PENSACOLA JAZZ FESTIVAL (Pensacola, FL) – April 6-7
Now in its 36th year, this free festival is staged April 6 and 7, 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 Bob Sheppard, Jones and Company, Soul Station, John Cochran and Bodhi Trio, Cartoon, Michael J. Thomas, Nobius, Village Brass Band, Curt Bol Band, Rebecca Barry & George Petropoulos, The Guffman Trio, and Cynthia Domulot & The Dharma Beats. Admission is free; jazzpensacola.com; (850) 433-8382.
FRENCH QUARTER FESTIVAL (New Orleans, LA) – April 11-14
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 35th 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 2019 include John Boutté, Erica Falls, Little Freddie King, Amanda Shaw, Bill Summers & Jazalsa, Irma Thomas, and the all-female Shake ’Em Up JB.
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, CA) – April 12-14
The 46th annual Jazzaffair, hosted by the Sierra Traditional Jazz Club, will be a bittersweet—but not-to-be-missed—event as the High Sierra Jazz Band plays their last gig, ever. Jazzaffair takes place at three venues in Three Rivers: the Lions Club Arena, the Memorial Building, and St. Anthony’s Retreat.
In addition to High Sierra, the “All New” High Street Party Band, Blue Street Jazz Band, Cornet Chop Suey, Dave Bennett Quartet, Bob Schulz Frisco Jazz Band, Reedley Rats, Carl Sonny Leyland, Dixie Dominus, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, Bob Draga, and Holland & Coots Jazz Quintet are scheduled to play.
Early birds’ three-day all-event badges are $100 if postmarked before March 15, $110 thereafter; children attend for $50 each; the Lions Recognition Dinner with Music on Thursday, April 11, is $15. Sponsor Jazzaffair for $250 (two badges included); be a Jazz Patron for $500 (two badges, preferred seating, access to hospitality room); be a Band Sponsor for $1000 (four badges, preferred seating, access to hospitality room).
Visit the Sierra Traditional Jazz Club online at sierratraditionaljazzclub.com; download order form from S.T.J.C., PO Box 712, Three Rivers, CA 93271.
ZEHNDER’S RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Frankenmuth, MI) – April 24-27
Zehnder’s 25th 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 Sue Keller, Bill Wescott, Eric Shore, Jeff & Anne Barnhart, Frederick Hodges, Dan Petrella, Eddie “Blues” Barney, Kerry Price, Adam Swanson, Andrew Ratazcyk, Tony Caramia, Dave Majchrzak, Richard Dowling, Bob Seeley, Don Burns, The Clausons, Bill Edwards, Bryan Wright, and Martin Spitznagel.
Ticket prices for individual events last year ranged from $30 to $60. 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.
JAZZ PARTY WEEKEND (McCall, ID) – April 26-28
The beautiful Shore Lodge at McCall, Idaho, is again the host venue for the Loehr’s Jazz Party Weekend, which this year takes place over the last weekend in April. A fine roster of musicians has been lined up for the weekend: Brian Casserly, Joe Midiri, Jason Wanner, Russ Phillips, Bobby Durham, Sherri Lynn Colby, Dexter Williams, Tom Hook, Katie Cavera, Eddie Metz, Jr., and Jim Lawlor.
This is an intimate event, with limited table seating. Reservations should be made soon; the event will sell out quickly. Call (877) 478-5277 to purchase tickets; www.sunvalleyjazz.com.
GOTHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL (New York, NY) – April 28
Following last year’s sold-out festival, Prohibition Productions and New York Hot Jazz Camp have teamed up again to produce the 3rd annual Gotham Jazz Festival to be held Sunday, April 28th (12 pm to 1 am) at the Players Club in Manhattan.
The Gotham Jazz Festival is an annual all-day music festival featuring over a dozen of New York City’s best hot jazz, swing, and blues bands (over 100 musicians) at the stunning and exclusive private club from the Gilded Age, The Players Club. The New York Hot Jazz Camp directed by Molly Ryan & Bria Skonberg (est. 2015) is an intimate and immersive week-long educational experience where adults work with the city’s top traditional jazz players. In 2018 Prohibition Productions partnered with New York Hot Jazz Camp to feature performances by their incredible faculty, students, and alumni alongside top NYC talent.
Dancers, concert goers and all music enthusiasts are invited to enjoy this 12+ hour musical marathon featuring an eclectic star studded line-up: High & Mighty Brass Band (New Orleans meets Brooklyn funk); the NYHJC Faculty All Stars: Rebecca Kilgore, Evan Christopher, Nicki Parrott, Jon-Erik Kellso, Dion Tucker, Dalton Ridenhour, Justin Poindexter, and Rob Garcia; Queen Esther (Vaudeville Blues); Eyal Vilner Big Band; Sisterhood of Swing Seven: Bria Skonberg, Camille Thurman, Emily Asher, Champian Fulton, Molly Ryan, Nicki Parrott, and Shirazette Tinnin; Ben Paterson Trio; The Ladybugs w. Martina Dasilva of Post Modern Jukebox; Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers (Hot Jazz, Blues & Western Swing); John Gill Jazz Band (New Orleans/Ragtime Revival); The Hot Toddies (Hot Jazz & Swing); Solo pianists: Champian Fulton and Ehud Asherie; New York Hot Jazz Camp Ensembles; and a late night all star jam session.
The Players Club is located at 16 Gramercy Park S, New York, NY 10003. Limited reserved VIP seating available; Tickets start at $25. More information including schedule, tickets, and sponsorship opportunities may be found at www.gothamjazzfestnyc.com.
REDWOOD COAST MUSIC FESTIVAL (Eureka, CA) – May 9-12
The Redwood Coast Music Festival moves to the second weekend in May for 2019. This year’s festival, which takes place in Eureka, California, boasts seven venues: Hagadone Stage at Eureka Municipal Auditorium, Chevron & George Petersen Insurance Stage at The Adorni Center, Pierson Building Center Stage at The Sequoia Center, The Eagle House Stage at The Inn & 2nd and C, Sun Valley Group Stage at Morris Graves Museum, and two performance stages at The Red Lion Hotel (which is the home base of the festival). All venues have food, bars, and dance floors—with complimentary shuttles between venues.
Over 30 bands and artists are scheduled to the four-day event, including The Hot Baked Goods, Jonathan Doyle Swingtet, Stompy Jones, Cornet Chop Suey, Cocuzzi Courtet, Au Brothers Jazz Band, Clint Baker’s Jazz Band, On The Levee Jazz Band, Kris Tokarski Quartet, Gino & The Lone Gunmen, Gator Nation, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Dan Walton’s Jump Swing Imperials, Dave Stuckey & The Hot House Gang, Charlie Halloran & The Quality Six, Carl Sonny Leyland’s House Party, Hal Smith’s Swing Central, Dave Stuckey’s Hoot Owls, Redwood Coast Western Swing All-Stars With Elana James, The Delta Nationals, The Yokels. Guest artists include Elana James, Little Charlie Baty, Katie Cavera, Josh Collazo, Nate Ketner, Ben Polcer, Marc Caparone, and Brian Casserly.
On the Blues stages, invited guests are Curtis Salgado & Alan Hager, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Little Charlie Baty & Carl Sonny Leyland, Aki Kumar & Rockin’ Johnny Burgin, Mitch Woods & The Rocket 88s, Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra With Wee Willie Walker, Two Tone Steiny & The Cadillacs, The Uptown Kings, and Steve Freund Blues Band.
Advance price for a four-day Adult Pass (over 23 years)is $100; after March 16, $115; a four-day youth pass (ages 13-23)is $35 (ages 12 and under free with adult); Prime Time tickets (after 5:00pm Friday or Saturday) are $35; single-day tickets are $40 (Friday), $55 (Saturday), and $30 (Sunday); Thursday night only, $15 (Thursday night events included in four-day pass).
Telephone (707) 445-3378. Open Tuesday & Thursday, 10am-4pm. Please leave message. Send payment to P.O. Box 314, Eureka, CA 95502. State which tickets you want and include your name, mailing address, phone number and email. Checks are payable to RCMF. PayPal options and other information online at www.rcmfest.org. Please check the hotel page to see if there are ticket packages available from official festival hotels. Special combination packages may be available.
53rd ANNUAL WEST TEXAS JAZZ PARTY (Odessa, TX) – May 17-19
The 2019 West Texas Jazz Party—the 53rd annual—returns to the MCM Eleganté in Odessa, Texas, May 17-19, 2019. The world-class jazz musicians invited to appear at the fest include Randy Sandke, trumpet; Warren Vache, cornet; Harry Allen, saxophone; Peter Anderson, reeds; Will Anderson, reeds, Russ Phillips, trombone; John Allred, trombone; Nate Najar, guitar; Ted Rosenthal, piano; Johnny Varro, piano; Ed Metz, drums; Chuck Redd, drums/vibes; Richard Moten, bass; Lynn Seaton, bass; and Rebecca Kilgore, vocals.
Ticket prices are: Single ticket, $250 (all performances); Table, $2500 (all performances). To purchase tickets, please visit wtjs.org/53rd-west-texas-jazz-party/ or call (432) 217-0765 for details and membership information. The address for the Eleganté is 5200 E. University Blvd, Odessa, TX 79762. Contact the MCM Eleganté at (432) 368-5885 to book your rooms.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OLD-TIME PIANO PLAYING CONTEST & FESTIVAL (Oxford, MS) – May 23-26
Festival Artistic Director Ian Hominick writes, “Join us in beautiful Oxford, Mississippi for the 45th annual World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest & Festival. The 2019 schedule of events is posted on our web site and performers have begun registering to compete in their respective divisions. Visit the 2019 Schedule/Purchase Tickets page at www.oldtimepianocontest.com for a complete list of events. Customers may purchase tickets through our on-line store or complete the mail-order form and send a check.
“New this year is a bus excursion to Clarksdale in the Mississippi Delta for a guided tour of the Delta Blues Museum followed by a musical luncheon next door at Ground Zero Blues Club. This requires a separate purchase and must be reserved by April 23rd. In addition to the contests and workshops, we are happy to partner once again with Chancellor’s House on the historic Oxford Square for all of our after-hours activities.”
For more information, write: Old Time Piano Contest, 350 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone 662-915-1282; www.oldtimepianocontest.com.
SCOTT JOPLIN RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Sedalia, MO) – May 29-June 1
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’s festival, the 38th annual, is replete with symposia, special events, and concerts with a focus on all things ragtime.
This year’s featured presenters and musicians are Paul Asaro, Jeff Barnhart, Taslimah Bey, Danny Coots, Neville Dickie, Bill Edwards, Marty Eggers, Alex Hassan, Frederick Hodges, Brian Holland, vory&Gold, Max Keenlyside, Carl Sonny Leyland, Tom McDermott William McNally, Dave Majchrzak, Oliver Moore, John Reed-Torres, David Refkin, The Rhythmia, Dalton Ridenhour, Martin Spitznagel, Virginia Tichenor, Stephanie Trick, and Bryan Wright.
Ticket pricing not available at press time; Write: Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation, P O Box 1244, Sedalia, MO 65302; (660) 826-2271; email@example.com; scottjoplin.org.
AMERICA’S CLASSIC JAZZ FESTIVAL (Lacey, WA) – June 27-30
America’s Classic Jazz Festival, hosted by the Greater Olympia Dixieland Jazz Society, is back at the Marcus Pavilion at Saint Martin’s University, 5300 Pacific Avenue SE. Lacey is a suburb of Olympia, 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, and parasol parades. Pacific Northwest favorites such as Uptown Lowdown from Bellevue will be featured along with such jazz greats as The Wolverines, Cakewalkin’ Jazz Band, Fat Babies, Ivory & Gold, Jeff Barnhart & Charlotte’s Boys, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Ray Skjelbred & His Cubs, Queen City, CanUS Jazz Band, Grand Dominion, Black Swan with Marilyn Keller, Evergreen Jazz Band, and The Graystone Monarchs.
All-event badge prices range from cost $100 to $115; individual event ticket prices range from $15 to $50. Tickets and sponsorships available at door. 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; firstname.lastname@example.org.
EVERGREEN JAZZ FESTIVAL (Evergreen, CO) – July 26-28
Located just 30 minutes southwest of Denver, the scenic mountain community of Evergreen provides an idyllic setting for the 3-day event. 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.
This year’s invited performers include two Denver-based bands, After Midnight and the Queen City Jazz Band, the Carl Sonny Leyland Trio, Hal Smith’s On The Levee Jazz Band, The Poudre River Irregulars, and the Wolverine Jazz Band of Boston, MA.
All tickets purchased online can be picked up at Evergreen Jazz Festival Will-Call at the Evergreen Elks Lodge beginning Friday, July 26 at 11 am. Discounted prices through June 29: Festival Pass (All 3 Days) $105; Student Clinic Fees $50; Friday Evening Session, $30; Student/Active Military Festival Pass (All 3 Days), $50; Student/Active Military (Any Session), $20; Friday All Day Pass, $60; Saturday All Day Pass, $90; Saturday Day Session, $70; Saturday Evening Session, $70; Sunday Session $60.
For ticketing, venue, and lodging information, please visit evergreenjazz.org; email@example.com.
BIX BEIDERBECKE MEMORIAL JAZZ FESTIVAL (Davenport, IA) – Aug. 1-3
The 2019 Bix Beiderbecke Festival will be held again this year at the Rhythm City Casino Resort in north Davenport. The 48th annual Bix event will offer festival concerts in its Event Center, and boasts three restaurants on-site, free parking (with valet parking available), and is the festival host hotel and a major sponsor of the event. The Resort is in close proximity to many shopping and outside-of-venue dining options. (Festival-goers may make reservations at the RCCR by calling 1-844-852-4386 or 563-328-8000. There are a limited number of rooms in the Bix “Block” at the Rhythm City Casino Resort; if calling, ask for a room for the “Bix Fest.”)
Scheduled bands include Jeff Barnhart’s Hot Jazz Collective; The Benny Goodman Trio (with Jeff Barnhart, Hal Smith, & Dave Bennett); Josh Duffee’s Graystone Monarchs; Red Onion Jazz Babies (Kansas City); Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers (St. Louis); the NOLA Jazz Band (Des Moines); and Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles (Denver).
Ticket prices and band schedules available soon; for more information visit www.bixsociety.org; call (563) 324-7170 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.