True Blue Jazz Festival organizers are happy to clear up any confusion by announcing that their 2020 event is going forward and, in fact, never canceled anything. And while they have postponed their originally scheduled headliners to 2021, the eighth annual festival is now going to give attendees some choices to come together with more than 70 musicians in the True Blue Jazz family in three different ways this year. True Blue Jazz is the independent, straight-ahead jazz festival actually located in downtown Rehoboth Beach. Personal safety always comes first and is the organizers’ ultimate goal for everyone.
The first option to enjoy True Blue Jazz 2020 is to tune in for streaming shows. Those who prefer the safety of their own homes can nestle in for two stellar nights of real jazz from the best local, regional, national and international artists. The festival will host free streaming performances from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16, and from 4:30 to 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17. To receive the free streaming link to watch on a computer or smart TV, go to truebluejazz.org.
The second option is for those who feel comfortable coming out to festival venues, all of which are are fully compliant with COVID-19 safety protocols. For four days, live music will be performed at a handful of premier locations. Festival attendees can shop, dine and stay in downtown Rehoboth Beach without fear of massive crowds. Live venues will host events from Thursday, Oct. 15, to Sunday, Oct. 18.
Festivities will kick off Thursday at Port 251, located at 251 Rehoboth Ave. The festival’s newest sponsor will be a great addition to the local restaurant community. It offers an open-air patio with a roof covering, and great food and drinks. Port 251 will host its free afternoon jazz jams from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., all four days.
Back for the second year as a loyal True Blue Jazz sponsor location, The Pines at 56 Baltimore Ave. will host shows from 6 to 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 15; 4 to 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16; 9 to 12 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17; and the closing brunch bash with two shows from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 18. Audience members will enjoy fabulous dining, drinks or light fare while listening to great jazz. To purchase tickets, go to thepinesrb.com. Due to reduced seating capacity for indoor venues because of COVID-19, tickets will go fast, so organizers urge people to purchase them early.
To see the full schedule of performers at both Port 251 and The Pines, go to truebluejazz.org.
A pop-up jazz party featuring 5th Avenue Band will swing attendees into the weekend from 3 to 6 p.m., Friday, Oct. 16, at the Ocean Glass Inn on Rehoboth Avenue Extended across from the Crystal restaurant.
First responders will reap the rewards of the musical event from noon to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Sat. Oct. 16. The Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Department at 219 Rehoboth Ave. will host the 4th Annual Red Hot Firehouse Jazz event featuring the smokin’ hot sounds of The Bill Dilks Hammond B3 Trio, back by popular demand. People say they’ve never heard anyone burnin’ up the B3 like Bill, and when two incredible jazz cats play alongside him, alto saxman “Ace” Vince Lardear and legendary Philly drummer Greg McDonald, they create a 3-alarm fire. Bringing on more blazing classics will be guitarist Matt Wolfe, Cody Leavel on tenor sax and Delaware bassist Ed Dawley. Tickets are $30 at the door or online at rehobothbeachfire.com or truebluejazz.org. All event proceeds will be donated to the fire department.
Those who want company while watching the livestreaming events Friday and Saturday can join the watch party at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel, 2 Olive Ave. at the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk Plaza is creating a comfortable and safety-compliant lounge where patrons can view the livestream on the big screen while having cocktails and light fare, all oceanside. Patrons can also choose to enjoy dinner at Victoria’s restaurant and then join the watch party. For more information and tickets, go to boardwalkplaza.com.
The third way to enjoy the festival is the hybrid version – catch some live music early or late, get a fabulous meal and cocktails in one of the gourmet sponsor restaurant locations and still enjoy the livestream performances from either the live watch party at the Boardwalk Plaza or from the comfort of home, hotel room or guest house.
The healing power of music is something desperately needed now. The young people who benefit from all of the festival’s youth jazz programs need the community’s support. To make a tax-deductible contribution right now, go to truebluejazz.org.