Every year, on the weekend after Labor Day, Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) presents the annual Jazz and Arts Festival celebrating the exciting art form of jazz with not only live music, but also dance, visual arts, and food. Music fans in-the-know make it a point to be at this yearly festival featuring musicians who make the Poconos their home base.
This festival is "local" only in name, because COTA artists perform worldwide. "Besides being fun, it's an incredible deal," says one regular attendee. "You hear seven or eight great bands each day, for less than the cost of a bus ticket to New York."
The Festival opens Friday night with a free art show at the Dutot Museum followed by a show combining dance, theater and classical music at the neighboring Church of the Mountain. Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine, there are daytime and evening concerts spanning the full range that jazz music has to offer: swing, funk, Brazilian, big band, vocals, avant-garde, Latin and more.
Between the stage and the outdoor food court is a children's area with supervised musical and art activities, open till sunset. Stroll down Delaware Ave (closed to traffic) to check out the paintings, sculpture, jewelry and clothing created by talented Pocono artists. Please leave Fido at home, though—pets are not permitted on the grounds.
This Festival has continued now for 39 years. The Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts (COTA) was founded in 1978 by world-renowned jazz artist and composer Phil Woods, trombonist Rick Chamberlain, and local legend Ed Joubert. They wanted to share with their community the art created by the many world-class musicians and artists that call the area their home.
Inspired by a love for jazz, the COTA Board of Directors says the Festival seeks to reflect the creative vortex of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountain resident artists. The Festival also is noted for gathering a variety of art forms side by side, in an intimate and thrilling Festival experience.
Delaware Water Gap Celebration of the Arts is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely through the generosity of individual donations, institutional grants, and concert income. Dates, artists and programs are subject to change. Find out more about the Festival at the COTA website: www.cotajazz.org. Tweet @COTA_jazz, or go to www.facebook.com/groups/cotajazz.