From May 31 to June 4, the Bellevue Downtown Association (BDA) will bring together top national and regional talent for the 10th Annual Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival. Featured artists, jazz and blues vocalist Catherine Russell and American blues and reggae artists The Corey Harris Band, will perform at the Meydenbauer Center Theatre while local artists play at multiple Downtown Bellevue venues. Local dance band Radio Raheem kicks off the festival at Bake’s Place on Wednesday, May 31, with The Rumba Kings on Thursday, June 1. Tickets for Meydenbauer Center Theatre performances went on sale March 23 and are available at www.BellevueDowntown.com via Brown Paper Tickets.
Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival Featured Artists
7:30 p.m. Friday, June 2 | Meydenbauer Center Theatre | $30 (Students $15)
Catherine Russell is a one of a kind musician and vocalist. She has toured the world and performed or recorded with David Bowie, Paul Simon, Cyndi Lauper and many others. Her voice is full blown femininity incarnate, radiating interpretive power to jazz and blues standards from the 1920’s as well as the music of today. Russell’s album Harlem On My Mind was nominated for a 2017 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
The Corey Harris Band
7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 3 | Meydenbauer Center Theatre | $30 (Students $15)
Corey Harris is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and band leader who has carved out his own niche in blues. He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music.
8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 31 | Bake’s Place | $20 – Reservations at bakesplacebellevue.com
The Seattle-based band, formed in 2011, has been garnering accolades for their mixture of Funk, Soul & Rock and their ability to inspire requisite dancing and general happiness. The band is fronted by Josephine Howell, a mainstay of Seattle’s jazz, soul and gospel community with help from her daughter Chyee. Radio Raheem is a captivating performance and one of the Northwest’s great live bands.
The Rumba Kings
8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 1 | Bake’s Place | $15 – Reservations at bakesplacebellevue.com
In the spring of 2013, producer/bassist Johnny Bacolas, guitarist George Stevens and guitarist Teddy Adams began forming an original group with the vision of writing and recording beautiful Mediterranean-inspired music. Their style is romantic, soulful, and passionate, delivered with energy and emotion with Flamenco, Spanish, Greek and Italian flavor. A live performance by The Rumba Kings is an experience not forgotten.
Established in 2008, the festival is a cultural and community event that attracts national artists, showcases regional talent and draws diverse audiences. Headlining artists were selected in collaboration with John Gilbreath, executive director of Earshot Jazz. Past featured artists include Branford Marsalis, Booker T. Jones, Shemekia Copeland, Poncho Sanchez, Dianne Reeves, Bill Frisell, Charles Lloyd, Terence Blanchard, Hubert Laws, Mingus Big Band, Spanish Harlem Orchestra and Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra. The event was renamed the Bellevue Jazz & Blues Festival in 2015.