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Portsmouth Jazz & Blues Festival

PORTSMOUTH, NH – With a nod to two legendary Portsmouth music festivals and a focus on bringing local community entertainment to a new sector in the city, Cathartes presents, in cooperation with Cuzin Richard Entertainment, The Portsmouth Jazz & Blues Festival, set for November 12 in the PortWalk Place neighborhood. More than a half dozen blues and jazz acts will perform on as many stages inside Portwalk’s hotel and restaurant businesses from noon to 6 pm. The festival is free and open to the first 1,000 festival goers; the festival brochure details the locations and performances at each of the stages within Portwalk.

The new festival pays homage to the heralded Jazz and Blues festivals in Portsmouth years ago and brings together local musicians, who often headlined at festivals here and throughout the region and nation. The original Portsmouth Jazz Festival (1982-1992) began on Ceres Street and was founded by entrepreneurs Dick and Jill Gallant, Mike Smith and Peter Rice. The Blues Festival, held from 1986 to 2006, was the brainchild of historian Valerie Cunningham and blues music maker, activist and educator, TJ Wheeler.  

Smith, who opened his entertainment agency in Portsmouth in 1976, notes: “During this time, these individual festivals had support from organizations such as The New Hampshire Council on the Arts and the Blues Bank Collective that aren’t here anymore. Thanks to Cathartes, we can celebrate our community’s vibrant jazz and blues musicians, many of whom performed in the original festivals.” The schedule includes jazz and blues soloists, jazz duos, trios and quartets as well as an R&B and a swing trio, all playing 40-minute sets simultaneously throughout Portwalk.

Enduring jazz and blues performers at the Festival include The Big Note Trio featuring Ben Baldwin and Kent Allyn; Bob Halperin; TJ Wheeler; Sharon Jones Trio; Pete Peterson; the Russ Grazier Quartet featuring alumni of PMAC; sax legend Charlie Jennison  and keyboard man Ray DeMarco in separate sets with jazz vocalist Shelli LaTorre while emerging acts include the instrumental jazz trio, The Pork Low Mainers, and jazz trio, Ollie & Them.

Credits for attached photos: Blues Soloist Bob Halperin is noted for his finger-picking and slide guitar; Ben Baldwin and his beloved saxophone (Rob Karosis Photo);  jazz vocalist Shelli LaTorre will perform as a soloist and in separate sets with sax legend Charlie Jennison and keyboardist RayDeMarco.

To request an interview or additional photography, contact Richard Smith at (603) 436-8596.

Happy New Year!

New year, new website. 

Happy New Year!  

We've been working on this new website for a very long time and hope that you love it!  Over the next few months, you'll see more videos and, most importantly, hear more music.  Let us know what you think using the "Contact" link above.

We wish you all a joyous and healthy new year!

Shelli Featured with the Portland Jazz Orchestra

Shelli is performing with the Portland Jazz Orchestra on October 20, 2016!  Tickets are SOLD OUT but check back here for updates...we're hoping to be able to share a few clips on this site!

Shelli on WFDU

Listen to Shelli's interview with WFDU HD2!  Shelli talks about the great musicians who played on 'Full Circle,' her favorite songs, musical inspirations, and gigs.  Check it out and let us know what you think!  :)

Album Release Party Sold Out

Shelli's performance at Shanghai Jazz on November 15 is SOLD OUT!  Call Shanghai Jazz at 973.822.2899 to get on the waiting list.

Download Full Circle at and keep checking the website for updates!

We are excited to announce that Shelli LaTorre will be performing a concert at 6PM on Sunday, November 15th at Shanghai Jazz, located at 24 Main Street in downtown Madison.

Currently on the eve of the release of her upcoming album, Full Circle, Shelli will be performing her songs at the concert. Shelli will be joined the renowned Steve Ash Trio and Leonike Scheuble, who played on her album. Shanghai Jazz is ranked as one of Downbeat Magazine’s Great Jazz Clubs, and offers excellent Asian cuisine in addition to hosting exceptional live music events. 

Seating is limited and running out, so call 973.822.2899 for reservations.

Visit for more information on Shelli or to preorder Full Circle


From the archives!  Hear Shelli and Kevin Loughman of the Silver Starlite Orchestra interviewed by John Cole of WDVR in Sergeantsville, NJ.  They talked about the songs and arrangements from Shelli's CD, 'From the Hudson's Jersey Side.'  Enjoy!