Backed by a new board of directors and plenty of enthusiasm, organizers of the Bar Harbor Jazz Festival hope this year’s event marks a turnaround for the event, which began with such promise six years ago.
One of the organizers, Ned Ferm, has been involved in past festivals as a musician. Frustrated by the uneven quality and lack of focus that marked recent festivals, Mr. Ferm this year decided to take over the reins.
“Rather than being negative as in past years, I wanted to make positive changes,” Mr. Ferm said. Felicia Fowler is assisting him in the effort.
Mr. Ferm is a Mount Desert Island High School graduate who went on to attend the jazz studies program at William Paterson University in New Jersey. He now splits his time between Europe and the East Coast, teaching and performing on tenor saxophone and flute. In short, he is extremely qualified to get the festival back on track.
“I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t,” he said.
The festival kicks off tonight (Thursday, Aug. 20) and runs through the following Thursday, Aug. 27. The majority of the performances are at the Bar Harbor Village Green and Agamont Park. All are free, with the exception of an Aug. 23 swing dance at the Bar Harbor Club. The musicians have been chosen to reflect a variety of jazz styles.
For additional details, see the Mount Desert Islander on newsstands Wednesday afternoon.