The sounds of blues and jazz will permeate through Olde Gahanna in less than 30 days as the annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival is set for June 20-22 at Creekside, 123 Mill St.
Presented by the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau, the 16th annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival is a weekend-long celebration of world-class music featuring local, regional and national blues and jazz acts on five different stages, along with an assortment of food, artisans, family activities, entertainment and amusement rides.
CVB director Laurie Jadwin said a highlight of the 2014 festival will be Grammy-winning, internationally known acoustic blues artist John Hammond, who will headline the Electric Blues Stage from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 21.
Hammond began his recording and performing career in 1962 and briefly featured both Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton in his groups. He also has performed and recorded with such well-known artists as Duane Allman, the Band, Charles Brown, Mike Bloomfield, JJ Cale, John Lee Hooker, Dr. John (Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.), G. Love, Charlie Musselwhite, Duke Robillard and Tom Waits.
Hammond has won one Grammy Award, has been nominated for seven others and has recorded 35 albums. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011.
On the jazz side, Jadwin said, Creekside is pleased to feature smooth-jazz artists Elizabeth Mis with the Urban Jazz Coalition from 9 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 21, on the Jazz Stage.
Mis, a Cleveland native, started playing clarinet at age 9 before switching her focus to sax a few years later.
The 23-year-old saxophone-playing sensation has recorded one album, and she has performed in many high-profile concerts and jazz festivals throughout the country, including the all-star KSBR radio station bash in southern California and the Bob Hope Theatre in Stockton, Calif., where she opened for Gentlemen of the Night (Marion Meadows, Michael Lington and Paul Taylor).
The central Ohio-based but nationally known Urban Jazz Coalition has made a strong impression on the smooth-jazz music scene, propelling its last four releases to achieve "Top 50" status on international air play charts and to generate worldwide distribution of the group's music catalogue.
Jadwin said the award-winning festival has put Gahanna on the map for blues and jazz enthusiasts.
"Even if you don't know that much about blues or jazz, you will immediately fall in love with the music and performers," she said. "Creekside gets in your blood. We've had patrons come in from all over the country year after year, and one of the favorite musicians, Sean Carney, comes in from Spain every year just to get his Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival fix."
The 2014 lineup builds on the great history of blues and jazz that's been played over the previous 15 years and includes dozens of blues and jazz acts on its five stages: Electric Blues Stage, Jazz Stage, Creekside Community Stage, Acoustic Alley and Musical Discovery Zone.
Other scheduled performers include the Colin Lazarski Quartet; the Columbus Jazz Orchestra; Marvin Gaye Tribute with Flippo, featuring Ron Jenkins; Drifter Kings; Noah Wotherspoon; Terry Davidson and the Gears; Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers; Hootie McBoob; McGuffey Lane; Sean Carney; Willie Phoenix Band; the John Schwab Party Band; and such local as including Salty Caramels, Forest & The Evergreens and Angela Perley & the Howlin' Moons.
New to this year's festival is a hospitality package, an offer featuring eight wristbands good for all three days of the festival, two VIP parking passes with access to the VIP shuttle, use of the hospitality area with an air-conditioned rest area and restrooms, complimentary water and snacks, and access to a premium bar, all for $250.
Jadwin said a new amusement-ride vendor has been contracted to further enhance the festival's family-friendly atmosphere. She said the festival would feature children's programs on the Musical Discovery Zone Stage on Saturday and Sunday.
An estimated 35,000 people are expected for the three-day festival that will feature more than 90 hours of live music.
Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, June 20; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, June 21; and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 22.
Tickets cost $5 for general admission. Children ages 12 and younger and members of the military with their immediate family will be admitted for free. An appropriate military ID is required.
Additionally, $12 weekend passes may be pre-purchased at the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau through June 13.
Free admission will be offered between noon and 1:30 p.m. Sunday for each person who donates at least one nonperishable food item to benefit Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
For more information, call the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau at 614-418-9114.