Jazz, Funk & Blues kicks off Sept. 5

Mavis Staples.

Mavis Staples.

Contributed photo.

Jazz, Funk & Blues Weekend returns to Ridgefield Sept. 5-8, featuring performers from both Connecticut and beyond, with headliner Mavis Staples.

The event kicks off Thursday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m., in Ballard Park with a free CHIRP concert by The Fairfield Counts, a 19-member big band orchestra. Attendees should bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets. No tickets are required.

On Friday, Sept. 6, from 3 to 5 p.m., the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum will feature Ike Sturm, a bassist, composer, and music director for jazz at Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan. Admission is free.

That evening, Ridgefield Playhouse will host an Evening of Art, Wine & Jazz with a performance by Jane Monheit, a singer and recording artist whose music has topped Billboard jazz charts. There will be a complimentary wine tasting by Pera Wines and a pre-show BBQ courtesy of BMW of Ridgefield for all ticketholders, along with an art exhibit by Karen Beck Fink before the show. Tickets are available at bit.ly/2xKfShA.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, from noon to 5 p.m., the Litchfield Jazz Camp, fresh from four weeks of highly intensive training, will perform in front of Ridgefield’s Town Hall. The Carlos Manuel Gomez Quartet will fill Ridgefield Library with rhythmic Cuban jazz at 4 p.m.; it is free of charge courtesy of Friends of Ridgefield. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church will offer jazz-and-funk infused vesper service featuring St. Stephen’s own Minister of Music Alcee Chriss III. Alex Silver, an up and coming jazz saxophonist who studied at The New School of Music, is among the group of New York- based musicians who also will lead this service. Words and music all center around the theme of creation, Saturday, Sept. 7, at 5:30 p.m.

At 8 p.m. Sept. 7, Ridgefield Playhouse will feature Grammy Award-winner Mavis Staples, who is both a Blues and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and civil rights icon. Tickets are available at bit.ly/2LN8j1N.

The weekend caps off Sunday, Sept. 8, when the Lounsbury House on Main Street presents the Brian Butler Quartet from 2-3 p.m. on the front lawn.

The Jazz, Funk & Blues Weekend is a collaboration between participating venues and the Ridgefield Economic & Community Development Commission. For more information, visit jazzfunk.org.

For specific show information, contact individual venues or Geoffrey Morris of the Economic & Community Development Commission, gmorris@townvibe.com.