Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival set for 23rd year
This year, the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival will be celebrating its 23rd year of bringing live jazz music to the Delaware coast.
“Twenty-three years ago, it started as a local Rehoboth Beach musical event, trying to build shoulder-season business,” explained Leon Galitzin, who serves as the vice president of the festival’s board. “What came out of a very small-scale effort is now known as one of the top 10 live jazz events in the United States.”
The festival will run from Oct. 11 through Oct. 14, at four venues — Cape Henlopen High School, Epworth United Methodist Church, Timothy’s Taproom and the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center — and will feature more than 22 artists from all over the world.
“I think the overall hallmark of what we do is try to exceed the joy of expectations,” said Galitzin, noting that people travel from at least 10 surrounding states to attend the festival.
This year, there will be 16 indoor, ticketed shows, featuring Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated artists.
“We’ve had these huge names in entertainment,” he said. “We have offered our attendees every year something a little bit better, someone a little bit better, and now it’s gotten to the point where they know they’ll be getting the very best.”
Galizin estimated that 20,000 people will be traveling to the area this weekend, and he said he hopes that they will take advantage of the festival and the area’s businesses. The festival has an “around town” schedule, through which local eateries will have musical guests and food specials during the weekend’s festivities.
“This is probably going to be the largest business outreach we’ve done to date,” he said.
A free outdoor family concert will be held Oct. 13 at the Village of Five Points in Lewes, from noon to 4 p.m. Galitzin said that, throughout the family-friendly event, there will be food and vendors, a magic show, face painting, clowns and music provided by the Fralinger Mummers Sting Band and the ZOE Band.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” he said. “We should have close to 1,000 people there, and a lot of them aren’t going to buy tickets to go to any of the Jazz Festival events, but they will want to be outside and with their families, hearing great music and enjoying themselves. That’s what the free family concert does.”
Galitzin said that the festival, as a nonprofit, is big on putting money back into the community, having donated close to $50,000 toward breast and prostate cancer issues in the state of Delaware.
“Cancer in Southern Delaware is a very high-focused issue. For quite some time, Delaware was No. 5 in the United States for the contraction of all cancers,” he said, noting that the intention behind the donations was to help fight cancers in both men and women, and that more men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer. “It became apparent to us that the world is all about pink, breast cancer issues, and nobody was paying attention to the men dying with prostate cancer.”
He added that the festival hopes to also get permission for some of the jazz artists to perform at Beebe Medical Center for those who are ill, to further give back to the community.
“Two of our saxophone players have asked if they could get permission to play their saxes on a muted level and walk through the halls of Beebe while people are trying to heal, and let them hear some good, soft music,” said Galitzin. “Music is equally as healing as is medicine. But, above all, music heals the soul, and a lot of times that will generate a quicker and better healing process.”
For more information, or to purchase tickets to festival performances, visit www.rehobothjazz.com.