massachusetts Cultural Council’s “Gold Star Award” In 2013

For more information on Salem Jazz and Soul Festival