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Annual Jazz Festival

August 25 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Jazz guitarist, Paul Bollenback

This year is our 33rd annual Jazz Festival. 

Buttonwood Nature Center, home of The Institute presents our annual jazz festival, which continues to spotlight top professional artists each year that light up the outdoor stage with hot summer jazz.

As always, admission is free! We are returning to The Wharf again this year—a beautiful outdoor venue at 10141 Wharf Road, Waynesboro, PA.

Returning this year for his 27th appearance is perennial Jazz Fest favorite, Paul Bollenback

Bollenback started his music career in 1981, and has performed as a sideman with a wide range of jazz luminaries, including artists as diverse as Stanley Turrentine, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Steve Gadd, Gary Bartz, David “Fathead” Newman, Terri-Lyne Carrington, Joe Locke, Jack McDuff, James Moody, Jim Snidero, Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis, Paul Bley, Geoffrey Keezer, Mike LeDonne, Carol Sloane, Gary Thomas, Grady Tate, and in the group East Meets Jazz with the renowned tabla virtuoso Sandip Burman, to name a few.

He is known for his versatility, and also for an influential 20-year stint with jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco. Bollenback performs on over 80 recordings as a sideman, and has released 8 CDs as a leader. A busy performance schedule has been augmented since the late ‘90s by steady jazz education duties at Columbia University, Queens College, and The New School. Bollenback is also a composer, whose pieces have appeared on Joey DeFrancesco’s “Reboppin’” and on the “Jazz Times Superband” CD.

The concert also features Nicole Zuraitis, the 2024 Grammy Award Winner for Best Vocal Jazz Album.

Jazz vocalist Nicole Zuraitis

Along with Bollenback on guitar, Zuratitis will be performing with renowned drummer Dan Pugach, and tenor saxophonist/flutist Don Braden. Bass player to be announced soon.

Tenor saxophonist/flutist Don Braden

Nicole Zuraitis is a Grammy winning and twice Grammy-nominated jazz singer-songwriter, pianist and arranger, New York-based bandleader and winner of the prestigious 2021 American Traditions Vocal Competition Gold Medal. With a “heart as big as her remarkable voice,” (Jazz Police), Zuraitis has positioned herself as one of the top artists and “prolific songwriters” (Broadway World) to watch in jazz and beyond.  

A world-class saxophonist, flutist, composer and educator, Don Braden’s jazz career has spanned over 40 years. He has toured the world with jazz greats Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Tony Williams, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Haynes, Herbie Hancock and the Hancock Institute, and many others, and has performed in venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall, Saturday Night Live, Harvard University (where he studied Engineering as an undergrad), and countless jazz festivals and clubs. He has played on over 100 CDs as a sideman and has produced 24 as a leader, the most recent being his critically acclaimed Earth Wind and Wonder Volume 2, and In the Spirit of Herbie Hancock & Chemistry, both co-led with bassist Joris Teepe.

Dan Pugach (drums) is a Grammy Award-nominated drummer and composer, a three-time recipient of the ASCAP Foundation Jazz Composer Award, a winner of the BMI Charlie Parker Composition Prize/Manny Albam Commission as part of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, and a Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency Program participant at the Kennedy Center (where he worked with Curtis Fuller, Nathan Davis and George Cables). He was the featured drummer on the 2024 Grammy Award winning album “How Love Begins,” co-produced by Nicole Zuraitis and Christian McBride.

Luques Curtis (bass) was formally trained on piano and percussion but soon discovered he wanted to play the bass. He studied at the Greater Hartford Academy of Performing Arts, Artist Collective, and Guakia with Dave Santoro, Volcan Orham, Nat Reeves, Paul Brown, and others. While still in high school, he also studied the Afro-Caribbean genre with bass greats Andy Gonzalez and Joe Santiago.
Curtis earned a full scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied with John Lockwood and Ron Mahdi. He also worked with Gary Burton, Ralph Peterson, Donald Harrison, Christian Scott, and Francisco Mela. Curtis has performed worldwide with Eddie Palmieri, Stefon Harris, Ralph Peterson, Christian Scott, Sean Jones, Orrin Evans, Christian Sands, and others. With his brother, Zaccai he co-owns a record label and has five releases under “Curtis Brothers.” As a sideman, Luques Curtis has participated in over 100 recordings.

Admission is free. Rain location is Waynesboro Area Middle School.

Check out the history—all the performers in our 32 years of Jazz Fest.

Parking is available on the property. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, and picnics are welcome. Cold water will be available free to all attendees.


Underwriting support for this event last year was provided by our premiere sponsor of note, Rent in Waynesboro. Additional funding is through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Further sponsors include Hamilton Nissan; Beverly McFarland, in memory of Tom McFarland; Andrew and Sally Sussman; and Franklin County Visitors Bureau.

Additional support from our Today’s Horizon Fund contributors: The Nora Roberts Foundation; Marge Kiersz; Alma W. Oyer; and the Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin. Facility support provided courtesy of Jeff and Nancy Mace.


August 25
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Buttonwood Nature Center–Home of The Institute
(717) 762-0373


The Wharf
10141 Wharf Road
Waynesboro, PA United States
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