MITCHELLVILLE – Rows of people on lawn chairs faced the stage at the Lake Arbor Community Grounds as musicians performed smooth jazz, R&B and funk.
The 2014 Lake Arbor Jazz Festival returned for its fifth year in Mitchellville, giving listeners the chance to hear everything from the exciting sounds of Afro Bop Alliance to the soulful, choir-trained sound of Avery Sunshine. The crowd spent the day dancing and relaxing from the event’s start at noon until it finished at 9 p.m.
Festival founder Kevin Anderson said between 3,000 and 3,500 people turned out for the event.
“We wanted to bring a festival that celebrated local music,” said Anderson. “We wanted to bring local, regional and nationally-known artists to an event that is open and family-friendly.”
Behind the sea of listeners, vendors lined the field, selling everything from long, flowing dresses, jewelry and sports apparel to light-up toys and glow sticks. A moon bounce towered to the left of the vendors for kids to play in, while parents relaxed.
Later in the evening, Marcus Anderson’s relaxing, melodic tones played as people began to leave. The festival became free to those who wandered in late.
Tammi Mayfield arrived at the festival around 6 p.m. and said the festival was nice, and she will probably try to arrive earlier next time so she could enjoy the unique sounds more.
“[None of the artists] had that really popular sound,” said Mayfield.
Sinnie Lymore said the festival was outstanding. He and his wife paid the $40 fee for V.I.P tickets before going to the festival and enjoyed a dinner of chicken and rice while listening to Marcus Young and Plunk & Oneness, two artists they said stood out from the rest.
“We’ll be back next year,” said Lymore. “It’s our fifth year going to this, and it’s been outstanding every year.”
Kim Greene, a returning vendor of Bases Loaded Authentic Clothing and Kaps or B.L.A.C.K, said she sold merchandise the first year of the festival and after a short hiatus, returned this year to sell merchandise. Greene said she would have liked to see fewer vendors at the festival.
“From a concert perspective, the festival is awesome,” said Greene, “but from a seller’s perspective, there were too many vendors to make a substantial profit.”
Two festivals were held in the days leading up to the Lake Arbor Jazz Festival. The first was the Jazzy Pre-Festival Jam, bringing the sounds of jazz saxophonists and guitarists to Jazzy’s restaurant in Bowie, Md. The White Affair filled Newton White Mansion in Mitchellville, Md., with the sounds of an all-female ensemble and a jazz guitarist.
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