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Lifestyle

September 19, 2013

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Live music, happy people and food: What’s not to love?

The Merrimack Valley Jazz Festival returns to Lowell this weekend, bringing great music to local audiences.

“They are all top-of-the-line professional performers,” says producer Bobby Kinney of the lineup of performers. “The first year we had an amazing turnout with more than 3,000 people. So we decided to continue with it.”

Three years ago, the Merrimack Valley Jazz Festival was showcased on the waterfront across from Heritage Farm Ice Cream in Lowell. The big crowd helped organizers win a state grant to set up a website for the event and make a change of venue to Boarding House Park.

“Having Lowell be home to the jazz festival is a natural fit for the region,” says presenting sponsor Debbie Belanger. “Jazz is a niche market that has a strong following and people really enjoy the music. We have no doubt that this event will continue to grow in scale year after year.”

Many of musical talents who performed in the past couple of festivals are returning, including multi-styled vocalist and pianist Amanda Carr, who Kinney considers to be a highlight.

Carr has good things to say about the event, too.

“I am absolutely remarkably impressed with his perseverance in pulling such an amazing show together,” Carr says of Kinney. “He has managed to do something that few people can accomplish, and I am so grateful to be a part of it.”

In addition to The Amanda Carr Quintet, performances include UMass Lowell Faculty Jazz Ensemble, The Greg Hopkins Jazz Orchestra, , Adagio BIG Band, Henri Smith New Orleans Friends and Flavours, and special guests The Adagio Dancers.

If You Go What: 2013 Merrimack Valley Jazz Festival, featuring UMass Lowell Faculty Jazz Ensemble, The Greg Hopkins Jazz Orchestra, The Amanda Carr Quintet, Adagio BIG Band, Henri Smith New Orleans Friends and Flavours, and special guests, The Adagio Dancers. Where: Boarding House Park, 40 French St., Lowell. (In case of rain,the show will be moved across the street to the C.W. Irish Auditorium.) When: Noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21. How: This festival is free, To learn more about the event, visit www.merrimackvalleyjazz.org.

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