Festival Roundup April 2017

This is The Festival Roundup as printed in our April 2017 issue, the most recent Roundup can be found under “Events” in our menu.

REDWOOD COAST MUSIC FESTIVAL (Eureka, Calif.) – March 30-April 2

The Northern California city of Eureka sits amid towering redwood forests south of Arcata Bay, 275 miles north of San Francisco. Eureka’s atmospheric Old Town waterfront district stands adjacent to this festival’s six venues—The Red Lion Hotel, The Adorni Center, the Eureka Theater, The Sequoia Center, Morris Graves Museum, and Eureka Municipal Auditorium. The 27th annual Redwood Coast Music Festival presents four days of traditional jazz, swing, rockabilly and zydeco and two nights of blues. 2017 performers include Bob Draga & Friends, Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners, Mona’s Hot Four, The Au Brothers, Le Jazz Hot, the Grand Street Stompers with Molly Ryan, Jonathan Stout and His Campus Five, Dave Bennett & The Memphis Speed Kings, the Kris Tokarski Quintet with Chloe Feoranzo, Sonny Leyland & Friends, Stompy Jones, Nathan James & The Rhythm Scratchers, Gator Nation, Cocuzzi and Coots Courtet, Dave Stuckey & The Hot House Gang, Two Tone Steiny & The Cadillacs, Gino & The Lone Gunman, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, and Michael Doucet. Blues artists include Duke Robillard, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats and the James Harman Band.

All-event tickets cost $90 in advance, $30 for youth; blues package $60; and daily ticket prices ranged from $30 to $55; opening night dance $10; 523 Fifth St., Eureka, CA 95501; (707) 445-3378; [email protected]; rcmfest.org.



This ragtime romp is named after the Starkville, Miss. businessman who donated his extensive collection of sheet music, instruments, record players and memorabilia to Mississippi State University in the late-1980s. Charles H. Templeton particularly appreciated ragtime music, a genre that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918, right around the time Machine Gun Kelly was attending Mississippi State during World War I. Although this decade-old festival has academic roots—it’s hosted by the University Library and the Charles Templeton Sr. Music Museum as a means of enhancing research of early jazz—it showcases some of the world’s best ragtime and stride piano players.

For 2017, Festival Artistic Director Jeff Barnhart, himself a talented pianist, will perform along with keyboardist Brian Holland and Dan Levinson’s Roof Garden Jass Band from NYC. Daytime events take place in the Templeton Music Museum, while evening concerts are staged at McComas Hall Auditorium.

All-event tickets cost $50; Friday only $30; Saturday only $30; individual concerts $10; and seniors receive a 20 percent discount; P.O. Box 5408, Mississippi State, MS 39762; (662) 325-6634; Lynda Graham, 662-325-6634, email: [email protected]; library.msstate.edu/ragtimefestival.


PENSACOLA JAZZ FESTIVAL (Pensacola, Fla.) – April 1-2

Now in its 34th year, this free festival is staged April 1 and 2, at the historic Seville Square Gazebo in downtown Pensacola, in Florida’s western panhandle. Nicknamed “The City of Five Flags,” Pensacola is a seaport city located on Pensacola Bay protected by the barrier island of Santa Rosa. This year West Coast super-trumpeter Wayne Bergeron performs with the Gulf Coast Collegiate All-Star Jazz Band Saturday, April 1, and the Don Snowden Big Band Sunday, April 2; other performers include the Greg Abate Quintet and Annie Sellick & The Hot Club of Nashville; from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, guitarist and music therapist Mike Potters hosts a Kids Jazz Jam with kazoos and harmonicas.* Admission is free; jazzpensacola.com; (850) 433-8382.

FRENCH QUARTER FESTIVAL (New Orleans, La.) – April 6-9

Started as a neighborhood gathering more than three decades ago, the French Quarter Festival has since grown into “The World’s Largest Block Party” where visitors join locals to enjoy the best of Louisiana music, food and culture, all for free. Featuring more than 800 musicians on 20 stages, more than five dozen food-and-beverage vendors (all dishes are priced in the $3-$5 range), kid-friendly attractions, free tours of hidden French Quarter patios and gardens, a Pirate’s Alley art show, the world’s largest praline, and fireworks exploding over the Mississippi River. The 34th annual French Quarter Festival will be staged over a half dozen blocks between Bourbon Street and the Mississippi Riverfront, there is no admission and fences do not enclose the site. A second-line parade at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 6, kicks off the festival, and the Opening Night Gala will return that evening to Antoine’s Restaurant with music by Player’s Ella and Louie Tribute Band.

Festival performers on Thursday include Cha Wa with trombonist Haruka Kikuchi, Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band, Aaron Neville, Darcy Malone and The Tangle, Dr. Michael White, Ellis Marsalis, Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road and Mahogany Brass Band; on Friday, Banu Gibson, Meschiya Lake, Charmaine Neville, Amanda Shaw, Panorama Jazz Band, Monk Boudreau & The Golden Eagles, Shannon Powell’s Traditional All-Star Band, Storyville Stompers Brass Band, the Dixie Cups, Tuba Skinny, and Washboard Rodeo; on Saturday, Big Chief Bo Dollis, Jr. & The Wild Magnolias, Dukes of Dixieland, Kermit Ruffins & The Barbecue Swingers, King James & The Special Men, Lars Edegran’s New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra, New Orleans Classic Jazz Orchestra, New Orleans Moonshiners, Perdido Jazz Band, The Original Pinettes Brass Band, The Pfister Sisters, Red Wolf Brass Band, Tim Laughlin, Tommy Sancton’s New Orleans Legacy Band, and the Soul Rebels; on Sunday, Bonerama, Bucktown All-Stars, James Andrews, Wendell Brunious, John Mooney & Bluesiana, Kris Tokarski Band, Leif Pedersen’s 1944 Big Band, Leroy Jones & New Orleans’ Finest, the New Orleans Jazz Vipers, Steve Pistorius & The Southern Syncopators, Stooges Brass Band.

More than 60 food and beverage booths will be scattered throughout the historic French Quarter. Admission is free; (504) 522-5730; fqfi.org/frenchquarterfest/.


JAZZAFFAIR (Three Rivers, Calif.) – April 7-9

Inspired by its longtime performance hosts – The High Sierra Jazz Band – the Jazzaffair takes place annually in the Central California town of Three Rivers, nestled in the Kaweah River canyon, just above Lake Kaweah, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains not far from Fresno. Festival venues include the Lions Club, the Veterans Memorial Building and the St. Anthony Retreat. Free shuttle busses transport festival goers from place to place. Performers for the 44th annual Jazzaffair will be High Sierra, Tom Rigney, Cornet Chop Suey, Grand Dominion, Blue Street, Bob Draga with Kylie Castro, High Street, pianist Carl Sonny Leyland, the Stardust Cowboys, Titan Hot Seven, the Jerry Krahn Quartet, and the Flip Oakes Quartet.

All-event three-day badge costs $95 if purchased on or before March 15 or $100 after March 15; daily ticket prices range between $25 and $45; children pay half price, and kids age 11 and younger are free with their parents. For info, write Jazzaffair, Box 712, 42490 Kaweah River Drive, Three Rivers, CA 93271; call (559) 561-4549; email [email protected]; or visit jazzaffair.info/.

OAKHURST RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Oakhurst, Calif.) – April 21-23

Before 1912, Oakhurst was known as Fresno Flats. Before 1912, jazz was known as ragtime. This humble celebration of ragtime piano playing is staged at the Oakhurst Community Center, 39800 Road 425-B, south of China Creek and just north of Oakhurst Mobile Home Estates. Oakhurst is located in Central California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Performers are Tom Brier, Larisa Migachyov, Jack and Chris Bradshaw, John Reed Torres, and 17-year-old prodigy Diego Bustamante, who plays an ice-cream social concert Saturday afternoon. A donation-only finale will be staged at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Oakhurst Lutheran Church, 39255 Black Road. Weekend passes cost $40; individual concerts tickets range from $6 to $24; RVs can be parked at the Community Center for $15 nightly; facebook.com/oakhurstragtimefestival; (559) 683-7860.

Thousands of music fans from across the country and around the world fill the Fair Grounds Race Course in Mid-City, attending the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival every year. This year’s festival showcases hundreds of performers from the Big Easy’s own Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Big Chief Donald Harrison, Trombone Shorty, and Dr. Michael White to international pop music stars such as Lorde, Dave Matthews, and Stevie Wonder. (photo courtesy nolajazzfest.com)

NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL (New Orleans, La.) – April 28-May 7

One of the biggest and best festivals in North America, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presents music between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. during the last weekend of April and first weekend of May, at a dozen different stages all over the Fair Grounds Race Course, in the historic Mid-City neighborhood. Each stage is dedicated to different style of music, and jazz fans pay particular attention to venues such as the Congo Square Stage, the Gospel Tent, the Jazz & Heritage Stage, the Blues Tent, and the Economy Hall Tent. Performers for the 47th annual festival include headliners Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Maroon 5, Dave Matthews, and Tim Reynolds, Harry Connick, Jr., Meghan Trainor, Lorde, Snoop Dogg, Alabama Shakes, and Widespread Panic. Many of New Orleans’ best-known performers will include Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Rebirth Brass Band, Ivan Neville, Irma Thomas, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & The Golden Eagles, Kermit Ruffins, Henry Butler, Big Chief Donald Harrison, James Andrews and the Crescent City All-Stars, John Mooney & Bluesiana, and Dr. Michael White, the Preservation Hall JB, Cyril Neville & SwampFunk, a salute to Louis Armstrong by Hugh Masekela, and a tribute to Pete Fountain featuring Banu Gibson, Tim Laughlin, and Evan Christopher. On the opening day, a tribute to Blue Lu Barker will be performed by Meschiya Lake and Quiana Lynell.


Prices for VIP passes for first weekend range from $600 to $1,200; second weekend VIP prices range from $700 to $1,400; daily ticket prices range between $70 through April 27 or $80 at the gate; children ages 2 through 10 cost $5 each, at the gate only; (504) 410-4100; nojazzfest.com.

St. Louis-native stride pianist Stephanie Trick will be featured at the Capital City Jazz Fest in Fitchburg, Wisc., from April 28 through May 1. (photo by DieBrue; courtesy alchetron.com)

CAPITAL CITY JAZZ FEST (Fitchburg, Wisc.) – April 28-30

Jazz fans from all over the country will converge on Madison to hear non-stop jazz at the 29th annual Capital City Jazz Fest sponsored by the Madison Jazz Society at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, 2969 Cahill Main, in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. More than 400 jazz fans are expected to attend four sessions over the three days of the fest: Friday, April 28, from 6:30 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 to 11 p.m. and Sunday, April 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Trumpeter/vocalist Bria Skonberg will arrive in Madison before the festival to present workshops for high-school and college students. The Vaché/Coots/Trick Trio will feature clarinetist Allan Vaché, drummer Danny Coots and stride pianist Stephanie Trick and her husband, pianist Paolo Alderighi. Returning to the festival again this year will be Bob Schulz’s Frisco Jazz Band. A jazz worship will be staged Sunday morning featuring Bob Schulz, and the Rev. Allan Townsend will conduct the service. The fest’s Jazz Mall will sell books, records, CDs, videos, jazz clothing and souvenirs.

All-events passes cost $140; individual session tickets costing $35 per session are available by mail or can be purchased at the door 30 minutes before a session; Madison Jazz Society, P.O. Box 8866, Madison, WI 53708-8866; (608) 850-5400; madisonjazz.com.

BUNNY BERIGAN JAZZ JUBILEE (Fox Lake, Wisc.) – May 19-21

Roland “Bunny” Berigan was one of the most charismatic trumpeters of all time. Now his humble hometown of Fox Lake, Wisc., celebrates his short life with a three-day jubilee. In addition to more than 20 hours of jazz, swing and Dixieland favorites, the event includes presentations covering Berigan’s contributions to jazz and swing. The festival stages concerts throughout the quaint city of Fox Lake, located 55 miles north of Chicago, Ill. Venues include Moose’s Root Beer Stand, the Fox Lake Community Center, Mullin’s Drive-In, and the American Legion Hall. Performers for 2017 are the Bob Schulz Mid-West All-Stars, St. Louis Stompers led by Steve Lilley, Jack’s Jubilee Band playing Bunny’s music, the Kaye Berigan 5-Tet, the Matt Miller Jazz Trio, and special guest trumpeter Duke Heitger. There will be a Dixieland Graveside Service at Bunny’s resting place at 10:30 a.m. at Annunciation Cemetery, with a sermonette delivered by the Rev. Al Townsend, and two Sunday-morning church services by the St. Louis Stompers at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam.


Weekend passes cost $105 in advance, and daily tickets cost $30. For info, contact jubilee chairperson Julie Fleming at (920) 928-6094; via mail N10472 Chief Kuno Trail, Fox Lake, WI 53933; via email at [email protected]; or visit bunnyberiganjazzjubilee.com.

JACKSONVILLE JAZZ FESTIVAL (Jacksonville, Fla.) – May 25-28

Three stages of live jazz, local food, drinks, shopping and entertainment will fill downtown Jacksonville along the banks of the St. John’s River, on Memorial Day Weekend. Since its inception in 1981, the Jazz Fest has become one of the largest festivals in the country with a vibrant street-festival atmosphere, and in 2017 you can experience it on an even larger scale throughout 15 blocks of downtown. The 36th annual festival showcases a wide variety of artists and musical styles, including Bria Skonberg, Gregory Porter, The Rippingtons, Joey Alexander, Jane Monheit, Jazzmeia Horn, Chick Corea, Lisa Kelly, Airmen of Note, the Jax Jazz Collective, and the Lucky Chops.

Admission is free, but VIP packages are available , and three-day VIP passes cost $289 in advance and $319 at the gate; Friday $99; Saturday $139; Sunday $139; tickets to the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competitions on May 26 cost $10; jacksonvillejazzfest.com/; (904) 630-3690.

The Lodi, California-based Cell Block 7—which, despite its name, often appears as an octet—is led by brassman Bob Romans and features Bob Sakol, Pete Mains, Tim Maihack, Tom Downs, Jack Convery, Coleman Sholl, and Daryl Hosick. The band will appear (contingent on further appeal) at the Sacramento Music Festival from May 26 to 29. (photo courtesy cellblock7.net)

SACRAMENTO MUSIC FESTIVAL (Sacramento, Calif.) – May 26-29

Every Memorial Day Weekend since 1974, Old Sacramento and more than a dozen other downtown venues have hosted one of the area’s biggest parties of the year. Originally known as the Old Sacramento Dixieland Jazz Jubilee, the festival has expanded into other styles of music in addition to classic jazz and swing. This will be the 43rd edition of what many people consider the granddaddy of jazz festivals hosted by the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society. Guest artists this year are Banu Gibson with the Clint Baker All-Stars, drummer Danny Coots, clarinetist Bob Draga and piano prodigy Jason Wanner. Other performers include Cornet Chop Suey, The Zydeco Flames, Crescent Katz, High Street JB, the Pub Crawlers, Sister Swing, Avalon Swing. Igor & Gaylan, Gator Nation, Bill Eddie & Shelley, Black Tuesday JB, Midnight Rose JB, Mumbo Gumbo, Fulton Street JB, stride pianists Stephanie Trick & Paolo Alderighi, The Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, Cell Block 7, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Beth Duncan, and the STJS All-Star Band.

All-event tickets $99 plus $5.94 fee for a limited time; $125 at gate; $315.99/VIP, limited to 50; daily passes range from $41.94 to $48.24; discounts for students; sacmusicfest.com/; (916) 444-2004.


Located in the heart of the Thousand Islands, on the lovely St. Lawrence River in Upstate New York, the Grand International Ragtime Jazz Festival Spring Fling blooms toward the end of May every year, at Alexandria Bay’s Bonnie Castle Resort. Festival directors are husband-and-wife Wayne and Nancy Pauli, from the Kitchener-Waterloo Dixieland Jazz Club, in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

This 27th annual Spring Fling features three bands and plenty of piano players. The Chefs of Dixieland, Dinny & The CanAm All-Stars, and the Mardi Gras Spirit Brass Band will entertain and piano soloists will be Prof. Don Burns, Ragtime Rick Grafing, Jon Seiger, and British stride pianist Neville Dickie. This year’s theme is “The Joint is Jumpin’” and “Louis, Louis, Louis.” Trumpeter Jon Seiger, who is internationally known for his perfect imitations of Satchmo’s vocals and horn playing, will present a performance dedicated to Louis Armstrong.

Festival admission costs $135; (519) 744-2665; email [email protected] For room reservations, call the resort at (800) 955-4511 or (315) 482-4511. For festival info, visit alexbayjazz.wordpress.com/.

SCOTT JOPLIN RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Sedalia, Mo.) – May 31-June 3

More than 6,000 people attend the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival each June, turning downtown Sedalia into a turn-of-the-20th century party. This year the festival at the Liberty Center commemorates the centennial of Joplin’s death with a stellar lineup of symposia focusing on the composer and his timeless music. The festival is staged at the historic Hotel Bothwell, which opened in 1926. The Katy Depot Historic Site, one of the largest train depots between Kansas City and St. Louis, is only a mile away. The festival stages several free concerts, while some are ticketed. Seminars include discussions of Joplin’s use of counterpoint and ensemble-thinking, the etymology of rag into ragtime, and a look at sheet music covers and photos from the composer’s short life. You can learn the steps to the dances such as_the Grizzly Bear, Turkey Trot, Bunny Hug, and Camel Walk, and audience members are invited to show off their piano-playing skills.

This year’s featured presenters and pianists are Ed Berlin, Bryan Cather, Bill Edwards, Andrew Greene, Fred Hoeptner, Scott Kirby, David Refkin, and David Thomas Roberts.

Individual concert ticket prices range from $20 to $35; a May 31 Joplin’s Footsteps tour costs $20; a June 2 Cakewalk Dance on June 2costs $15; symposia tickets cost $15 each; 826-2271; scottjoplin.org.


These free-wheeling jam sessions celebrate the music of the legendary Coon Sanders Nighthawks Orchestra. The sessions – which have a proud 49-year history – are staged at the Grand Ballroom of the Pullman Plaza Hotel, in Huntington, West Virginia, at the confluence of the Guyanotte and Ohio rivers. Admission is free! Assembled in 1919 in Kansas City by Carleton Coon and Joe Sanders, the 10-piece combo reached its peak between 1926 and 1932. Live performances at the Muehlebach Hotel in K.C. were broadcast over WDAF, a radio station which could be received throughout the United States. In later years, the orchestra held forth at the Blackhawk restaurant in Chicago giving performances that were aired on WGN. The orchestra’s top Victor recordings included “Nighthawk Blues” and “Flamin’ Mamie.” The jam-session format allows musicians to move on and off the stage as they desire, reports President Dale Jones. Musicians for 2017 are TBA. The Pullman Plaza Hotel is located in Huntington at 1001 Third Ave., (304) 525-1001. The entertainment is free and open to the public and will likely run from 6 until 11 p.m. both nights; (304) 633-5241; [email protected]

SYRACUSE JAZZ FESTIVAL (Syracuse, N.Y.) – June 8-10

Staged at a natural grass amphitheater on the campus of Onondaga Community College, in Syracuse, N.Y., this two-day event is considered the largest free jazz festival in the Northeast US. The 35th annual fest presents the Rebirth Brass Band, Asleep at the Wheel, the Ramsey Lewis Quintet, The Mavericks, Todd Rundgren, and UAD: Kings of the Fall, the Soft Spoken Band, 14-year-old Ithaca singer Canen, and trumpet prodigy Nick DiMaria.

Admission is free, and parking charges range from $5 to $10; syracusejazzfest.com; (315) 437-5627.


The 27th annual festival at the Marcus Pavilion at Saint Martin’s University, 5300 Pacific Avenue SE, is hosted by the Greater Olympia Dixieland Jazz Society. Lacey is a suburb of O-Town, in the western part of state of Washington, at the southern end of Puget Sound. The music is staged at four Marcus Pavilion venues—three for dancing, one for listening—and dance lessons by Hal and Georgia Myers will demonstrate the Foxtrot, Balboa, and Charleston. Special features include nearby lodging, on-site RV parking, shuttle service, parasol parades, A Farmers’ Market on June 23, a gospel service and After Glow Party on June 25. Pacific Northwest favorites such as Uptown Lowdown from Bellevue will be featured along with jazz greats such as Grand Dominion, High Sierra, Yerba Buena Stompers, Jeff Barnhart & Charlotte’s Boys, Bob Schulz Frisco Jazz Band, The Black Swan Classic JB, Tom Hook and His Terriers, Queen City, the Wolverines, Joe Smith’s Spicy Pickles, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Ivory & Gold, the Graystone Monarchs, the Evergreen JB, the Can/U.S. JB, Black Swan with Marilyn Keller, and festival guest artist Dawn Lambeth.

All-event badge prices range from cost $90 to $115; individual event ticket prices range from $15 to $50. Lodging is available at two dozen hotels in the Olympia-Lacey area, and RV parking is available by calling (360) 943-9123; olyjazz.com; (360) 705-3024; [email protected]

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