Fredericton / Blog / 201805 / Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival – the best International Festival on the East Coast!

Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival – the best International Festival on the East Coast!

Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival – the best International Festival on the East Coast!

The full Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival 2018 schedule has now been revealed and individual show tickets are available for purchase. Music lovers everywhere rejoice! Harvest has something special lined up for us this September. Buy your tickets, book your hotel rooms & babysitters and make whatever other arrangements need making because you won’t want to miss this! Fredericton will be alive with music Tuesday, September 11 to Sunday, September 16 and we’ll all want to be part of it!

The 28th annual festival is poised to deliver one of the finest collections of musicians spanning a variety of genres. With something for everyone to get excited about, the festival has lined up an impressive diversity of acts. The depth of talent (and associated accolades!) in this lineup is incredible. There is so much that can (and should be) said for each artist appearing but I can’t possibly cover each individually in this post so let me mention a few here to get us started:

This year’s festival headliner Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats is one of the hottest bands in music today. They will bring us a hard-swinging, house-rocking performance steeped in vintage R&B, soul and proto rock n’ roll. Front man Nathaniel Rateliff’s soulful vocals and poignant lyrics pair brilliantly with his big band (8 members complete with a swaggering horn section!) is sure to have the blues tent rocking on Friday night.

Also on Friday night, the legendary Mavis Staples known for her soulful R&B sounds as well her activism is sure to impress everyone in the big tent with her energy and passion. For decades Mavis has been singing truth and her last release If All I Was Was Black was created in collaboration with Jeff Tweedy and reflects her view on what’s happening in America today. Be sure to go to her website to read her bio to get some background on Mavis. I feel sure you’ll be impressed, inspired and in turn very excited to know she’ll be in Fredericton this fall.  

Saturday night will have everyone moving & grooving to the sound of southern rock party band Blackberry Smoke.  The Atlanta quintet is always on the move travelling the world and continuously looking to explore new ideas in their work. They made a huge impression on all who saw them in their last performance at Harvest and you can be sure the Blues tent will be jam packed for their return.

The beloved hardcore troubadour Steve Earle & The Dukes had such a great experience at last year’s festival the band immediately signed up for their return. Steve Earle’s 2017 collection, So You Wannabe an Outlaw, is homage to outlaw music in which he admits he was looking to unapologetically ‘channel’ Waylon Jennings as best he could. He never disappoints in his performance as he educates us in real outlaw fashion.

Newfoundland’s musical treasure Alan Doyle has brought much joy through his music as front man to Great Big Sea and now through his well-established solo career. He’ll share his important message of love and acceptance all the while having us dancing and singing along.

PEI’s sweetheart Rose Cousins is a master at performing her songs with a haunting voice that cuts straight to your heart and has you in tears however her sense of humour between songs provides the most beautiful balance. We all walk away feeling better for the experience and feeling more alive for having gotten in touch with our emotions. She recently won two ECMA awards for her latest release of the exquisite album Natural Conclusion which also earned a 2018 Grammy nomination and Juno nomination for Songwriter of the Year. Rose will perform at the Fredericton Playhouse on the Friday night.

A special feature, for the first time Harvest will have an ‘Artist at Large’ - Brandon “Taz” Niederauer.  The unbelievable 14-year-old guitarist from Brooklyn has appeared at the last two festivals with his band but this time around will exclusively be surprise “guesting” with musical friends old and new throughout the weekend. Watch for him!

The list of acts also includes a great mix of local greats and international stars: Turkuaz, Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds, Anders Osborne, Elliott Brood, Rich Aucoin, The Legendary Downchild Blues Band, Five Alarm Funk, Southern Avenue, Dwayne Gretzky Plays The Tragically Hip, MonkeyJunk, The Roots of Music Big Band from New Orleans, Ross Neilsen Band, Cécile Doo-Kingué, Grand Theft Bus, Stephen Lewis, Downtown Blues Band, Theresa Malenfant & The Instigators, John Campbelljohn w/ Matt Sobbs, The Hypochondriacs, Ian Janes, David Vest, Aquakultre, Amanda Jackson Band, SG & the Tone Kings, Shrimp Daddy & The Sharpshooters, Kendra Gale Band, Buck Tingley, The Crossroad Devils, Motherhood, Joyful Noise and Sorrey

 “…a massive gathering of talent that will deliver a week full of Harvest’s trademark magical moments and one that once again firmly secures New Brunswick as a top tier destination on the North American festival circuit.”

Learn more about Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival 2018 on their website as well as the Facebook page where they’ve been posting great introductions to all the bands.

I encourage you to leave us a note in the comments and tell us who you are excited to see and also feel free to tell us why we should be excited too.