Festival Roundup February 2018

This is The Festival Roundup as printed in our February 2018 issue, the Roundup for the current month can be found in the site menu.

Professor Adrian Cunningham
Professor Adrian Cunningham, shown playing hot flute at the 2018 Chicken Fat Ball, will enliven the North Carolina Jazz Festival this month. (photo by Lynn Redmile Photography; www.lynnredmile.com)


The 38th annual festival will be staged at the Wilmington Hilton Riverside ballroom, 301 N. Water St., overlooking the Cape Fear River. This historic city has many interesting shops, art galleries, museums and restaurants, as well as a movie studio, nearby beaches, plus Revolutionary and Civil War sites to explore during your days here. All evening concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. the Thursday Night Showcase on Feb. 2 focuses on “Styles of Jazz,” with performances by Mangroove with “A Tribute to Horace Silver,” Nicki Parrott Trio presenting their Road Show, and Professor Cunningham’s Traditional Jazz Jam.


Friday and Saturday evenings will feature the festival’s 15 All-Star musicians in the traditional seven sets of six or seven players, each set with a different leader. These will be four-and-a-half-hour concerts. Saturday’s Patron Brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. will showcase all of the festival’s musicians culminating in an informal “jam” in which audience members who are musicians have the opportunity to play with the all-stars. Musicians include Herman Burney, Adrian Cunningham, Conal Fowkes, Jim Fryer, Bruce Harris, Debbie Kennedy, Eddie Metz, Nate Najar, Ed Polcer, Chuck Redd, Scott Robinson, Jonathan Russell, Cynthia Sayer, Rossano Sportiello, and Dion Tucker.

Three-day patron tickets cost $225, two-day tickets $200; Thursday only $40, Friday $60, Saturday $60; military $25; students $15; ncjazzfestival.com; (910) 793-1111; NCJF, P.O. Box 7681, Wilmington, NC 28406

SOUNDS OF MARDI GRAS (Fresno, CA) – Feb. 8-11

The 34th edition of this festive festival in Fresno kicks off at the DoubleTree by Hilton with a Thursday evening pre-party. The schedule picks up Friday with a “Putting on the Ritz” Charleston-themed parade, followed by the annual coronation of the Festival King and Queen, and a hot-jazz Swing Dance.


Attendees can meet-and-greet musicians Saturday morning before the Parasol Parade and Masquerade Party and Costume Parade in the grand tradition of Mardi Gras. Things wrap up on Sunday with a Wind Down Dinner and Dance. New bands and performers for 2018 include Brian Casserly, Gator Nation, and Randi Cee. Returning are Grand Dominion JB, High Sierra JB, Midnight Rose, Sister Swing, Bob Schulz’s Frisco JB, Climax JB, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Blue Street JB, Gino & The Lone Gunmen, Devil Mountain JB, Yosemite JB, Dick Williams’ Jazz Sea Jammers, Doug Finke’s Hot Cookies, and Tom Hook & The Terriers. Youth bands include TNT, River Rats, Yosemite High School Jazz Band, and Dixie Dominus.

Three-day passes cost $105 before Dec. 16, or $110 thereafter; admission prices for individual events range from $20 to $55; day passes are free for those ages 29 and younger, but a free-entry coupon must be obtained; (209) 534-1924. www.fresnodixie.com.


Staged at Capistrano Hall at California State University, Sacramento a.k.a. Sacramento State, the TJYBF is cosponsored by the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society Foundation and Sacramento State University Jazz Studies in cooperation with the Trad Jazz Educators Network. It is an all-day festival dedicated to the performance and teaching of traditional jazz open to 30 school bands, jazz-club sponsored bands and independent youth bands with combo bands performing non-competitively. Each ensemble receives onstage feedback and a lead-sheet clinic following its performance. Also included is an optional Friday-evening clinician-mentored jam session; Saturday jazz workshop; noon Jazz’n’Pizza jam session; evening showcase of encore performances and more than $4,000 in awards/scholarships; and closing concert featuring trombonist Russ Phillips with the all-star Clinicians Band: Bob Draga (cl), Joe Midiri (cl/sax), Paul Midiri (vbs/tbn), Bill Dendle (bn/gtr), Jason Wanner (p), Katie Cavera (b), Ron Jones (dr), who will also perform as the all-star Clinicians Band at the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society’s “Jazz Sunday” at the Riverside Elks Lodge.

Festival tickets cost $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Contact ticket chairpersons Giselle Koford, (916) 690-9356, [email protected] or Kathy Becker at (916) 635-7224 or [email protected] For festival info, call (916) 970-5100; email [email protected]; or visit on the web at sacjazzfoundation.org/tjybf/

the Four Freshmen
The Newport Beach (CA) Jazz Party welcomes the Four Freshmen, pictured here in 2016 (from left): Curtis Calderon, trumpet; Tommy Boynton, bass; Stein Malvey, guitar; and Bob Ferreira, drums and leader. In 2017, trumpeter Jon Gaines joined. (photo courtesy www.hamptonarts.net)

NEWPORT BEACH JAZZ PARTY (Newport Beach, CA) – Feb. 15-18

With a stellar lineup of over 50 all-star musicians and a wide-ranging program of specially-themed sessions guaranteed to satisfy every jazz taste and genre, the 18th annual Newport Beach Jazz Party promises to draw jazz fans in droves to the sunny shores of California’s Orange County the weekend of Feb. 15-18. Held at the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa, festivities are orchestrated from morning till well after sundown with a busy four-day schedule of daily evening concerts, poolside sessions, two champagne jazz brunches, and a Saturday night dance, just for starters.

Butch Miles will lead a Frank Capp Juggernaut tribute band, while Chuck Reed will front a group that will play the music of the Terry Gibbs Dream Band. The Jazz Party All-Star band will be directed by John Clayton. The Four Freshmen will be on board, and Ken Peplowski, Pete Barbutti, and James Morrison will entertain with “Tales from the Road.” Harry Allen pays tribute to Woody Herman, and Mike Costly offers “An Afternoon of Blues, Jazz & Swing.” Bill Cunliffe will sample a bit of Brazilian jazz, while Tony Monaco will present “A Jazz Organ Monster.”

A partial rundown of the All-Star lineup of musicians finds the names of Bria Skonberg, Ehud Asherie, Tamir Hendelman, Katie Thiroux, Lewis Nash, Dan Barrett, Scott Hamilton, Houston Person, Barbara Morrison, Richard Simon, and Joe LaBarbera among those listed.

For ticket and hotel information and the complete artist schedule, call (949)759-5003 or visit online at www.newportbeachjazzparty.com. Reserved seating at the concerts is available.


SEASIDE JAZZ FESTIVAL (Seaside, OR) – Feb. 22-25

Formerly called the Oregon Dixieland Jubilee, the Seaside Jazz Festival takes place on the north coast of Oregon in a little town with a population of about 6,500. Seaside is perhaps best known for the stunning sunsets that can be witnessed from its 1.5-mile ocean-side promenade – “The Prom” – as it’s known by the locals. The 35th annual jazz fest, organized and presented by the Lighthouse Jazz Society, is headquartered at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center. Concerts are staged at five featured venues, three at the Convention Center, one at Seaside Elks Lodge 1748, and one at the Best Western Ocean View Resort. All located in downtown Seaside, the venues are within easy walking distance of one another, and a free shuttle service will be running between them.

A special Thursday-night performance will kick things off with music by Dave Bennett & Memphis Speed Kings. The main festival starts on Friday afternoon and runs until Sunday afternoon. Each band or performer plays multiple sets, moving between venues. These sets typically average an hour or so.

Seaside’s featured bands and performers include High Sierra, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Dave Bennett Quartet, Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band, Ivory &Gold®, Stephanie Trick & Paolo Alderighi, Black Swan Jazz Band, Bob Draga with Friends, The High Street Party Band, Dave Bennett and The Memphis Speed Kings, Rock Island Roustabouts, Blue Street, and Gino and the Lone Gunmen..

Festival badges $90 through Feb. 1, 2018, and $95 at the door; three-day badges for students cost $15, and kids ages 14 and younger are admitted free if accompanied by a paying adult; daily badge prices range from $20 to $60; Thursday only, $10. PO Box 813, Seaside, OR 97138. Information and credit card sales: (866) 345-6257, 9am-5pm (Pacific Time) M-F; jazzseaside.com. Lodging: Visitor’s Bureau: 888-306-2326. Email: [email protected]

Dan Barrett and Jon-Erik Kellso
Dan Barrett and Jon-Erik Kellso join up again at the San Diego Jazz Party in Del Mar, CA, where Barrett will be honored as this year’s Jazz Legend. (photo by Charles Farley, courtesy kellsojazz.com)

SAN DIEGO JAZZ PARTY (Del Mar, CA) – Feb. 23-25

The 30th annual San Diego Jazz Party is set to take place in Del Mar, Calif., 20 miles north of San Diego. The San Diego Jazz Party each year honors jazz musicians who excel in their profession, who are held in high esteem among their peers, and who have “paid their dues” to the world of jazz music. The SDJP began the tradition of honoring a musician at the Jazz Party in 2005. This year’s “Jazz Legend” honoree will be trombonist Dan Barrett.


In addition to Dan Barrett, performers at the 2018 Jazz Party will be Evan Arntzen, Bill Allred, John Allred, Charlie Bertini, James Chirillo, John Eaton, Eddie Erickson, Jon-Erik Kellso, Rebecca Kilgore, Ed Metz, Jr., Butch Miles, Nicki Parrott, Houston Person, Jr., Ed Polcer, Chuck Redd, Antti Sarpila, Richard Simon, Rossano Sportiello, Dave Stone, Johnny Varro, and Jason Wanner.

All-events badges cost $240 and includes Friday free-bar cocktail party and Saturday jazz brunch; Friday-evening passes cost $80; Saturday passes cost $140; Sunday passes cost $80; reservations for single sessions accepted after Dec. 1; email Jazz Party director Dan Reid at [email protected]; www.sandiegojazzparty.com; telephone (619) 787-8792; or write San Diego Jazz Party, 1632 Hillstone Avenue, Escondido, CA 92029-4332.

Big Mama Sue and Fast Eddie Erickson
Big Mama Sue and Fast Eddie Erickson return to the Jazz Bash by the Bay in Monterey, CA. (photo courtesy bigmamasue.com)

JAZZ BASH BY THE BAY (Monterey, CA) March 2-4

Dixieland Monterey hosts the 38th annual Jazz Bash by the Bay, with eight venues including seven dance floors all under one roof in the newly refurbished Portola Hotel & Spa and the totally remodeled Monterey Conference Center.

This year’s “Musician of the Year” is pianist Mark Allen Jones who, along with several other pianists, will entertain you in the new double-piano venue, upstairs in the Conference Center. There is no dance floor in this venue so we can seat more people. Other guest artists include Jeff Barnhart and Brian Holland (who teamed up as the Artist Consultants), Danny Coots, Katie Cavera, Eddie Erickson, and Bob Draga. Bands for 2018 include: The Au Brothers, Blue Street Jazz Band, Bye Bye Blues Boys Band, Carl Sonny Leyland Trio, Crescent Katz, Crown Syncopators, Fast Mama Entertainment, Gator Nation, Grand Dominion, High Sierra Jazz Band, Ivory&Gold®, Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, Side Street Strutters with Meloney Collins, Titan Hot 7, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Wally’s Warehouse Waifs, and Yve Evans Trio, with at least 2 Youth bands on the schedule.

The Festival kicks off Thursday evening with a one-time-only concert in the hotel by We 3 ($30.00) and the Swing Dance to Clicktrax Jazz Orchestra ($25.00) in the DeAnza Ballroom. (Tickets to include both events are $50.00; these two programs are in not included in Badge prices.) Individual Early Bird All-Event Badges for 3 days are $95.00 through December 31, 2017. Day badges are available. Patron Badges, which includes the Patrons’ Brunch and reserved seating, are $240.00 each.

For more information or to order Badges, please call 888-349-6879; [email protected]; www.jazzbashbythebay.com.


In the years before emancipation, slave owners in New Orleans granted their workers a day off on Sundays to enjoy a little revelry. The slaves would gather in a place known as Congo Square to sing, dance and play drums in keeping with their African heritage. From these hypnotic tribal rhythms and other strains of music that filtered into New Orleans in the late 1800s came the famous musical art form now known as jazz. The 10th annual Congo Square Festival will be staged for free on both Saturday and Sunday, Mar 3-4, from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. both days, in Louis Armstrong Park, 701 N. Rampart St., in old New Orleans. Performers TBA.

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted; (504) 558-6100; jazzandheritage.org/congo-square; 504-410-4100.

TRIBUTE TO BIX FEST (Racine, WI) – March 8-11

Legendary cornetist Bix Beiderbecke is remembered at this 29th annual fest staged at the Architect Conference Center & Hotel (formerly the Marriott), 7111 Washington Ave., Highway 20, in Racine. Known as the Invention City, Racine is located at the mouth of the Root River, halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago. The brainchild of festival Director Phil Pospychala, the Tribute to Bix Fest offers several unique events including the Annual Bus Tour to Hell, rare films, historical fun lectures, two days of new/used 78/LP/CD record sales with 50 dealer tables, all-night 78 spinning, late-night jam sessions, and lobby cartwheels with the famous Schmooze Gals. “We’re proud to be out of tune with the times,” Phil says. “Good luck to all from Rexall!” Bands include the Augmented Fat Babies (featuring Andy Schumm, Dave Bock, and Mike Davis) celebrating the famous Dorsey Brothers Orchestra of 1928-1934, the Sweet Sheiks (“If you like Tuba Skinny you’ll like the Sweet Sheiks,” says Phil P.), ragtime pianists and composers Reginald Robinson and John Reed-Torres, and a host of young stars.

Prices, rooms, and other details to be announced soon; free admission to after-hours jam sessions; bixfest.com, (847) 996-0246; [email protected]


Since 1988 jazz fans have flocked to southwestern Oregon to attend the annual South Coast Clambake Festival now staged at the Mill Casino, in North Bend. The bands play at four different venues – the Salmon Room, Hazel Room, Cedar Room and Saw Blade – within the hotel owned and operated by the Coquille Indian Tribe. Located on Highway 101, the venue overlooks lovely Coos Bay, an S-shaped water inlet and estuary where the Coos River enters the big bay.

Volunteers from the Bay Area Traditional Society for Jazz (“B.A.T.S for Jazz”) continue to keep the flame burning for Dixieland jazz. The 2018 clambake serves a hot mix of traditional jazz, swing, doo-wop, blues, big band and zydeco. Performers will include the Dave Bennett and the Memphis Speed Kings, High Street, Barn Door Slammers, Gator Nation, Stompy Jones, Lisa Mann, Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners, the Phat Cat Swingers, Evolution, and the Young Bucs.

Prices and further details to be announced soon. For info, call (541) 267-7665; email [email protected]; or write to P.O Box 374, North Bend, Ore. 97459; or visit clambakejazz.com for lodging and other information.


Aside from Mardi Gras Day, the most significant day for the Mardi Gras Indians is their Super Sunday. The New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council always has their Indian Sunday on the third Sunday of March, around St. Joseph’s Day. Their festivities begin at noon in A.L. Davis Park (at Washington & LaSalle Streets) where the Mardi Gras Indians once again dress in their feathers and suits and take to the streets to meet other “gangs.”

Nobody is completely certain when the tradition of Mardi Gras Indians “masking” on St. Joseph’s night began. However, there have been reports of Indians on St. Joseph’s night dating back to before World War I.

In 1969, the first parade was created and rolled through town at night. In 1970, it was switched to a day parade on Sunday afternoon, and remains so. The daytime parades make the Indians accessible to the general public and allow visitors and locals alike to admire their amazing costumes, crowns, and accessories. If time permits, make it a point to take part in this remarkable New Orleans tradition.

All Super Sunday Mardi Gras Indian outdoor gatherings and processions are free and open to the public; presented by The New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Council founded by Bertrand Butler; (504) 248-0724 mardigrasneworleans.com/supersunday; mardigrasindiancouncil.org/.

Daryl Sherman
Pianist and vocalist Daryl Sherman will appear with her quartet at the 49th annual Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp in Whippany, NJ. (photo courtesy www.darylsherman.com)


The 49th annual day-long tribute to the Oklahoma-bred clarinetist (1906-1969) who spanned eras from Dixieland to swing to bebop is staged by the New Jersey Jazz Society at The Birchwood Manor, 111 N. Jefferson Road, located off Route 10 in Whippany, N.J. Stomp attendees will dance and dine at the Birchwood’s cash bar and buffet, from noon to 5 p.m. This year the Stomp features the George Gee Orchestra, Professor Cunningham and His Old School, the Daryl Sherman Quartet, and the Warren Vaché Quintet.

Tickets cost $35 in advance, $45 at the door (NJJS members $5 less), $10 for students with ID; book a table of 10 to 14 and get one free admission; njjs.org; (800) 833-3006.


This ragtime romp is named after the Starkville, Mississippi, businessman who donated his extensive collection of sheet music, instruments, phonographs, 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. 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 2018, Festival Artistic Director Jeff Barnhart, himself a phenomenally talented pianist, will entertain with Kris Tokarski, Steve Cheseborough, and Eddie Erickson—and Jeff will perform with flutist Anne Barnhart as Ivory&Gold®. The event takes place in Mitchell Memorial Library and McComas Hall Auditorium, at Hardy Rd. and President Circle.

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] .msstate.edu; library.msstate.edu/ragtime festival. For lodging information: visit.starkville.org/where-to-stay.


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 seven venues including The Red Lion Hotel, The Adorni Center, the Eureka Theater, The Sequoia Center, Morris Graves Museum, and Eureka Municipal Auditorium. The 28th annual Redwood Coast Music Festival presents four days of traditional jazz, swing, rockabilly and zydeco, and two nights of blues. 2018 performers include Jeff Barnhart’s Earthquakers, Dave Bennett Quartet, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Carl Sonny Leyland & Friends, Dave Stuckey & The Hot House Gang, Clint Baker’s Hot Five, Gator Nation, Dave Bennett & The Memphis Speed Kings, Cocuzzi Courtet, Joe Smith & The Spicy Pickles, Kris Tokarski Sextet, Candy Jacket Jazz Band, Ivory & Gold®, Dave Stuckey’s Hoot Owls, Stompy Jones, Gino & The Lone Gunmen, Chris Dawson Trio, Pappy & Junior’s Western Swing All-Stars, and Jump Swing Imperials, with Special Guest Artists Jeff Barnhart, Dave Bennett, Brian Casserly, Katie Cavera, Danny Coots, Chris Dawson, Chloe Feoranzo, Carl Sonny Leyland, Sam Rocha, Andy Stein, and Dan Walton. Blues artists include Mark Hummel’s Golden State Lone Star Revue, Lisa Mann, Terry Hanck Band, Bishop Mayfield & Friends, and the Andy T Band (with Anson Funderburgh & Alabama Mike).

Early Bird Tickets on sale through February 28, 2018: $90 for an all-event, three-day pass and $60 for blues events on Friday and Saturday; 523 Fifth St., Eureka, CA 95501; (707) 445-3378; [email protected]; rcmfest.org.

PENSACOLA JAZZ FESTIVAL (Pensacola, FL) – April 7-8

Now in its 35th year, this free festival is staged April 7 and 8, 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 headliners include the Scott Wilson Quartet, Paula Atherton, Michael Pellera, Andy Martin, Patrick Frost, and The 4 Korners; full lineup and schedule is yet to be announced.

Admission is free; jazzpensacola.com; (850) 433-8382.

FRENCH QUARTER FESTIVAL (New Orleans, LA) – April 12-15

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. Performers for 2018 are TBA, but last year’s headliners included The Lena Prima Band, Dr. Michael White, Ellis Marsalis, Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road, and brass bands such as the New Birth Brass Band and The Brass-A-Holics.

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 2018 (Three Rivers, CA) – April 13-15

Inspired by its longtime 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. Festival venues include the Lions Club, the Veterans Memorial Building and the St. Anthony Retreat. Free shuttle buses transport festival goers from place to place. Along with the High Sierra combo, performers for the 45th annual Jazzaffair will be Bob Draga, Dixie Dominus, Cornet Chop Suey, Grand Dominion, the “All New” High Street Party Band, Carl Sonny Leyland, Reedley River Rats, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, Blue Street Jazz Band, and Bob Schulz.

All-event three-day badge costs $95 if purchased on or before March 15 or $100 after March 15; children (no age limit) three-day ticket $50; children under age 12 are free when accompanied by a parent or guardian; April 12 Lions Recognition Dinner-concert $15. For info, write S.T.J.C., Box 712, 42490 Kaweah River Drive, Three Rivers, CA 93271; telephone (559) 561-1621; or visit sierratraditionaljazzclub.com/jazzaffair-2018.


Before 1912, the Central California town of 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 the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, 14 miles south of the entrance to Yosemite National Park. This year’s performers and schedule are yet to be announced.

Ticket prices are yet to be announced; please see facebook.com/oakhurstragtimefestival; telephone (559) 683-7860 or (559) 683 6570.

Bob Milne
Michigan ragtimer and composer (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) Bob Milne anchors Zehnder’s Ragtime Festival in Frankenmuth, MI this spring. (photo courtesy www.bobmilne.com)

ZEHNDER’S RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Frankenmuth, MI) – April 26-29

Zehnder’s 24rd Annual Ragtime Festival featuring the pride of Michigan, pianist Bob Milne, will be staged at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, 730 S. Main St., in the colorful city nicknamed Little Bavaria. Also called “Muth” for short, the city is located in Saginaw County, in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, about 22 miles south of Lake Huron. Events include dinner concert on Wednesday, lunch concerts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Vaudeville Night Thursday, a Friday-night picnic, and a grand finale dinner concert on Saturday. By the way, Zehnder’s serves a world-famous chicken dinner along with tantalizing breads and pastries. Performers for 2017 tentatively include homeboy Bob Milne along with Jeff Barnhart, Adam Swanson, Bob Seeley, and Daniel Souvigny, and others.

Ticket prices for individual events last year ranged from $25 to $55. Reservations are required for lunch, brunch, and all dinner concerts. For more info or reservations call (800) 863-7999, ext. 450; or visit zehnders.com.

NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL (New Orleans, LA) – April 26 – May 6

One of America’s singular celebrations, this multi-faceted 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 Crescent City’s 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 Blues Tent, and the Economy Hall Tent. Performers for the 49th annual festival are TBA.

Ticket prices for 2018 are also TBA, but last year advance adult single-day tickets cost $70, or $80 at the gate. (504) 410-4100 or (504) 558-6100; nojazzfest.com.

Fat Babies
The amazing Fat Babies of Chicago will be on hand to play off the 30th and final Capitol City Jazz Fest in fitting style. (photo courtesy www.thefatbabies.com)

CAPITAL CITY JAZZ FEST (Fitchburg, WI) – April 27-29

The 30th Capital City Jazz Fest will be the final event presented by the Madison Jazz Society. According to the Madison Jazz Society website, “This great line-up of musicians from all over the country will truly help us ‘go out with a bang!!’—the Buck Creek Jazz Band, the Fat Babies Jazz Band, the Midiri Brothers Jazz Sextet, Red Lehr’s Powerhouse Five + One and special guests vocalist Marilyn Keller and Bob Schulz.” Bob Schulz will lead a kick-off celebration on Thursday, April 26, featuring members of the bands performing at the Fest and other special guests. There will be a Jazz Worship Celebration at the Fest venue, led by Marilyn Keller and Red Lehr’s Powerhouse Five + One, at 9 AM on Sunday, April 29.

All-event badges cost $140 or $40 for children; individual session tickets cost $35 or $10 for children. Children age 11 and younger are free when accompanied by an adult. Seating at each Fest session is limited to 200 people at tables of 8. For more information, visit www.madisonjazz.com/events/ category/jazzfest/; (608) 850-5400.

A JAZZ PARTY WEEKEND (McCall, ID) – April 27-29

For the first time, this classy jazz bash presented by the Sun Valley Jazz & Music Festival will be staged at the amazing Shore Lodge, 501 Lake St., McCall, Idaho, from April 27 through 29, 2018. This lovely hotel is on shore of Payette Lake, and has been rated third best lodging in the western US by Condé Nast Traveler. Performers will include Charlie Bertini and Brian Casserly, trumpet; SherriLynn Colby, vocals; Danny Coots and Eddie Metz, Jr., drums; Bobby Durham and Sam Rocha, bass; Brian Holland and Jason Wanner, piano; Nate Ketner and Terry Myers, reeds; Russ Phillips, trombone; and Jerry Krahn, guitar..

General admission tickets are $150; VIP Reserved Sponsor seats, $350; sunvalleyjazz.com/; (877) 478-5277.

BAYOU BOOGALOO (Bayou St. John, New Orleans, LA) – May 18-20

Since 2006 along this colorful revel has been presented free of charge by the MotherShip Foundation at Bayou Saint John at Orleans Avenue and North Jefferson Davis Parkway, in the City that Care Forgot. Performers for 2018 will be announced this spring.

Admission is free; (504) 488-3865; thebayouboogaloo.com; [email protected]

Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles
Denver’s Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles swing at the 2018 Evergreen (CO) Jazz Festival.

EVERGREEN JAZZ FESTIVAL (Evergreen, CO) – July 27-29

Located just 30 minutes southwest of Denver, the scenic mountain community of Evergreen provides an idyllic setting for the three-day event held during the last weekend in July. Five distinctive, intimate venues ranging from a church to a bar and grill give audiences a delightful variety of up-close-and-personal listening experiences. The lineup for 2018 includes: After Midnight, Carl Sonny Leyland Trio, Felonius Smith Trio, Gypsy Swing Revue, Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet, Ivory&Gold®, Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles, Queen City Jazz Band with Wende Harston, Rock Island Roustabouts, and The Brain Cloud.

Discount Prices (through June 30): Festival Pass (All 3 Days): $100, Friday Session (All-Day): $55, Friday Evening (6 pm to 10 pm): $30, Saturday Pass (All Day): $85, Saturday Day or Evening Session (10 am – 4 pm, 4:15 pm – 10:15 pm): $65; Sunday Session: $55; To order by phone, call (303) 697-5467; To order by mail, send a check or money order to: Evergreen Jazz Festival, P.O. Box 3775, Evergreen, CO 80437; visit online at www.evergreenjazz.org.

SUNCOAST JAZZ FESTIVAL (Clearwater Beach, FL) – Nov. 16-18

The 28th edition of the Suncoast Jazz Classic takes place in five indoor venues at two adjacent resort hotels, the Sheraton Sand Key and the Marriott Sand Key, in Clearwater Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. Four favorite bands have been scheduled to return: Adrian Cunningham and His Old School, Dave Bennett Quartet, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, and High Sierra; guest artists who will also be running youth workshops are Chuck Redd, Rossano Sportiello, and Nate Najar. Additions to the lineup will be announced soon.

Four-day weekend packages cost $175 or $225 (including Thursday Night VIP Gala and Friday Night Swing Dance); three-day pass, $125; daily tickets cost $40 or $50; Youth/Student Weekend Pass (under age 21) $10; Friday Night Swing Dance tickets, $25; suncoastjazzclassic.com; write: PO Box 395, Largo, FL 33779; (727) 248-9441.

39th ANNUAL SAN DIEGO JAZZ FEST (San Diego, CA) – Nov. 21-25

Headquarters: Town & Country Hotel and Convention Center. Invited Guest Artists: Stephanie Trick, Paolo Alderighi, Katie Cavera, Carl Sonny Leyland. Invited Bands & Groups: Cornet Chop Suey, Black Swan Classic J.B., Original Cornell Syncopators, High Sierra J.B., Dave Bennett Quartet, High Society J.B., Big Butter J.B., On The Levee Band, Night Blooming Jazzmen, Chicago Cellar Boys, Uptown Lowdown J.B., Sue Palmer and her Motel Swing Orchestra, Grand Dominion J.B., Titanic J.B., Yerba Buena Stompers, Mad Hat Hucksters, Cash In Hand, Gino and the Lone Gunmen, Katie Cavera Trio, and the Sonny Leyland Trio. Saturday Night Swing-X bands and additional festival bands to be named.

All Event Badges: 5-Days $125 each; 4-Days $115 each; 3-Days $105 each. Daily badges available at the door. Contact: AFCDJS, P.O. Box 880387, San Diego, CA 92168-0387, 619-297-5277. Email: [email protected]; Website: http://www.sdjazzfest.org/

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