Walter Beasley to headline Onset Beach Jazz Festival

By Rishi Sidhu | Feb 09, 2012
Courtesy of: Walter Beasley Walter Beasley

Walter Beasley, top-selling saxophonist and professor at Berklee College of Music, will headline this summer's Onset Beach Jazz Festival on Saturday, July 21.

"When people heard that Walter Beasley was coming," said founder and organizer Mikelyn Roderick, "they [started] booking hotels [in and around Wareham] from Boston and Philadelphia."

Beasley has won Outstanding Jazz Artist and Jazz Album of the Year from the Boston Music Awards and is "one of the top ten highest-selling African American saxophonists in the world since 1998" according to Berklee College of Music's website.

Roderick said she thinks Beasley's presence at the Festival will help give Onset the credit it deserves.

"Onset is a hidden gem," Roderick explained. "We've got to make people want to come here."

The first Onset Beach Jazz Festival was held in 2010, but was canceled in 2011 due to fundraising issues.

The fundraising committee has already raised $3,000 for this year's festival and Roderick is focusing on getting corporate sponsorships. She added that she is thinking about repeating her successful "Chicken and Waffles Old School R&B" fundraiser again.

"It's always done well and people like it so we may do it again," Roderick said.

There is also a raffle for which A.D. Makepeace has already donated baskets. Other prizes will be for gas, groceries, and other gift cards for "things that people need," Roderick said.

Prizes for the raffle will be given in May, but people can buy raffle tickets from now until then.

To buy raffle tickets, or if you are vendor who would like to participate in the festival, contact Mikelyn Roderick by phone at 508-317-9388 or via e-mail at onsetbeachjazzfestival@gmail.com.

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