Featuring the Queen of Boogie Woogie piano Wendy DeWitt with drummer Kirk Harwood
Saturday, May 26, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Sonoma Mendocino Coast Whale & Jazz Festival presents Lighthouse & Boogie Woogie featuring International Boogie Woogie master Wendy DeWitt, known for her powerhouse left hand, paired with the brilliant, jazz-trained drummer Kirk Harwood (formerly with Norton Buffalo, Huey Lewis and Roy Rogers) make for a high energy duo capable of holding its own on any stage with power, pizzazz and presence. They will perform on the Light Station grounds with the 115′ tall Lighthouse Tower as the backdrop.
DeWitt performed for four years with Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, and with Charlie Musselwhite, Otis Rush, Big Time Sarah, and Jimmy Thackery. She has appeared at the Cincinnati Blues Fest, Boston Symphony Hall and the San Diego Museum of Art with Hadda Brooks in one of her last performances. DeWitt also performed at the San Francisco Blues Festival, St. Croix Blues and Heritage Fest, Les Nuits de Boogie Woogie in Paris and festivals in Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary and Belgium. A festival producer as well, DeWitt produces the Queens of Boogie Woogie and co-produces the San Francisco International Boogie Woogie Festival. Introduced to the blues at the age of 10, with help from Western Swing Hall-of-Famer Tommy Thomsen, Wendy DeWitt’s passion for music led her to Chicago Blues and Texas Boogie Woogie, with influences ranging from Otis Spann, Memphis Slim, and Professor Longhair to Katie Webster and Bessie Smith.
DeWitt teaches workshops at JazzSchool in Berkeley, California, and the duo has inspired students in Centrum in Port Townsend, Washington, Augusta Blues Week and, in conjunction with the US Embassy, Budapest, Hungary. In 2012 and 2014 Wendy and Kirk Harwood represented The Golden Gate Blues Society in the International Blues Challenge, Memphis and were 2014 Finalists. The duo’s third album, “Getaway,” maximizes Kirk’s jazz and Big Band background, creating a compelling mix of modern and traditional blues.
“All the cool kids already know DeWitt is one smoking boogie woogie piano/organ gal and it’s time for the word to spread beyond her regional awards.” – Chris Spector, Midwest Record
“She has rightly earned the title of “Queen of Boogie” in the Bay Area and beyond.” – Bernie Butcher, Blue Wing Festival