Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul

October 9, 2020

Greek philosopher Plato hit the perfect note with the words printed above. Though it was a disappointment when The Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival rescheduled the 2020 headliner performances, the stellar lineup will be worth the wait - especially the celebrated Canadian-American jazz-rock music group Blood, Sweat & Tears. 

For over 30 years, the annual Rehoboth Jazz Festival roster of top-notch acts has made our event a national – and even international – destination for music lovers. The change in plans was even more of a blow to our local restaurants already reeling under the financial and emotional stress caused by the prolonged and increasingly arbitrary restrictions.

But music has power, and in order to keep with tradition, the Delaware Celebration of Jazz organization countered with their Mini Jazz Fest, featuring popular acts in restaurants while keeping in mind table spacing and social distancing, of course. More information is at

Starting at 9:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16, at the Rusty Rudder Inside Theater, famed bassist Gerald Veasley and vocalist Carol Riddick will step onto the stage. If you like Nina Simone, you’ll love this show. Only 90 seats are available, and at the time of this writing there were just a handful remaining.

The Saturday jazz blowout at The Rudder offers a free outdoor concert by JJ Sansaverino and Club Phred. Fred Dawson’s mastery of the Hammond B-3 organ is legendary! Moving inside at 4 p.m., a few tickets are still available for sax master Marcus Anderson. If you like Prince and Stevie Wonder, then you’ve already heard his playing. Again, seating is limited.

At 9:30, Gerald Veasley and Alex Bugnon will be in the spotlight. Bugnon’s keyboard talents pair perfectly with Veasley’s rockin’ bass.

At 12:30 on Sunday at The Rudder, jazz saxophonist Art Sherrod Jr. teams up with soul/ jazz trombonist Jeff Bradshaw. As if that weren’t enough, the vocal talents of recording artist Maysa will add to the mix.

Sunday night is the Rehoboth Jazz Festival’s traditional jam session and closing party. Again, all guidelines and social distancing will be strictly observed as all six artists take to the stage. The ticket price for this party includes a plated dinner! Seating for the pre-show dinner is first-come-first-served.

Local restaurants have always been a part of our longtime jazz event. On Thursday, Oct. 15, 1776 Steakhouse in Midway will feature Hammond B-3 jazz organ group Hammond Hot! from 7 to 10 p.m. The trio includes Bing Crosby on drums and saxophone virtuoso Cody Leavel. The same group will light up the Sunday jazz brunch at Blackwall at the Beach in downtown Rehoboth. If you drop by 1776 or Blackwall be sure to say hello to the keyboard player...

Sydney’s in Milton will be presenting Sax & Tracks with Art Sherrod Jr. on Saturday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Because of limited seating, reservations are strongly suggested. From 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the saxophone stylings of the Will Warick Trio will grace Cultured Pearl restaurant.

The Pines on Baltimore Avenue gets into the act from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Thursday with the mellow sounds of Paul Midiri’s vibes accompanied by Mike McShane on drums and Joe Holt on piano.

Across the street at Aqua Grill, Bruce Anthony will be strummin’ and singin’ from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday.

Hot Sauce will light up the patio stage at Bluecoast Rehoboth Friday from 5 to 8 p.m., while Matt Lafferty’s Pros from Dover make music in Midway from 6 to 9 p.m. at Shrimpy’s Bar & Grill.

There’s always a bit of rock and blues mixed in with the jazz, and Blackwall at the Beach steps up to the plate Oct. 16 with the vintage rock, blues and upbeat jazz sounds of 2nd Time Around trio. On Saturday evening, they’ll take the stage at the new Atlantic Social restaurant on Coastal Highway. Call for times and reservations.

These are just a few of the performances happening over jazz weekend! See details, performance times and days courtesy of Cape Gazette:

This is the 31st year that the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival has been bringing music lovers to the beach. Festival President Denny Santangini never misses an opportunity to credit the original founders: Bob Derrickson, Sydney Arzt, Lonnie Brown, David Russo, Linda DiDomenicis, Jack Foreman, Barbara Jarrell and Eileen Talley. He also credits the hardworking volunteers who keep the festival wheels turning.

Santangini, along with social media/graphic designer Bing Crosby and artist relations/ event coordinator Kas Naylor, will give listeners a behindthe- curtain peek at this year’s event at 2 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 10, on 92.7FM. Festival vice president and marketing/ sponsorship coordinator Larry DeFrancisco is unable to join the interview, but he’s a big part of funding and promoting the event.

So fret not! They might have postponed a few of the acts until next year, but 2020’s Rehoboth Beach Jazz Fest performers will - against all odds work hard to find their way into the secret places of your soul.

  • So many restaurants, so little time! Food writer Bob Yesbek gives readers a sneak peek behind the scenes, exposing the inner workings of the local culinary industry, from the farm to the table and everything in between. He can be reached at

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