Festival Roundup September 2017

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

VAIL JAZZ PARTY (Vail, CO) – Aug 31-Sept. 4

The Vail Jazz Party takes place over Labor Day Weekend with a unique mix of world-class musicians in an engaging, one-of-a-kind format. All Vail Jazz Party events take place in Lionshead Village within the Town of Vail. The Vail Marriott is the headquarters hotel, and hosts all evening sessions of music. The jazz tent at Vail Square is the location for the the Opening Session on Thursday night, the Gospel Prayer Meetin’, and all daytime sessions.Whether it’s group performances, multi-artist jam sessions, or the inspiring multimedia tributes to jazz legends, the weekend has a party spirit that attracts musicians and jazz lovers from all over the world. Performers include Ernie Adams, Adam Arruda, Jacob Christoffersen, Jeff Clayton, John Clayton, Bill Cunliffe, Adrian Cunningham, Graham Dechter, EC3 (Ernest Coleman III), Sinne Eeg, Jerohn Garnett, Wycliffe Gordon, Karen Hammack, Tyrone Jackson, Jeff Hamilton, Niki Haris, Butch Miles, James Morrison, Dick Oatts, Ken Peplowski, Byron Stripling, and Akiko Tsuruga.


Performance pass $375, patron pass $450, individual performances, $55-$75; vailjazz.org; (970) 479-6146; (888) 824-5526.

GRUGELFEST 2017 (Toledo, OH) – Sept. 8-10

Grugelfest will be staged at its new location from Friday, September 8 through Sunday, September 10 at the Holiday Inn French Quarter Perrysburg, 10630 Fremont Pike, Perrysburg, Ohio (US 20 at I-75 Exit 193). This year’s bands: Toledo’s Cakewalkin’ Jass Band, Tex Wyndham and his Red Lion Jazz Band, The Red Rose Ragtime Band, Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers, and Jon Seiger and the All Stars. Ragtime piano provided by Tex Wyndham and by Kenan Leslie (“Li’l Laundry”) in honor of Sister Jean Huling, the Ragtime Queen. Profits from Grugelfest 2017 will benefit the Dyslexia Education Training Center of Northwest Ohio, an organization which teaches children with dyslexia how to read.

VIP Patron ticket (including admission to all sessions, reserved seating, name in the program, Saturday Morning Patron Breakfast, and copy of Ralph Grugel’s legacy CD: The Bums at Fagan’s), $160; All-event ticket, $130; individual session ticket, $45. For tickets, call the Huntington Center Box Office at (419) 321-5007. Call the Holiday Inn French Quarter and ask for special Grugelfest rates: (419) 874-3111. Visit us online for more information: www.grugelfest.com.


PENTASTIC HOT JAZZ FESTIVAL (Penticton, B.C., Canada) – Sept. 8-10

The 21st Pentastic Fest will feature Dave Bennett & Memphis Speed Kings, Black Swan Classic JB, Cornet Chop Suey, Bob Draga and Friends, Gator Nation, Lance Buller, Benny & the Good Men, Cocuzzi Coots Courtet, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, and Lennart Axelsson and his European All Stars. The 2017 festival’s various venues include the SS Sicamous, the Days Inn & Conference Centre, the Elks Hall, and the Trade and Convention Centre. A shuttle makes regular runs between the venues to transport patrons from one location to another.

Tickets cost $60 Friday, $75 Saturday and $55 Sunday, or $110 for all three days; pentasticjazz.com; (866) 599-3494.

CLEVELAND CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY (Cleveland, OH) – Sept. 14-17

Presented by the Allegheny Jazz Society at Wyndham Hotel at Playhouse Square (in the center of Cleveland’s theatre district), 1260 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, Ohio, the fourth annual party showcases Duke Heitger, Joel Forbes, Randy Reinhart, Nicki Parrott, Andy Schumm, Frank Tate, Dan Block, Ricky Malichi, Ken Peplowski, Pete Siers, Scott Robinson, Hal Smith, Dan Barrett, Petra van Nuis, Howard Alden, Faux Frenchmen, Andy Brown, Ehud Asherie, James Dapogny, Nancy Griffith, John Di Martino, Rossano Sportiello, and historian Phil Atteberry.


Ticket prices range from $50 per session to $310 for full-four-day admission. One free student ticket is available with each paid ticket to any session; (216) 956-0886; alleghenyjazz.org.


Staged at the three-story City Hall Events Venue, 1144 Broadway Blvd., in Denver, this exceptional festival, staged in connection with Lindy on the Rocks, focuses primarily on pre-war swing and vintage jazz of the 1930s and ’40s. This year’s bands include the Michael Gamble & The Vanguard Serenaders, Kris Tokarski Quintet with Chloe Feoranzo, The Joe Smith Orchestra Featuring the All-Stars, The Spicy Pickles, and The Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars, plus hundreds of swing dancers and selected Denver-area musicians.

The Full Festival Pass is $109, with Individual Session Passes costing Friday Evening ($30), Saturday Afternoon ($20), Saturday Evening ($30), Sunday Afternoon ($10), and Sunday Evening ($20). Denverjazzfestival.org; (303) 883-6691; cmDance.org; www.LindyOnTheRocks.com.


These two tiny towns—Orbisonia and Rockhill, each with populations of less than 500—were forever united by the East Broad Top Railroad and Coal Company. The railroad, constructed in 1873, ceased operation in 1956, but it continues to a source of pride in Huntington County. In the railroad’s early days, ragtime was the popular music of the day, and this festival celebrates that exciting musical style. This year’s headliners, drawn from the world’s best ragtime performers, are sure to please: Danny Coots, Richard Dowling, Frederick Hodges, Brian Holland, Daniel Souvigny, Adam Swanson, and Bryan and Yuko Eguchi Wright, with special guest Tom Alvord.


An all-festival pass is $150; a Saturday pass, $100; concerts Friday evening, Saturday morning, and Saturday afternoon, $30 each; Saturday evening dinner, concert, and trolley ride, $60; Ragtime After Hours (on Friday), $10; Sunday picnic and concert, $40. (No tickets are needed for the Sunday morning service at St. Luke’s.) For tickets, please contact David Brightbill at (814) 447-3984; rockhillragtime.org/, or write: P.O. Box 272, Orbisonia, PA 17243.

Festival Roundup September 2017
Dave Bennett brings his Quartet and his Speed Kings to the Southern Oregon Music Festival.


Seventeen bands will perform a total of 95 sets of danceable music at five distinct venues, all within seven blocks in downtown Medford, Oregon. Bands include High Street Band, Gator Nation, Dave Bennett & The Memphis Speed Kings, Tom Rigney& Flambeau, Gino & The Lone Gunmen, Bob Draga with Friends, High Sierra Jazz Band, Midiri Brothers, Twice as Good 2xG, The Young Bucs, Cocuzzi Courtet, Dave Bennett Quartet, Oregon Coast Lab Band, Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners, guest artists Brian Casserly and Kacie Garner-Bowers, and (in their West Coast debut) Blair Crimmins & The Hookers.

Membership levels (all-event) are $125, $210, or $325; all-event passes cost $85 until Sept. 22, $90 thereafter ($20 for students 12-23); daily ticket prices range from $30 to $50; (866) 448-1948; somusicfest.org; email: [email protected]

OREGON COAST JAZZ PARTY (Newport, OR) – Oct. 6-8

Oregon Coast Council for the Arts celebrates 14 years with the Oregon Coast Jazz Party October 6-8, 2017 at the Newport Performing Arts Center and at the Shilo Inn Suites Hotel, both in Newport. Music Director Holly Hofmann will perform this year, and has assembled a roster of longtime favorites—as well as exciting performers who haven’t appeared before at the Oregon Coast Jazz Party. New to the event this year are pianist George Cables’s trio with bassist Essiet Okon Essiet and drummer Victor Lewis, pianist George Colligan, guitarist Russell Malone, Thomas Marriott on trumpet, vocalist Greta Matassa, and drummer Ryan Shaw. And many superb favorites return for this year: bassist John Clayton, pianist Gerald Clayton, drummer Jeff Hamilton, bassist Mary Ann McSweeney, tenor sax man Houston Person, drummer Chuck Redd, and pianist Mike Wofford.

Jazz party patron levels, $250, $500 and $1,000; Ticket prices TBA; (541) 265-2787; oregoncoastjazzparty.org.



Pianists Frederick Hodges, Martin Spitznagel, Ethan Uslan, Bill Edwards, and the dynamic duo of Bryan and Yuko Wright headline the region’s first ragtime festival, to be held in picturesque downtown Lynchburg, Virginia at the city’s historic Academy Theater. The entertaining weekend will include several full-length indoor concerts, symposia, and silent film screenings, with a variety of syncopated piano music from the 1890s-1930s. There will also be outdoor performances on the nine fancifully-decorated pianos that adorn downtown Lynchburg’s streets as part of the “Hill City Keys” program. Take advantage of “off hours” to tour a nearby Civil War cemetery famous for its antique roses or visit Thomas Jefferson’s summer home, Poplar Forest. Plenty of unique dining options within walking distance of the festival site. For more information, visit the Academy Center of the Arts online: academycenter.org.

JEFF & JOEL’S HOUSE PARTY (Branford, CT) Oct. 13-15

Jeff Barnhart and Joel Schiavone, two of the leaders of Connecticut Jazz and the Connecticut Jazz Festival, decided to collaborate and Jeff and Joel’s House Party was born. JJHP is returning to The Elks Lodge in Branford Connecticut, 58 South Montowese Street (Route 146), October 13-15, 2017.
The “Taste of the Weekend” will kick off Friday with our special guests Banu Gibson of New Orleans fame and Grammy Award winner Vince Giordano joined in a jazz quintet with Dan Levinson, Tom Palinko, and Jeff Barnhart.

Returning musicians are Fred Vigorito, Noel Kaletsky, Tom Boates, and Kevin Dorn, joined, of course, by Jeff and Joel. New to JJHP will be Dalton Ridenhour (keyboard), Matt Musselman (trombone), Mike Davis (trumpet), and Frank Tate (bass).

Musical Director Jeff Barnhart conducts the amazing musical merry-go-round. The JJHP experience is like listening to a different band with each musician grouping. Until July 1, 2017 sales are limited to the full weekend package at $225 per person with Friday night at $25 per person. Seating is limited to preserve the house party feel of musicians and audience. Delicious meals are served at each Saturday and Sunday session.

For information and to purchase tickets, please call 203-208-1481; jeffandjoelshouseparty.com;
email: [email protected]

Festival Roundup September 2017
Yve Evans sings and swings “Guess Who I Saw Today” at the 2012 Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree. She returns to Sun Valley this October to delight with her marvelous music. (YouTube photo)

SUN VALLEY JAZZ & MUSIC FESTIVAL (Sun Valley, ID) – Oct. 18-22

Venues for the 2017 edition of the Sun Valley Jazz and Music Festival include the Sun Valley Inn, the River Run Lodge, the Sun Valley Lodge, Satchmo’s, the Sun Valley Opera House, and the Sawtooth Speakeasy. This year’s Fest features a one-time appearance by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Terry Myers. Other scheduled entertainers include the Barnhart/Midiri Quartet, Blue Renditions, Blue Street Jazz Band, Bob Draga with Friends, Boise Straight Ahead, Bruce Innes Trio, Carolyn Martin Swing Band, Cocuzzi Trio, Cornet Chop Suey, Yve Evans, Gator Nation, High Sierra Jazz Band, High Street Party Band, Holland & Coots, Tom Hook, Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners, Jerry Krahn Quartet, Ivory&Gold, Kings of Swing, Midiri Brothers Sextet, Paris Washboard, Pearl Django, PBJ (Paul Reid, Brian Casserly, & Jim Lawlor), Gary Ryan, Sherri Colby’s Racket Makers, Side Street Strutters with Meloney Collins, Sun Valley Jazz All Stars w/Marilyn Keller, Terry Myers Quartet with Jaimie Roberts, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, We Three, and the Yale Whiffenpoofs.

All-event $157 Early Bird special (including $5 for Tommy Dorsey Orchestra) ends July 31; starting Aug. 1, $167; $177 at door; Tommy Dorsey ticket $25 without fest pass; day and evening passes range from $28 to $72 (please call or see website for details); (877) 478-5277; sunvalleyjazz.com.

Festival Roundup September 2017
The Roswell Jazz Festival offers some out-of-this-world music in October. If you meet this cat in Roswell, don’t lend him your cell phone. The roaming charges could be astronomical.

ROSWELL JAZZ FESTIVAL (Roswell, NM) – Oct. 18-22

Every October, world class jazz musicians from across the country convene in Roswell at venues for every taste from intimate to large club settings, community jazz worship services, Sunday afternoon museum concerts, and more. The Guest of Honor for the 2017 Roswell Fest is Allan Vaché. A host of world-class musicians will gather for this fall’s 11th annual Roswell Jazz Fest including headliners Houston Person, Chuck Redd, Warren Vaché, Ken Peplowski, and Ernie Andrews; pianists Bruce Barth, Richard Dowling, Michael Francis, Roger Dickerson, Carl Sonny Leyland, and Larry Fuller; bassists Richard Simon, Frank Tate, Erik Unsworth, and Tom Wakeling; drummers Ricky Malichi and Hal Smith; tubist Jim Shearer; guitarists/banjoists Howard Elkins and Curt Warren; trumpeter Randy Sandke; saxophonist Mack Goldsbury; trombonists John Allred, Dan Barrett, and Russ Phillips; and vocalist Hillary Smith.

Ticket prices and full schedule not available at press time. Please call or write for more information: (505) 359-4876; roswelljazz.org; email: [email protected]

PISMO JAZZ JUBILEE (by the Sea) (Pismo Beach, CA) – Oct. 26–29

Pismo Jazz Jubilee (by the Sea) is celebrating its 41st year with new indoor venues, new bands, more comfortable seating, better handicapped-accessibility, and more buses—and a New Orleans themed-event. The Pismo Jubilee is always the last full weekend in October.

New bands for 2017 include: The Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band, Bob Schulz’s Frisco Jazz Band, The JC Jazz Crew (Justin Au, Chloe Feoranzo, Conrad Cayman), Mariachi Autlence, and guest artists Washboard Steve and Brian Holland.

Returning favorites include: Tom Rigney and Flambeau, High Street Band, Sue Palmer’s Motel Band, Cornet Chop Suey, The Midiri Brothers, High Sierra Jazz Band, Night Blooming Jazzmen, Crescent Katz, and We Three + 1 (Bob Draga, Jeff Barnhart, Danny Coots, Larry Scala).

In addition, the Central Coast welcomes Ivory and Gold, Larry Scala’s Rhythm Jesters, Creole Syncopators, Judith and the Jazz Krewe, Ulysses Jasz Band, Dick Williams’ Jammers, and Pacific Swing. The guest artists are Pat Yankee, Jeff Barnhart, Bob Draga, Danny Coots, Carl Sonny Leyland, and Larry Scala. The school bands scheduled to date are: The Hancock College Jazz Band and Dos Pueblos High School Jazz Band.

The prices for Early Bird 3-day badges (before 9-11-2017) are $95. “Pre-Jubilee” 3-day badges (Sep 11th – Oct 25th)) are $105. 3-Day badges can be purchased at the Jubilee for $110. Will call will be at the Vet’s Hall this year.

New this year: three-day badges are only $30 for attendees under 30 years old (with ID); and $90 over 90 years old. Children under 12 are free. Volunteers get in free.

Day badges and evening badges are available. For badge Sales and Hotel Specials go to: http://pismojazz.com/JubileeByTheSea.htm. Information: [email protected] Badge Sales (805)539-5696. Information only (Rhonda) (805) 937-8402.

COLORADO SPRINGS JAZZ PARTY (Colorado Springs, CO) – Oct. 27-29

This year the Friends of Colorado Springs Jazz again present the Colorado Springs Jazz Party at Antlers Hotel, 4 S. Cascade Ave., in the shadow of Pike’s Peak. The 2017 Jazz Party brings together world-class musicians with international recognition and featured this year are local talents at the Sunday performance. The party features three sessions—two on Saturday and one on Sunday afternoon—after opening with a cocktail reception on Friday. Performers include Alvin Atkinson, Drums; Dan Barrett, Trombone; Adrian Cunningham, Clarinet; Vincent Gardner, Trombone; Eddie Metz, Drums; Richard Moten, Bass; Nicki Parrott, Bass and Vocal; Ken Peplowski, Saxophone; Ben Polcer, Trumpet; Ed Polcer, Cornet; Rosanno Sportiello, Piano; Johnny Varro, Piano; and Wayne Wilkinson, Guitar; On
Sunday: David Siegel, Violin and Stefan Doucette, Guitar.

Prices for patron badges range from $250 to $1,500; individual sessions cost $50-$75, students $25; Sunday brunch costs $30; [email protected]; (719) 471-3124; csjazzparty.com.

THE MIKE DURHAM CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK) – Oct. 27-29

There is some great music in store on the other side of the Pond. The Mike Durham Classic Jazz Party will run from mid-day on Friday until late on Sunday evening at the Village Hotel, Newcastle upon Tyne, some 70 miles south of Scotland in northeast Great Britain. The festival takes place in a luxurious setting with assigned seating of eight to a table, and tables are rotated twice daily. The program explores jazz from its first 40 years, with special jam sessions in the Victory Pub in the wee small hours. This year’s musicians include trumpeters/cornetists Mike Davis, Andy Schumm, Duke Heitger, Jamie Brownfield, Malo Mazurié; reed players Michael McQuaid, Matthias Seuffert, Jean-Francois Bonnel, Lars Frank, Claus Jacobi, Richard Exall, Ewan Bleach; trombonists Jim Fryer, Kristoffer Kompen, Graham Hughes; pianists Keith Nichols, Martin Litton, David Boeddinghaus, Morten Gunnar Larsen; banjoists/guitarists Thomas “Spats” Langham, Martin Wheatley, Jacob Ullberger; percussionists Nick Ball, Nick Ward, Josh Duffee, Richard Pite; bassists/tubists Henri Lemaire, Malcolm Sked, Elise Sut, Phil Rutherford; bass saxophonist Frans Sjostrom; violinist Emma Fisk; and vocalists Joan Viskant, Nicolle Rochelle, and “Spats” Langham.

Places for the 2017 Party will cost £160 per person for the weekend. (Exchange rates as of August 13: $1.29 US = £1 UK.) All bookings are 100% refundable in case of cancellation due to serious illness, bereavement, or other unavoidable cause. For tickets and other information, please visit the event’s site on the web at whitleybayjazzfest.org; email: [email protected]


Staged at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort in Chandler, Arizona, the 28th annual festival features ample dance floors at four venues and offers jammers three sets at which to strut their stuff.
2017 will be another exciting year for ACJF. They will be welcoming four bands for the first time (Hot Jazz Pie, the Kris Tokarski Trio, the incredible husband and wife piano team Stephanie Trick & Paolo Alderighi, and straight from New Orleans the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys). The St. Louis Rivermen return after a seven-year absence.

The Festival opens on Thursday, November 2, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. with lively music from Stephanie & Paolo and closes at 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 5, after the Grand Finale presented by the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys.

Other performers include Howard Alden, B.A.D. Rhythm, Dave Bennett Quartet, Danny Coots, Cornet Chop Suey, 52nd Street Jazz Band, High Sierra Jazz Band, Brian Holland, Queen City Jazz Band, Dan Reed’s Dixieland Hotshots, Sun City Stomperz, and the Wildcat Jazz Band.

All-event badge prices cost $110 before Aug. 15, or $130 thereafter; (480) 620-3941; azclassicjazz.org; email: [email protected] For Crowne Plaza info, call (480) 812-0900.

SUNCOAST JAZZ CLASSIC (Clearwater Beach, FL) – Nov. 17-19

The 27th 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. The Suncoast kicks off poolside on Friday, November 17 with a parasol parade and moves indoors to feature a lineup of premier jazz bands and performers: High Sierra, Wally’s Warehouse Waifs, Dave Bennett, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, Professor Cunningham and His Old School, Cornet Chop Suey, Danny Sinoff Quintet (with Patricia Dean, Herb Bruce, Scott Smith & Gabe Wallace), Al Downing Allstars (with Synia Carroll), Allred-Vache Florida AllStars (with Bill Allred, Allan Vache, Johnny Varro, Eddie Metz, Jr., Charlie Silva & Davey Jones), and special guests Bob Price, Lorri Hafer, Nate Najar, John Lamb, Mark Feinman, Pepper, Bakey & Betty, Dan Howard, Herb Roselle, Betty Comora, and Jam Sessions with Dr. Jim Gover.

Before the festival, enjoy a special, one night only performance by Louis Prima, Jr., on Wednesday, November 15th, at the Central Park Performing Arts Center, in Largo. A separate ticket is required for this performance. Tickets range from $29.50-$44.50 depending on seating preferences. You may order tickets from www.largoarts.com, in person at the box office, or call the box office hotline at (727) 587-6793.

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. (Extend your stay and play—special hotel rates honored as available several days before and after the festival.)

Festival Roundup September 2017
Richard Dowling (here literally on the Steinway) joins the galaxy of stellar ragtime performers to energize the West Coast Ragtime Festival this November. (photo courtesy www.richard-dowling.com)

WEST COAST RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Rancho Cordova, CA) Nov. 17-19

The 31st annual fest will be staged at the Sacramento Marriott Rancho Cordova, 211 Point East Drive, some 15 miles east of Sacramento. Six ground-floor venues present live music nearly nonstop through the festival’s three days.

This fall’s performers include Elliott Adams, Paulo Alderighi, Nick Arteaga, Cleve Baker, Clint Baker, Ramona Baker, Tom Barnebey, Jeff Barnhart, Ed Berlin, Big Mama Sue & Fast Eddie, Tom Bopp, The Bradshaws, Diego Bustamante, Michael Chisholm, Danny Coots, Kylan deGhetaldi, Jared DiBartolomeo, Richard Dowling, Richard Duree, Marty Eggers, Lisa Gonick, Dale Hadley, Rosemary Hallum, Frederick Hodges, Brian Holland, Stan Isaacs, Vincent Matthew Johnson, Max Keenlyside, Carl Sonny Leyland, Frank LiVolsi, Carl Lunsford, Jonathan Meredith, Larisa Migachyov, Alethea Sung-Miller, Bruce Mitchell, Oliver Moore, Ezequiel Palleia, Will Perkins, David Thomas Roberts, Jack Rummel, Christoph Schmetterer, Sean Sharp, Martin Spitznagel, Squeek Steele, Stanley Stern & Mario Oieda, Adam Swanson, Virginia Tichenor, John Reed Torres, Stephanie Trick, Ian Whitcomb, Ryan Wishner, Dick Zimmerman, Ivory&Gold®, Raspberry Jam Band, Porcupines, Sullivans/Drivons, Pacific Coast Ragtime Orchestra, and Special Guest Max Morath.

All-events badges cost $105, and $115 after Nov. 1; Fri-Sat badges $95; Sat-Sun $85; Fri $50, Sat $60; Sun $40 through Oct. 31. (916) 457-3324; westcoastragtime.com/.

Festival Roundup September 2017
The Original Cornell Syncopators travel from blustery upstate New York to sunny SoCal for the 38th Annual San Diego Jazz Fest. From left: Rishi Verma, trombone; Amit Mizrahi, piano; Noah Li, drums; Hannah Krall, clarinet; and Colin Hancock, cornet, leader. (photo courtesy Colin Hancock)

SAN DIEGO JAZZ FEST (San Diego, CA) Nov. 22-26

The Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, serves as festival headquarters for the 38th Annual San Diego Jazz Fest, as continuous music enlivens seven different rooms. Invited guest artists this year include Stephanie Trick, Paolo Alderighi, Katie Cavera, Chloe Feoranzo, and Carl Sonny Leyland, with invited bands and groups The Original Cornell Syncopators, High Sierra J.B., Dave Bennett Quartet, High Society J.B., Big Butter J.B., Kris Tokarski Quintet, Memphis Speed Kings, Night Blooming Jazzmen, Uptown Lowdown J.B., Sue Palmer and her Motel Swing Orchestra, Grand Dominion J.B., Titanic J.B., Euphoria Brass Band, Frederick Hodges & the Crown Syncopators, The World’s Finest Apples, Yerba Buena Stompers, Jazz Jammers, Mad Hat Hucksters, Uptown Rhythm Makers, Champagne Dixie, Mission Bay HS Preservationists, Saturday Swing Dance, and more to be announced.

All Event Badges: 5-Days $115 each; 4-Days $110 each; 3-Days $105 each; daily badges available at the door. Please write: AFCDJS, P.O. Box 880387, San Diego, CA 92168-0387; call 619-297-5277; or email: [email protected]; visit us at www.sdjazzfest.org/

Festival lodging will be at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, CA, 92108.; 800-772-8527 or 619-291-7131. Please ask for Jazz Festival reservations for the festival rates, which start at $109 per night, not including fees and taxes.

Festival Roundup September 2017
Tom Rigney and Flambeau cleanse the jazz palate with lively American roots music at seven festivals listed in this month’s Roundup. (photo courtesy www.folsomtelegraph.com)

TUSCON JAZZ FESTIVAL (Tuscon, AZ) – Jan. 11-21, 2017

Primarily an event with individually-ticketed concerts at the historic Fox and Rialto theaters, as well as TCC Music Hall and Club Congress, the Tuscon Jazz Fest also offers an outdoor Downtown Jazz Fiesta to be staged on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 15, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. with free jazz performances on eight stages all over downtown Tucson. Main festival acts include Hypnotic Brass, The Hot Sardines, Arturo Sandoval and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, trumpeter Matt Holman and his Group, Sheila E., Downtown Jazz Fiesta, vibraphonist Warren Wolf and the UA Studio Jazz Ensemble, Lew Tabackin Trio, Diane Schuur Quartet Featuring Ernie Watts, The Bill Charlap Trio, The Mingus Dynasty, TJI Ellington Band, Spyro Gyra, Wycliffe Gordon, and bassist/vocalist Jay Leonhardt..

Ticket pricing, festival schedule, and lodging information may be found at the festival website tucsonjazzfestival.org; (520) 989-0720.


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

Festival Roundup September 2017
Bandleader and Syncopated Times writer Randi Cee, pictured here at the Sacramento Hot Jazz Jubilee, will sing at The Sounds of Mardi Gras, Fresno CA, February 8-11, 2018. (photo courtesy www.gigsalad.com)

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 sacjazzfoundation.org/tjybf/

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 and 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 cost $85 through Oct. 31, $90 between Nov. 1 and Feb. 1, 2017, 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]

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.

Or look at our Subscription Options.