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9th annual True Blue Jazz Festival underway in Lewes and Rehoboth

The 9th annual True Blue Jazz Festival is underway in Sussex County.


The True Blue Jazz Festival opened Wednesday with a focus on young performers. “True Blue Jazz Kids” at Bethany Blues in Lewes featured young jazz students from across Sussex and Kent Counties.

And one of the festival’s co-founders Peggy Raley says connecting kids with jazz is part of its mission.


“Jazz is America’s one true art form that belongs to us and nobody else. And the whole mission of what we do with True Blue Jazz is preservation through performance,: said Raley. "We do lots of programs with the kids in schools, we take our headliners into the schools, we provide instruments to kids in need, we do scholarships, we do special instruction to kids who need it. So it’s about keeping this beautiful art form alive.”

The festival continues through Sunday with 40 free and ticketed shows at 12 venues in the Lewes and Rehoboth area. 


Among the venues hosting shows are the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel in Rehoboth, the Rehoboth Beach Fire House, as well as Bethany Blues and Lefty’s Alley and Eats in Lewes.


Raley says it's wonderful to bring live music back despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


“Music heels. And music is a very powerful thing," said Raley. "So as we have moved forward, we participated in International Jazz Day April 30. We did a show out at Nassau Valley Vineyard. And people literally just…..some people cried, they were so overjoyed to be able to experience live music again. Music is a very powerful thing.”

The full line-up is available at the festival's website.


Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.