Rene Marie performing at the Duck Jazz Festival.


Amazing weekend on the Outer Banks. The Mustang Music Festival wrapped up yesterday and today it was the 8th Annual Duck Jazz Festival—and it would be tough to imagine a better day for it.

This may have been the best attended yet—although hard numbers are tough to come by since it’s free and no one is sitting by the gate with a clicker. But the Duck Town Green was filled with chairs and people and the music was great.

It would be difficult to pick out a best but that won’t stop us from noting a couple of things that really stood out.

The Legendary Louis Hayes and the Jazz Communicators played a set that was straight from the days of classic jazz. It was New York nightclub music—free flowing, the wonderful drumming of Louis Hayes, great sax solos and amazing piano.

That was followed by Rene Marie. One of the powerful vocalists around, her set was pure jazz until she told the crowd, “You know I’m a GRITS (Girl Raised In the South).”

Saying that, she performed one of the most soulful and beautiful renderings of the folksong “Shenandoah” imaginable.

Not afraid to take a chance and sounded great doing it.