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35th Annual Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) Jazz Festival to be held September 7,8&9, 2012
(Published: August 29, 2012)

The Magic is in the air, permeating the town and jazz lovers everywhere! Preparation for the 35th annual Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts is in full swing - with swing being the operative word!

Nestled in the gateway to the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania is the sleepy, historic, small town of Delaware Water Gap. Each year for the past thirty-five years, on the weekend after labor day, the borough erupts in an energetic celebration of its rich jazz heritage with an Arts and Jazz Festival presented by local musicians, artists and volunteers.

The Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) was founded in 1978 by world-renowned jazz artist and composer Phil Woods, trombonist Rick Chamberlain and local propriétaire du saloon Ed Joubert. The idea was, and still is, to share with their community the art created by the many world-class musicians and artists that call the area home. The premise was simple: musicians are local or locally connected and everyone plays for the same small honorarium, which has enabled a sponsor-free event for 35 years!

Friday night events are held inside the local museum and church, then Saturday and Sunday on the big stage - built on the site of Fred Waring's Castle Inn Music Hall. Seating is on the great slope overlooking the site (don't forget to bring a low lawn chair and blanket); sound and lighting are world class; artist and craft tents line the street with color; a children's area is packed with games, crafts and performances for the kids; faces are painted; strolling bands entertain the far reaches of the crowd; food vendors cook up great food and a large tent is behind the stage in the event of inclement weather (the festival goes on rain or shine). COTA is an event that locals and jazz lovers in the know do not miss.

On September 7th the festival opens with a music motif art show at the Dutot Museum (6pm; no cover); continues from 7-9:30 with theater, dance and music at the Church of the Mountain (tickets $10) and then, of course, music following at the Deer Head Inn - the home of jazz in the Poconos for over 60 years.

Saturday begins on the main stage at noon and continues until 9 pm featuring world-class musicians including: Adam Niewood playing Niewood, Craig Kastelnik on B3 with the vocals of Pat Flaherty, Fernando Otero and Nick Danielson featuring contemporary Argentinean music, The Jazz Artists Repertory Orchestra, "Sweet" Sue Terry & Dangerous Sax, Cohn-Green-Walsh, Nellie McKay, Phil Woods and the COTA Festival Orchestra, and closes with the B3 swing of the SheilaMark Band.

Sunday begins with the (free) Jazz Mass (at 10AM) featuring a full choir, big band and soloists, then continues at noon with Nancy Reed and David Liebman, Bob Dorough, Spencer Reed's "Not All" Blues Band, The COTA Cats Scholastic Big Band, Sherrie Maricle and Five Play, Eric Doney and Zach Brock, Lineage with Dave Liebman, Mike Stephans and COTAlums, and closes with Vinny Bianchi and La Cuchina - the perfect way to dance the night away.

Saturday and Sunday tickets: a one-day ticket is $25.00, a 2-day ticket (available Saturday only) is $40.00. Students and seniors are $15.00 per day. Children between 5 and 12 years are $10.00 per day, while those under 5 are free.

More Information: https://www.cotajazz.org

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