17th Annual Deer Isle Jazz Festival: The Campbell Brothers

The Deer Isle Jazz Festival has been breaking boundaries, enriching the state’s cultural life, and filling the summer air with beautiful music since 2001. World-class jazz musicians and fans from all over the New England region travel Down East to spend an evening together in our intimate and acoustically charmed Stonington Opera House.

This year, the Festival is expanding to three nights, at venues across the island. We begin on Friday night the Stonington Opera House with Nicole Mitchell’s ARTIFACTS trio. Saturday night we travel to the Reach Performing Arts Center for an evening with the Campbell Brothers, and Sunday night, finish off you jazz weekend at gWatson Gallery for an intimate evening with the Gary Smulyan Duo.

17th Annual Deer Isle Jazz Festival: The Campbell Brothers

The Campbell Brothers began performing in their father’s church and, as the music has moved from sanctuary to concert hall, the Band has performed for over twenty years at major festivals and venues, including Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Hollywood Bowl, the Newport Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz Fest, the North Sea Jazz Festival and other festivals in Europe.

Based in the African-American gospel tradition, the music includes elements of jazz and blues.  Chuck Campbell has been called the Jimi Hendrix and the Django Reinhardt of the pedal steel guitar.  Combining pedal steel guitars, bass guitar and drums with gutsy gospel vocals brings the ensemble to a level of energy and expression that defies description.   National Public Radio has reported that the Campbell Brothers' music is “a soul-stirring blend of gospel and the power and volume of electric blues, a sound as hot as brimstone that kicks holy butt.”