New Bedford Jazz Festival (May 18th)


In cooperation with Bridgewater Credit Union as its major corporate sponsor, Your Theatre, Inc. has announced it will produce New Bedford’s first-ever jazz festival.

Scheduled for May 18th from 6-10 pm at Custom House Square in New Bedford’s Historic District and National Park, Jazzfest will be designed to create an upscale annual music event featuring instrumentalists and singers from the regional and national jazz scene. Get your tickets online here.

Headlining the event will be Gerry Gibbs and the Electric Thrasher Orchestra featuring Nicholas Payton and Dave Liebman. Whaling City Sound recording artist Gerry Gibbs has been playing Miles Davis’ music for over 20 years and recorded his own tribute to the legendary CD Bitches Brew entitled Gerry Gibbs and the Electric Thrasher Orchestra Play Miles Davis 1967-1975 in 2010.

Nicholas Payton, a New Orleans native, was a musical prodigy who sat in with local bands at age nine. He plays nine instruments and won a 1977 Grammy for his collaboration with Doc Cheatham.

Saxophonist Dave Liebman, recipient of the National Endowment of the Arts Master of Jazz Award in 2011, became a member of Miles Davis’ group from 1970 through 1974. He followed that gig with a world tour with pianist Chick Corea in 1977.

Opening the evening will be the swinging big band sounds of the Southcoast Jazz Orchestra. Founded in 2009 by trumpeter Bob Williams, proprietor of  Dartmouth’s Symphony Shop, and drummer Neil Sylvia, the SJO is a traditional jazz ensemble that can trace its roots back to 1930’s and the Swing Era.

According to Eric Paradis, the event’s chairman and a member of Your Theatre, Inc.’s Board of Directors, a main stage will feature headline acts, while small ensembles will appear at a neighboring venue. “This will give patrons a Friday evening of four to five hours of entertainment,” Mr. Paradis notes.

Adjacent to the main stage tent will be smaller tents housing local food and beverage vendors as well as the work of artists from Southeastern Massachusettsand the surrounding area.

In addition, after the performances patrons will be invited to visit local nightlife spots that will be offered the opportunity to showcase some of the evening’s musical talent, Mr. Paradis adds, “It will keep the evening’s vibrancy alive and downtown New Bedford buzzing,” he says.

“Anyone seeking additional information, can ‘Like’ us on Facebook: New Bedford JazzFest,” Mr. Paradis adds.

“This was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up – to be a part of an event that will help draw attention to the burgeoning art scene in New Bedford is just what we were looking for,” says Mark Campanale, Director of Marketing at Bridgewater Credit Union.

Located in the auditorium complex at St. Martin’s Church,136 Rivet St., Your Theatre, Inc. was founded in 1946 by the late Mary A. Smith and is incorporated as a non-profit community theatre.

The award-winning company ( enhances the cultural life of New Bedford, Southeastern Massachusetts, and nearby communities through the study and regular presentation of dramatic productions and other programs of high quality and professional standards.

The company also develops and encourages artistic talent through the establishment and operation of workshops, theatre productions and other dramatic training opportunities.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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  1. John Harrison lll

    Just curios on the lineup of artists and if I can be of any assistence please email or call.508-479-7261 Thanks>>>>>>>>>>>> JH

  2. More info on lineup coming soon, Like us on Facebook to stay up to date or visit for more information everybody!!

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