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Jazz fest draws performance from Grammy Award winner

August 27, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - Parking was at a premium Sunday at the 16th annual Renfrew Jazz Festival.

The vehicles that brought hundreds to the park bore license plates from Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Ominous clouds cleared for the afternoon event, prompting many people to spread out blankets or set up lawn chairs for the free performance by Brian Lynch and Ingrid Jensen. The trumpet players were joined by Paul Bollenback, Ugonna Okegwo and Jon Wikan.

"It's hard to believe, in the middle of Waynesboro, you can hear a Grammy winner," said Dave Kuzner, of Waynesboro.

Kuzner was referring to Lynch, who, in partnership with Eddie Palmieri, won a 2006 Grammy for best Latin jazz album.

Andrew Sussman, a founder of the festival, said he has been trying for years to take advantage of a break in Jensen's schedule to bring her to the festival.

Once he secured her for the 2007 event, he sought to add another trumpeter for the "Trumpet Summit" and scheduled Lynch.

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"Really, they're two of the best jazz trumpet players in the world," Sussman said.

"The caliber of the musicians is just exceptional," said Harriette Mathews, a Carroll Valley, Pa., resident who has attended the festival for five years.

She sat next to Kuzner and his wife, Greta, who were experiencing the festival for the first time.

"Oh, we're coming back, and we're bringing people," Greta Kuzner said.

"We came last year for the first time and said we have to come back every year," said Emile Charest of Greencastle, Pa.

"Last year, it rained a little and we didn't care," Jeannine Charest said.

The pair praised the ambiance.

"You can kick your shoes off and enjoy the music," Emile Charest said.

"Even if you bring children, you can run in the meadow and play games," Jeannine Charest said.

"The setting here is terrific. I would tell (visitors) that this setting, here under the trees ... it's as good as it comes," said Edgar Hykes, a Waynesboro resident who is a member of Renfrew Institute. He and his wife, Ruby, brought their daughter, Lois Rowe, who lives in California.

"It's very nice. I'm enjoying the jazz music," Rowe said.

The musicians, in the tradition of past festivals, hosted a question-and-answer session for the audience at the end of the two-hour performance.

Renfrew Jazz Festival is supported by donations at the event, a Pennsylvania Partner in the Arts grant and several area businesses.

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