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Jazz Festival Kicks Off Saturday, Sept. 10, At Old Fort Harrod

Kentucky Heritage Jazz Festival At Shaker Village Sept. 16–17

The Harrodsburg Herald/Robert Moore
The ninth annual Kentucky Heritage Jazz Festival brings nearly a week’s worth of music to Mercer County, starting with the Community Kickoff at Old Fort Harrod State Park on Saturday, Sept. 10. From left: trumpeter James Poole III and Paladin, Sam Carr and Blue Groove Jazz, Adrian Crutchfield, drummer Sofia Goodman of the Sofia Goodman Group and Ron Jones of the Ron Jones Contemporary Jazz Quartet. (Composite image).

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The ninth annual Kentucky Heritage Jazz Festival is back and bigger than ever. What started with an evening of music at Old Fort Harrod State Park nearly a decade ago has grown into a week’s worth of events, with concerts at the park and at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill as well as the Mercer County Public Library. Over the next week, there will be performances by 17 regional and national jazz acts along with a dozen food trucks and more. And it’s still free.

“Our goal is to promote Harrodsburg, and especially Old Fort Harrod and Shaker Village and support the arts and music education with our college partner,’ said Sam Carr, the chairman of the jazz festival. “We added a second venue this year to promote both the Fort and Shaker Village.”

Everything starts at noon on Saturday, Sept. 10, with the Community Kickoff at Old Fort Harrod, with five bands, including the headliners, Bigg Sugg and the Jazz Funkers, who hail from Lexington and bill themselves as Central Kentucky’s premiere jazz funk ensemble.

Blue Groove Jazz saxophonist  Sam Carr with James Poole III at last year’s jazz festival.

On Sunday, Sept. 11, there will be Jazz on the Lawn at Shaker Village, when Blue Groove Jazz, joined by New Orleans trumpeter James Poole III, perform. The music starts at 4 p.m.

On Thursday, Sept. 15, there will be another performance by Blue Groove Jazz with guest trumpeter Reg Ridgewine at Mercer County Public Library starting at 5 p.m.

The next night, on Friday, Sept. 16, there will be a ticketed fundraiser, “Jazz In the Barn Gala,” in the Meadow View Barn featuring Blue Groove Jazz, cocktails and three-course meal prepared by Shaker Village’s Chef Amber Hokams. During the cocktail hour, attendees will have an opportunity to bid on a variety of unique gifts and experiences during a silent auction, with proceeds from both the auction and ticket sales going to support Shaker Village and the Kentucky Heritage Jazz Festival. The fundraiser, which is sponsored by Tallgrass Farms, starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $95 plus tax, which includes all food, beverages, bar and service charges.

Adrian Crutchfield listens to the  audience at last year’s jazz festival.

Finally, the main event kicks off at noon on Saturday, Sept. 17, when the Kentucky Heritage Jazz Festival returns with returning headliner Adrian Crutchfield. Sam Carr, chairman of the jazz festival, said this year they are adding a auxiliary stage where the Sofia Goodman Group will perform. Goodman, a drummer from Nashville, will also perform on the main stage.

Sofia Goodman performing at last year’s jazz festival.

The music continues on Sunday, Sept. 18, starting at noon, with a full day of college bands, including the University of Kentucky Jazz Ensemble, concluding with the Osland Dailey Jazztet.

Carr will be a busy man for the next week. In addition to serving as the chairman of the jazz festival, he is also the saxophonist with Blue Groove Jazz and will sit in with several other acts. Carr called the festival is a chance to tour the 3,000 acre historic Shaker Village.

“This remains a free event thanks to our 45 sponsors and partners,” Carr said, naming the corporate sponsor, Family Wealth Group. “We appreciate our sponsors.”

The jazz festival is a pet friendly event for leashed, well behaved pets. Bring a lawn chair for personal seating. Pop up tents may also be set up in the designated area. Outside alcohol may not be brought onto the property and alcohol purchased at festival may not leave the concert area. No coolers, no smoking, no weapons of any kind and no drones or other flying devices.

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