CAMDEN — The Midcoast’s own jazz festival, Jazz in June Camden Maine, runs Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17. Downtown Camden will be filled with live music both days, as Jazz in June presents free daytime performances on the Village Green and in the Camden Amphitheatre; dusk receptions at downtown dining destinations; and ticketed evening concerts at the Camden Opera House.
“We are thrilled to be back, bigger and better than ever,” said Matt Brown, co-producer of the festival, in a news release. “This year’s festival features terrific shows for all: Women in Jazz on Friday night and the great Bill Frisell on Saturday night, as well as many talented local and regional artists.”
Featured performers at the opera house are jazz guitar icon Bill Frisell, who will cap the two-day fest with his trio, Saturday, at 7:30 p.m.; and saxophonist Grace Kelly and Los Angeles vocal stylist Staci Griesbach, both performing with their bands, Friday, at 7:30 p.m.
“Jazz guitarist, composer and recording artist Bill Frisell’s more-than-40-year career is rightly celebrated for its depth and range,” said the release. “One of the most distinctive and original improvising guitarists of our time, Frisell continues to innovate and inspire.”
Last year’s biography by Philip Watson is subtitled The Guitarist Who Changed the Sound of American Music.
Singer-saxophonist-songwriter-composer and band leader Grace Kelly recorded her first album at age 12; at 16, she performed at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration. A seven-time winner of the Downbeat Critics Poll, and five-time winner of ASCAP Composers Award, Kelly has headlined more than 900 shows in more than 35 countries including all major festivals from Montreux and Newport to Montreal.
“Staci Griesbach is reimagining the Great American Songbook of Country Music in the style of jazz with interpretations that demonstrate the strength and versatility of country classics,” said the release. “Her arrangements add layers and depth to the pure and honest ‘three chords and the truth,’ as revealed in a Songbook series that celebrates the music of Patsy Cline, Shania Twain, Dolly Parton and George Jones.”
Daytime Jazz in June performers are the UMaine Jazz Ensemble, the Myles Kelley Trio, MidCoast Music Academy Faculty Band, Alice Limoges and Bill Barnes, Myles Kelley (solo), Lincoln Blake and Kristi Kalajian, and David Clarke.
Jazz in June 2023 is sponsored by Camden Maine Stay Inn, Lord Camden Inn, 40 Paper, First National Bank and First National Wealth Management, MainePublic, Tillson Crane Photography and John Steele Photography.
For schedule details, performers’ bios, ticketing link (camdenoperahouse.com) and more information, visit jazzinjunecamdenme.com.
Friday, June 16
Noon on the Village Green: Myles Kelley Trio and MidCoast Music Academy Faculty Band
5 p.m. at Lucky Betty’s: Alice Limoges and Bill Barnes
7:30 p.m.: Grace Kelly + Staci Griesbach (ticketed) at Camden Opera House
Saturday, June 17
10 a.m. at Zoot Coffee: David Clarke
1 p.m. at Camden Amphitheatre: UMaine Jazz Ensemble
5 p.m. at 16 Bay View’s The View: Myles Kelley; and
5 p.m. Vicki Burns and Chris Poulin will play in The Vintage Room of 16 Bay View
7:30 p.m.: An Evening with the Bill Frisell Trio (ticketed) at Camden Opera House