Deer Isle Jazz Festival

featuring Herlin Riley

23rd Annual Deer Isle Jazz Festival

The Deer Isle Jazz Festival returns to the historic Stonington Opera House for its 23rd year. “The Groove Master,” Herlin Riley is widely considered one of the best drummers in any genre of music performing today.

The longtime drummer for the legendary Ahmad Jamal and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, now leads two groups, his quintet, and the New Orleans Groove Masters featuring himself, Jason Marsalis, and Shannon Powell.

Herlin’s most recent album Perpetual Optimism reunites the quintet of rising stars that Riley assembled for his Mack Avenue Records debut, New Direction

July 15-16, 2023

Herlin Riley poses with drumsticks in hand

Herlin Riley Quintet
The great New Orleans drummer, Herlin Riley, who has worked with Ahmad Jamal and Wynton Marsalis among other jazz stars, leads his quintet through a program of modern jazz standards and original compositions.

Opening band: Yvonne Rogers Trio

Herlin Riley plays the drums

Photo credit: Tod A. Smith

Herlin Riley’s Traditional New Orleans Jazz Band
The great drummer Herlin Riley, who was born, raised and still lives in New Orleans, presents an evening of traditional songs and Crescent City musical gems.

Opening band: George Stevens Academy’s Deep Space Jazz Combo

About Herlin Riley

Since coming of age in the nurturing environment of a very musical family and a distinguished bloodline of drummers, New Orleans native Herlin Riley emerged from that most creative era of all things rhythmic in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, to enliven the ensembles of such influential and demanding improvisers as pianist Ahmad Jamal and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis through his commanding yet elegant rhythmic presence.

His authoritative style of melodic percussion is deeply imbued in the fertile creative soil of the Crescent City, encompassing as it does the entire length and breadth of America’s ongoing musical journey.

Yvonne Rogers Trio

Yvonne Rogers is a pianist, composer, and multimedia artist from Penobscot, Maine, now based in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up on the rural Maine coast, Yvonne began writing music that followed the meditative patterns and systems of nature before having any conventional understanding of theory or harmony. Fascinated by the sonic landscape and acoustics of her home, she carries this influence with her no matter where she is in the world. Rogers returns to Opera House Arts and is joined by Lesley Mok and Rafael Enciso.

Five high school students play jazz musical instruments

Deep Space, a award-winning high school Jazz Combo, comes to Opera House Arts from George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Maine. This year, the ensemble is comprised of Austin Chandler (bass), Andy Hipsky (guitar), Tony Esposito (drums), Jenna Blodgett (sax/vox), Jillian Eldridge (sax), Iris Kimball (flute/trombone), and Mattea Black (keys/vox).