Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival set to shake up Fredericton

Fredericton is getting ready to hit the high notes with the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival coming to town this week.

Harvest Jazz and Blues kicks off tonight in Fredericton and will run until Sunday

The 27th Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton runs until Sunday. (CBC)

Fredericton is getting ready to hit the high notes with the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival coming to town this week.

Brent Staeben, Harvest music director, has been looking forward to this night since last year, when he started booking performers.

"You combine that weather with the incredible acts coming to town, with what is by far our largest free schedule ever," he said.   

The 27th Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival runs from Sept. 12 to Sept. 17, and organizers are expecting tens of thousands of people to hit the streets in downtown Fredericton, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.

The festival is also expected to bring in between $8 million and $10 million to the local economy, Staeben said.

Brent Staeben says organizers are ready to go for this year's Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton. (Twitter)

"I think everybody is aware of how big this festival has gotten … we just want to say thank you to the city and all of our fellow residents," he said.  

The festival will kick off Tuesday with a traditional Playhouse performance featuring music performer Martha Wainwright at 8:30 p.m.

Singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright, shown here at CBC in Toronto, opens the festival Tuesday night. (Cathy Irving/CBC)

This year, Queen Street will alsobe closed off on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Starting at noon Friday, buskers will working and stages will be running, which is a first for organizers.

The talent

A big group of blues musicians will appear, including local favourite Matt Andersen & the Bona Fide, who will perform Wednesday at the Moose Light Blues Tent at 10:15 p.m. 

Cape Breton musician Matt Minglewood performs Friday night. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

Muddy Magnolias will be performing just before that at 8:30 p.m.

"It's fantastic the reception those guys have gotten," Staeben said.

Also returning to the Harvest stage is 13-year-old guitar prodigy Brandon (Taz) Niederauer from New York state, who will perform Saturday in the TD TD Mojo Tent at 10:30 p.m. 

Sonya Rae and the Sleepwalkers will perform just before that at 8:45 p.m. and the Ghost of Paul Revere at 7 p.m.

East Coast all-star Matt Minglewood will also return. Minglewood, riding high with the hit song "Amsterdam" from the new album Fly Like Desperadoes, will play Friday in the TD Mojo Tent at 9:30 p.m.

Matt Andersen is expected to perform Tuesday and Wednesday night.

Garrett Mason, Keith Hallett, Christine Campbell, Earle and Coffin, the Gary Sappier Band and as always, the act that has played every Harvest festival from the start, Fredericton's Downtown Blues Band will also be performing.

Steven Page will perform Friday at 6 p.m. in the TD Mojo Tent.

Steven Page, former lead singer with the Barenaked Ladies, performs Friday. ((Nathan Denette/Canadian Press))

Staeben said music lovers should also keep an eye out for artists like the Marcus King Band in the Blues Tent on Friday night, which is expected to be "a real crowd-pleaser."

Atlas Road Crew and Amasa Hines will open for Sloan on Thursday night in the Mojo Tent.

Staeben said tickets are still on sale for events, and volunteers are still needed.

"We always keep 50 tickets at the door, even for sold out shows," he said.

"If you're completely determined to get in … there are 50 tickets available at the door and an hour before the show those 50 tickets go on sale."

With files from Information Morning Fredericton