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Lafayette will virtually corner the market on major blues and jazz events this month, hosting the first-ever local Blues Festival 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, and the 16th Annual Easton Jazz Festival – featuring legendary saxophonist Phil Woods and piano phenom Marc Copland – 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 16, at the Williams Center for the Arts.

Tickets for each cost $20 and can be ordered by calling 610-330-5009. Proceeds from both events will benefit the Easton Boys & Girls Club.

In addition, there will be a pre-show cocktail party on Nov. 15 in the Wilson Room of the Robert E. ’32 and Hazel E. Pfenning Alumni Center, Hamilton Street, with music provided by Lafayette students. Tickets for the party cost $10.

The Blues Festival features vocalist Shemekia Copeland, who made her recording debut in 1997 at just 18 years old with the album Turn The Heat Up. She has collected four W.C. Handy Awards, five Living Blues Awards, a Grammy nomination, and a slew of fans. Daughter of the late Texas blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, she has been compared to singers such as Koko Taylor, Etta James, and Tina Turner.

“Copeland doesn’t come across as an entertainer so much as a force of nature,” says The Washington Post. “The sound of her rafter-rattling voice — a dark, thundering alto — generates waves of energy and emotion. Impressive, fresh and modern, she has poise to match her power, and commands attention as few of her peers do.”

Part of the exciting double bill at the Easton Jazz Festival, the Phil Woods Quintet includes trumpeter Brian Lynch, pianist Alain Mallet, drummer Bill Goodwin, and bassist Steve Gilmore. Few of today’s jazz musicians can equal the artistic journeys that define the career of Woods, from his 1956 DownBeat New Star Award to his 1994 induction into the American Jazz Hall of Fame, and beyond. Woods has shared the stage and the recording studio with a host of major figures in jazz, including Thelonius Monk, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Michel Legrand, Stephane Grapelli, and Milt Jackson.

Saxophonist-turned-pianist Marc Copland first gained public attention in a trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Billy Hart. He has toured and recorded with Randy Brecker, John Abercrombie, Kenny Wheeler, and Dave Liebman. praises his “harmonic sophistication, his touch, and control of dynamics.” Copland will perform with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Jochen Rueckert.

This is the first time that Lafayette has hosted the Easton Jazz Festival, serving as co-producer with Boys & Girls Club of Easton.

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