Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Weekend events bring a marriage of jazz and folk - Gazette

Annual concerts in Silver Spring and Takoma Park expected to draw thousands

by Jeremy Arias | Staff Writer | Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

A weekend of music, food and fun is ahead with the 5th annual Silver Spring Jazz Festival on Saturday and the 31st Takoma Park Folk Festival on Sunday.

The jazz festival, with a new location behind the Lee Building at the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Colesville Road, seeks to bring both entertainment and economic benefits to Silver Spring, while Takoma's folk festival is being billed as a more environmentally conscious celebration this year.

Jazz festival spokeswoman Susan Hoffman expects about 25,000 to attend the event, which will feature local talent like Gail Shipp of Washington, D.C., and Marcus Johnson of Silver Spring. This year's headliner is the Mingus Big Band out of New York.

Downtown businesses are excited by the sales opportunity thousands of visitors will bring.

"It brings in people who might not have been to Silver Spring before," said Jane Redicker, president of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce. "It introduces them to the area and we want them to come back. We look at the jazz festival as both a fabulous arts an entertainment event but also as an economic development stimulus."

The Takoma Park Folk Festival is once again expanding its green footprint. This year, Pepco will distribute several thousand free energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs. In previous years, the event has targeted increasing the recycling of vendor cooking oil and waste products, according to festival Chairman Kevin Adler.

"We're just taking advantage of more and more people being aware of these issues and with their help we're able to do more about it," Adler said.

The folk festival will also provide a free shuttle bus service from the Takoma Park Metro station and Montgomery College parking garage.

There will also be a benefit to using public transportation to get to the jazz festival, Hoffman said.

"We are urging people to take the Metro," she said, noting that while there are nearby parking garages, it is not uncommon for festival-goers to experience delays when they're ready to leave. "I've always encouraged people to look around and maybe park a few blocks away … they might have to walk a little bit, but it can take so much longer to get out of a garage."

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