Sacramento Jazz Society Reboots

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The traditional jazz society in Sacramento lives to see another day! It’s just in a different format.

The Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society officially went out of business on December 31, 2017, after promoting and presenting the music for 50 years and sponsoring the second-largest trad jazz festival in the world. On February 11, 2018, 85 people gathered at a Town Hall meeting to discuss the possibility of forming a new organization that would continue to hold the “2nd Sunday” monthly meetings and related activities of the now-defunct STJS—minus the annual festival.

The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the decision was made to move forward to form a new corporation, write bylaws, set up committees and recruit members. One individual in attendance pledged $5,000 as seed money to help get the new organization up and running. “We hope to make the process as seamless as possible and be able to hold our regular ‘2nd Sunday’ meeting in March,” according to spokesman Dennis Grimes.

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Late last year, the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society voted to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which officially brought closure to the long-running Society and its Memorial Day weekend festival. The Festival was facing declining attendance and increased competition in recent years that resulted in a financial shortfall for the Society.

The Teagarden Jazz Camp, which is held mid-summer at Pollock Pines, California, in the Sierra Nevada mountains 60 miles east of Sacramento, is operated by the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society Foundation, a separate non-profit corporation. Established in 1986, the Camp is annually attended by up to 90 young musicians ages 12-20. Bill Dendle is the current Camp Director, and the faculty includes such jazz stalwarts at Bria Skonberg, Ed Metz, and Jason Wanner.


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