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Beer is jazzy!

Here’s the thing about jazz: it’s timeless.

Here’s the thing about beer: it, too, is timeless.

And here’s the thing that combines both of them: The Exit Zero International Jazz Festival.

This annual event swings into high gear April 21-23, and for the sixth year in a row, CMBC is proud to sign on as the exclusive beer sponsor of the event.

“The jazz fest is as much a part of Cape May as the brewery is,” Ryan says. “They get some big-name acts, and it’s a great way to start off the summer season — and gives us a chance to brew one of our favorite beers.”

Our brews, including our Spring Ale brewed in honor of the festival, Sophisticated Lady, will be on draft at the intimate club venues for the festival: Carney’s, Carney’s Other Room, Cabanas, and Iron Pier Craft House. The guys in the brewhouse dreamed up this one while listening to some smooth jazz, and it shows. Bright, citrusy, and refreshing, a funky Belgian yeast leads the way, with lemon peel in the kettle to make this tune snap off your tongue with a tinge of acidity and the quality you’ve come to expect from the Exit Zero Jazz Festival.

“Through our MusicConnects educational outreach program, EZJF echoes Cape May Brewing Company’s commitment to being a good neighbor,” says event organizer Michael Kline. “This year, musician, composer, bandleader, and music educator, Michael Pedicin, has been named as the first MusicConnects Artist in Residence of the Festival. In his role, Michael has worked with music students countywide to form the MusicConnects Big Band. They make their debut at the Festival on Sunday, April 23, in Cape May Convention Hall. In addition more than 100 Cape May County students will attend the headline concerts of the Festival and serve on the official Festival Krewe.”

We’ll be hosting a Tap Takeover all weekend, downstairs at Cabanas, home of the official Cape May Brewing Company Stage. There, you’ll be able to get your fill of CMBC brews while jamming along to some of the sweet acts they have scheduled, including Philly Gumbo and PhillyBloco.

With CMBC signed on as the exclusive beer sponsor, we’re again sponsoring this year’s Hops Pass, getting you first-come, first-served entry to all of the Festival Club venues and standby entry to all Cape May Convention Hall performances for $55.

“We are thrilled to have Cape May Brewing Company as a Festival Partner for the sixth year,” Michael says, “and we are incredibly excited about what’s on tap for this Festival and future Festivals.”

This year, they’re running free busses between Convention Hall and the Paul Schimdtchen Theater at Lower Cape May Regional High School. On Saturday, April 22, you’ll ride with the Stooges Brass Band and make a pit stop at the brewery with an exclusive tour of Headquarters with Director of Brewing Operations Jimmy Valm. Their singular brand of boisterous, unruly, throwdown party music — imported from New Orleans — gets even the most worn-out dance shoes out on the floor.

And the festival’s got some great acts this year. To Ray with Love, starring Maceo Parker and Featuring the Ray Charles Orchestra and the Raelettes will be laying down some soul in tribute to Brother Ray. Parker was a member of James Brown’s band beginning in 1967, eventually launching an extraordinarily successful solo career in 1970. In addition to his killer sax work, his imitation of Ray Charles’s heretofore-inimitable singing voice will leave you wondering how they managed to resurrect his singular talent.

The Robert Glasper Experiment has been blurring the lines between jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary R&B since his ingenious 2012 release, Black Radio, won the Grammy for Best R&B Album. Since then, he’s been blowing up the circuit with his sizzling keyboard work, soulful vocal stylings, and genre-bending compositions.

Charnett Moffett’s Nettwork Trio, with Brian Jackson, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and Scott Tixier will be laying down a mix of styles, ranging from classic jazz to modern funk. A virtuoso on the bass, Moffett’s uncommonly melodic approach to his instrument lends itself to well-composed experimentation. Brian Jackson’s prodigic approach to keyboards and flute is in perfect counterpoint to Moffett’s bass. Scott Tixier has made a name for himself as a violinist-composer of wide-ranging ambition, individuality and drive, and “Tain” holds it all down with insistent backbeats, an incendiary sense of swing and a no-holds-barred approach to soloing.

The festival rounds out its lineup with Kenny Barron, Christian Scott, Daisy Castro, Brianna Thomas, the Brian Betz and Denis DiBlasio Quartet, Freddie Hendrix, Frank Bey, the Christian Sands Trio, and Paula Johns & Paul Sottile.

Hopefully, we’ll get a few of them down to the brewery to sample some of our beers. No trip to Cape May is complete without stopping by the airport to check us out — if you’re down over the weekend for the festival, make sure you do. If you need a reason, we’ve got 24 on tap.

For more information and tickets, see exit0jazzfest.com. We’ll see you there!