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Wortley Jazz & Blues Festival Ignites Old South

Five stages, ten bands, 65 local musicians, one day. Wortley Village cordoned off both ends to traffic for the Wortley Village Jazz & Blues Festival, and Old South was transformed into a sea of music fans this past Sunday afternoon.

Hundreds of people filled Wortley Avenue from Elmwood Avenue where the TD Bank and Pharmasave are, all the way down to Tuckey’s Home Hardware and Black Walnut at Craig Street. People in lawn chairs, people with their children, people with their dogs, people from Old South, and people from all over the city – all there to enjoy a beautiful afternoon outdoors in the Forest City and a fantastic lineup of music.

One of the five stages was set up in front of the Wortley Roadhouse, with two great long-time London acts performing – Old Chicago Blues Band Reunion with Doug Varty and Chris Murphy, and Reverend Doug and the Old South Boys. Both bands performed two sets each, and both had the throngs in attendance bouncing and moving.

There was another stage set up in front of Curiosities, that featured two sets each from the Old South Jazz Quartet with Catherine McInnes, and the Hilary Welch Jazz Sextet.

The next stage down was set up in front of the Church Condo’s, where both the Sandy MacKay Jazz Quartet featuring Denise Pelley and the Peter Karle Combo performed twice each as well.

At the end of the barricaded street was another stage in front of Tuckey’s. That stage saw performances from Benoit and Soul Sausage with Cheryl Lescom.

The fifth stage was at The Green, where Gathering On The Green II was running concurrently. The “big” stage featured a performance from the Moonliters Big Band wih Brian Ball, and then two performances later in the day from the fantastic Chuckee Zehr Blues Band.

Add it all up… five stages… ten bands… full afternoon of music… a few thousand people in The Village, and it equals yet another sensational community event put on by the Old South Community Organization (OSCO) and the London Musicians’ Association.

Thanks to the sponsorship of the businesses within the Old South community, the event was a “pay what you can” event with donation boxes being carried around by volunteers. Hopefully everybody dropped a few dollars into the coffers. You were treated to a great afternoon of entertainment in one of London’s finest communities.

It was the eighth time that OSCO have put on the annual event.

Looking forward to number nine.

About Mark Solway

Storyteller. Community builder, content creator, sports journalist, and a proud Londoner for 40 years.

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