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South Coast Jazz festival will be a virtual performance

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The South Coast Jazz festival is turning virtual.

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In the age of COVID-19, putting together a music festival involves being extra creative.

Juliann Kuchocki, director of South Coast Jazz, has a background in film and television, so recording the performances to be screened at a later date was the perfect fit.

“It’s not an iPhone in someone’s basement,” she said of the recording. “We’re shooting TV style, and each of our programs will be about an hour long.”

The performers were shot with six cameras by a professional director of photography, and will be edited together into multiple hour-long videos.

The festival, which will be screening on Sept. 18, 19, 20, and Oct. 18, will be available online and at select local venues.

Simcoe Little Theatre, where the local performances were filmed, will be hosting a viewing party.

Other venues that would like to host screenings are welcome to contact Kuchocki.

Online, one day of the festival can be purchased for $10, the whole festival for $20, and the entire festival and a highlights reel for $25. The performances can also be viewed for free on the South Coast Jazz website at 6 p.m. on the days of the festival.

Performers include Jackie Richardson and Micah Barnes, Queen Pepper, Yogi Rose, Jazz West, Aleef Mehdi, The Schoots, Ian Bell, Ben Duff, Aaron Bell, and more.

Kuchocki said local Gail Fuller is also a performer to watch for.

“She just tore it up, she killed it,” Kuchocki said. “This recording of her is going to floor people, she is so good.”

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Funding for the festival came from Ontario Creates in the form of a $12,000 grant.

The festival then received a $17,000 grant from the Ontario Arts Council, which allowed for the recordings to take place.

Norfolk County and Venture Norfolk have also contributed.

The schedule for the performers is available on the South Coast Jazz webpage, but it is expected to change before the official screenings.

During the screenings, local commercials will be played. Businesses can buy a 30-second advertisement spot starting around $500.

“A great way for the community to get involved, if they want to be a sponsor, is to buy a video,” Kuchocki said.

Organizers are also looking for a title sponsor for the event, which will cost roughly $7,000.

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