Blues Legend John Hammond Appearing At Virginia Blues and Jazz Festival At Garth Newel Music Center in Hot Springs

Warm Springs, Va – Blues legend John Hammond is coming to the 6th annual Virginia Blues and Jazz Festival at Garth Newel Music Center in Hot Springs. Hammond is a late edition to this year’s lineup. But better late than never according to Dick Riley, Garth Newel’s Executive Director.

“We are just incredibly excited about the acquisition of on our Saturday June 11th outdoor stage lineup” says Riley. “We were contacted by his manager and he had a date fall through and his routing took him nearby Garth Newel, so we were able to pick up a man who’s a legend in the blues world. We just couldn’t be happier to welcome him back to Garth Newel – it’ll be his third visit.”

On Saturday June 11 bring your own blanket or chair and enjoy the music outside on the lawn. The Bert Carlson Quartet will open the festival on Saturday.

“The second act is a fusion band from Los Angeles called Tizer” he says Riley. “Tizer is the last name of the leader of the group, Lao Tizer, he’s a keyboard player. They play just a wonderful sort of up tempo variety of world fusion jazz.”

Approximately 1500 people usually attend the Virginia Blues and Jazz Festival and more volunteer help is needed for Saturday June 11. Volunteers get free admission, a t-shirt and a meal.

“After John Hammond finishes his set, we’re going to have Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout” says Riley. “Some of the biggest names in the harmonica world are going to be there; Mark Hummel, Jerry Portnoy, Phil Wiggins, Steve Guyger & Little Charlie Baty.”

Wrapping up the music on Saturday will be grammy nominated blues guitarist Duke Robillard. The Blues Music Awards have named Robillard “Best Blues Guitarist” four out of five years and B.B. King has called him “One of the great players.”
The Virginia Blues and Jazz Festival gets underway Friday evening June 10 with modern jazz from Chris Potter Underground.

“Chris Potter is a saxophonist, probably the premiere young saxophonist in the world today” he says.

The festival wraps up on Sunday June 12 with a New York Jazz brunch.

“The musicians involved in that one will be the Steve Hudson Chamber Ensemble” says Riley. “They’re from New York; they play a really, really cool mix of jazz influenced, classical, ragtime [music]; they have an amazing range.”

The Virginia Blues and Jazz Festival is Friday June 10 through Sunday June 12. For ticket information or to volunteer call Garth Newel Music Center at 540-839-5018 or go online to

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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