The True Blue Jazz organization saw record-setting attendance during its fifth festival Oct. 11-15, across its 17 events produced at eight venues during that five-day period. Local businesses enjoyed the crush of activity as the festival's straight-ahead jazz attracted avid music fans into downtown Rehoboth Beach.
"September ticket sales were nothing short of remarkable,” said True Blue Jazz producer and co-founder Eddie Sherman. "Comparing September ticketing in 2016 and 2017, we had a 118 percent increase in sales.”
With five years of True Blue Jazz in downtown Rehoboth Beach behind them, Sherman and co-founder Peggy Raley already have their sights set on 2018 and beyond.
“It was an exhilarating jazz festival for True Blue!” said Raley. “It was sheer delight that we experienced this year, from the numerous comments made by attendees going out of their way to tell Eddie and me that they had been with us since year one, or, ‘Keep bringing it to downtown,’ or, ‘We love what you do with the kids…thank you!’”
Sherman was quick to add, “The numbers cannot be and will not be what it’s all about for the True Blue Jazz Festival.”
“The heart and soul of our community is what we’re about here,” Raley said. “We’re looking at further invigorating an already burgeoning downtown by keeping real live jazz as an active and ongoing player in the Rehoboth Beach scene, all across the year, not just for one week in October anymore.”
That vision is on track, and will kick off Sunday, Nov. 5, when True Blue Jazz returns to Indigo Indian Restaurant, 44 Rehoboth Ave., for the Sunday Brunch from noon to 3 p.m. With additional venues in line to participate, True Blue Jazz believes there is great promise that a jazz performance won’t be hard to find downtown this coming year. Sherman also shared the news that something very special was going to occur at the Indigo brunch gig.
“Performing at Indigo on Sunday, Nov. 5, for the first time anywhere in the Mid-Atlantic Region, we have the brilliantly talented jazz guitarist, David Aman,” said Sherman. “David has just relocated to our area from Texas, and he is amazingly skilled and talented on guitar. You don’t want to miss out on David Aman’s first-time appearance in our area!”
The commitment to a year-round presence in downtown Rehoboth Beach is just one aspect of the picture for True Blue Jazz as 2017 becomes 2018. “We’re finalizing arrangements on a hybrid Holiday/Intro to Jazz Show in two western Sussex school districts, and on a spate of ongoing downtown Rehoboth Live Jazz gigs that will bring us right into the spring of ’18 when we roll out an event in conjunction with Jazz Appreciation Month, just as we did in 2017,” say the producing partners of True Blue Jazz.
The great news for Cape Region jazz fans and the Mid-Atlantic is that most of these events are free public shows or no ticket required events. All information and tickets for True Blue Jazz shows and events, including the 6th Anniversary True Blue Jazz Festival, will be available at www.truebluejazz.org.