The Festival Roundup: April 2021 (We’re Back Baby!)

Do not interpret an event not being on this list as a cancellation, it means only that they have yet to announce any information about the upcoming year. The lack of announced bands below is because many events are justifiably hesitant to make contracts with artists until they are sure they will be able to happen, but all signs point to an AMAZING summer and fall. Correction: The print edition gave the wrong dates for the Sun Valley Jazz Festival., the correct dates are October 13-17th. 

NEW YORK HOT JAZZ CAMP (Virtual Weekend) April 16-18

Enrollment opens MARCH 5TH. Details will be announced any day. The fall virtual weekend had a truly incredible lineup of musicians and a great selection of lectures, discussions, instruction, and jam sessions.

Red Wood Coast

ZEHNDER’S RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Frankenmuth, MI ) April 21-24, 2021

Zehnder’s Annual Ragtime Festival Zehnder’s has been host to ragtime performers from around the United States and Canada for over 25 years. Come and enjoy ragtime music performed by our featured pianist, Bob Milne and other world renowned musicians including; Jeff & Anne Barnhart, Kerry Price, Andrew Ratajczak, Dave Majchrzak, Martin Spitznagel, Bryan Wright, and Dan Petrella.

Reservations are required for lunch, brunch, and all dinner concerts. For more info or reservations call (844) 288-1484; or visit


A live (and live-streamed) concert from the theatre at Flushing Town Hall on International Jazz Day performed by David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band in honor of the historic legacy of Jazz in Queens and celebrating new generations of Jazz musicians followed by a live Q&A with the musicians.

Hot Jazz Jubile

At a young age, David Ostwald learned playing piano and the tuba – an instrument that was used in early Jazz before the acoustic bass became a staple in Jazz ensembles. David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band features: band leader and tubaist David Ostwald; Joe Boga (trumpet); Will Anderson (clarinet/alto sax); Dion Tucker (trombone); Arnt Arntzen (banjo/guitar); and, Alex Raderman (drums).

Following the performance on April 30 at 7:00 PM (ET) will be a live artist talk and Q&A moderated by Flushing Town Hall’s Jazz Producer Clyde Bullard. Audience members can submit questions at any time during the show in the Youtube Live chat. The performance will be only available to ticketed viewers. Tickets are available online for $5.00 (plus a $1 convenience fee).


Tentative plans are being made to hold the Sarasota Jazz Festival, which usually takes place in March, sometime in May. Yes, we know it might be too soon. That’s why a final decision to hold the festival will not be made until March 31st. We will have everything in place and organized to start selling tickets then, but only if the virus numbers are way down and if vaccine inoculations are way up. Keep posted at


The 37th annual Pensacola JazzFest will take place May 15-16 2021 at Seville Square in historic downtown Pensacola.

As always, JazzFest is a free and celebrates America’s unique musical art form, jazz. We produce the event with assistance from a variety of corporate sponsors and community organizations. Jazz Pensacola volunteers also work yearlong to present Pensacola JazzFest as their annual gift to the community.


Scheduled artists include: Saxophonist Larry Panella, Jazz pianist Tony Viviano, Saxophonist Doug Horn, Trumpeter Jonathan Martin, Jack Zoesch Quartet, Glenn Parker Band, Jazz pianist Alex Nollan, Nobius, Isabelle Schrack Band, La’Roy Bodiford Quartet, Fais Do-Do, Chip Herrington Quintet, and the Excelsior Brass Band.


A decision has been made to postpone the Junior, Regular & Senior Division Contests until May, 2022. It is simply not feasible to hold these events given the present health pandemic. The University of Mississippi safety protocols prohibit a live audience at this time. The Contest personnel have agreed to host a virtual New Rag Contest under modified rules on Memorial Day weekend, 2021 in addition to a noncompetitive Junior Showcase for those competitors ages 17-and-under. Stay tuned for details for both of these events in the coming weeks. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we traverse these very difficult times. – Ian Hominick, Art. Dir.


The 2021 Festival has been postponed due to Covid concerns. The 2022 Festival WILL occur June 1-4, 2022. The Scott Joplin Foundation has been sponsoring a recurring free online event called Syncopated Saturday Night that can be found on their Youtube and Facebook pages. Links at


ELKHART JAZZ FESTIVAL (Elkhart, IN) June 18-20

All indications are that the Elkhart Jazz Festival, which is largely an outdoor event, will be a go.

Visit; tickets: (574) 293-4469; festival info: (574) 218-6477.


We have a date. Details to follow.


Call (707) 940-4025 or (800) 546-2070; visit for reservations and winery information.

SOUNDS OF MARDI GRAS (Fresno, CA) – Summer 2021?

Keep your fingers crossed, we may have our Festival in July, or some other time, instead of February this year. Keep checking in at for any new details.



THE 2021 EVERGREEN JAZZ FESTIVAL HAS BEEN CANCELED. At its April meeting, the Evergreen Jazz Festival Board of Directors voted to cancel the 2021 festival. Said president Jeannie Mann, “The uncertainty of state and county Covid restrictions simply makes it impossible to commit to our usual intimate venues and up-close- and-personal format.”

She added that the board will be exploring the possibility of streaming a series of live performances featuring many of the great bands from previous Festivals… “all leading up to a very special 2022 event!” Check the festival website www.Evergreen for updates and to subscribe to the festival newsletter.

NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL (Newport, RI) July 30th-August 1st

No bands have been announced yet. The cancelled 2020 festival had scheduled a full day worth of traditional jazz acts including Vince Giordano, Colin Hancock, Tuba Skinny, Catherine Russell, Mike Davis, and many more. We can hope some were invited back but have no insider info.


The 2021 Bix Fest will present what we hope you’ll agree is one of our best line-ups ever, so far we have Andy Schumm and the Chicago Cellar Boys, Joe Smith and the Spicy Pickles, NOLA Jazz Band, Josh Duffee’s ALL-Star Graystone Monarchs Band, The Mortonia Sextet led by Hal Smith and Dave Bennett, for their 16th appearance the Cakewalkin’ Jazz Band, Miss Jubilee from St. Louis, the Southside Aces of Minneapolis, and the Bix Youth Band. Ticket information and hotel info will be available on our newly remodeled website later this spring.

Ticket prices and band schedules available soon; for more information visit; call (563) 324-7170 or email at [email protected].

23rd Annual HISTORIC SUTTER CREEK RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Sutter Creek, CA) August 13th-15th

If all goes smoothly the festival will return to a three day festival, after surviving the Pandemic year with a historic heat waved one day festival in August  2020. We are already on our way for this year’s festival planning and the musicians are rearing to perform.  As of now it sure looks like things will be returning to some sense of normalcy, but we know that even by August there will still be some guidelines that we will be expected to adhere to. Whatever requirements and precautions need to be addressed, we will do so with the utmost safety for our musicians and attendees. So no doubt the festival may look a little different when it arrives, but rest assured the music, relaxed atmosphere and the genuine joy of being amongst great musicians and like minded Ragtime enthusiasts will be the highlight of your summer!

The website has been updated with current info and the pricing will remain the same as last year. We will be headquartered at the Auditorium City Hall this year and will have a few other venues throughout the town as usual.  I believe that this year will be perfect weather too.

(209) 304-0835, [email protected]

HOT JAZZ JUBILEE (Postponed to 2022)

The Hot Jazz Jubilee Board of Directors met recently, and, after lengthy discussion and much weighing of pros and cons, the decision was reluctantly made to postpone the 2021 festival to 2022.

For those of you who have already booked a room at the DoubleTree or elsewhere, please contact the hotel to cancel. We will notify you when you can rebook for 2022. We will of course roll over all prepaid badges from 2020 and 2021 to next year. We will miss seeing you and sharing all the fun this year, but watch this space! As soon as conditions allow, we will be hosting some live music fundraising events. And watch out 2022! We will be back and so will all those wonderful Musicians and Bands, as promised! (Yes, they have already put us on their calendars!) So mark YOUR calendars for Labor Day weekend, September 2nd-5th, 2022! In the meantime, stay safe!!

PENTASTIC JAZZ & MUSIC FESTIVAL (Penticton, BC, Canada) September 10th-12th

The 24th Annual Jazz Festival is scheduled for September 10, 11, and 12, 2021.  We will be emailing updates to our music lineup and schedules and also posting onto our website throughout the year. Invited bands: Tom Hook and Friends, Black Market Trust, Dave Bennett & The Memphis Speed Kings, Dave Bennett Quartet, Groovus (Coots, Holland and Pikel), Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Professor Cunningham and His Old School Band, South Okanagan Big Band, And guest artist Lance Buller, with More To Come! Tickets can be purchased for this year’s Pentastic Jazz & Music Festival (September 10, 11 & 12, 2021) NOW and if 2020’s tickets were not refunded, they will be honored for the 2021 festival.
For further information, visit Pentastic online at, or call toll-free (866) 599 3494. Purchase tickets online at

REDWOOD COAST MUSIC FESTIVAL (Eureka, CA) September 30th – October 3rd

The Redwood Coast Music Festival, which normally takes place in the spring, has been moved to the fall for this year. 4 days, 8 Stages, 40 Bands, and 100 Live Sets are planned.

(707) 445-3378; [email protected]

FRENCH QUARTER FESTIVAL (New Orleans) Rescheduled September 30 – October 3

French Quarter Fest 2021 has been rescheduled from it’s normal April week. It will now be September 30 – October 3. The French Quarter Festival  is a free event with several stages around the French Quarter and dozens of local bands, many of which play traditional jazz. No bands have yet been advertised but an idea of what to expect can be taken from the 2020 schedule on their website.

Steve Pistorius Southern Syncopators at French Quarter Festival
Steve Pistorius Southern Syncopators at French Quarter Festival New Orleans 2019


COLORADO SPRINGS JAZZ PARTY (Colorado Springs, CO) October 1st-3rd

They dates have been announced. Call 719-471-3124 for reservations. Mail check to P.O. Box 2257, Colorado Springs, CO 80901.

JAZZ FEST AT SEA (Caribbean) October 3rd-10th 2021

If you’re a fan of Traditional Jazz, Classic Jazz, Chicago Jazz, Swing, in fact just about any style which emerged during the first half of the 20th century, plan to attend JazzFest at Sea – one of the premier jazz cruises of the year. We will be departing from Port Canaveral, Florida for an amazing jazz cruise to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean on the MSC Divina for 7-nights. Not only will you have your choice of amazing evening performances on our jazz cruise, but you are also invited to the afternoon sessions as well. All presented in an intimate jazz club atmosphere limited to 250 guests!

With pricing starting at only $999 per person including taxes and fees, this makes the perfect vacation getaway for all jazz lovers. Contact us today at 1-800-654-8090.

NEW ORLEANS JAZZ & HERITAGE FESTIVAL (New Orleans, LA) October 8-10th & 15-17th

Rescheduled from its normal time in the spring, the big event will bring people to the city during a very comfortable and exciting month. Jazz Fest is much more than what is happening at the Fairgrounds, the city comes alive with music for nine days. Bands to be announced.

SUN VALLEY JAZZ & MUSIC FESTIVAL (Sun Valley, ID) – Oct. 13-17

Partial 2021 Lineup – More Coming Soon: Blue Renditions, Blue Street Jazz Band, Boise Straight Ahead, Carl Sonny Leyland & Friends, Carolyn Martin Swing Band, Clint Baker’s Hot Jazz with Katie Cavera, Yve Evans & Company, Gator Nation, Brian Casserly, Shaymus Hanlin, Holland & Coots/GroovUS, Hot Jazz Collective, Kings of Swing, Midiri Brothers Septet, Pearl Django, Side Street Strutters w/ Meloney Collins, and Tom Rigney & Flambeau.

Tickets available by telephone or at website; (877) 478-5277; Write for brochure (with full ticket pricing information) at Sun Valley Jazz, PO Box 2745, Sun Valley, ID.

ROSWELL JAZZ FESTIVAL (Roswell, NM) – Oct. 13th-17th

We’re already putting the wheels in motion for 2021 RJF events.

Please call or write for more information: (505) 359-4876 or (575) 808-9336;; email: [email protected].

JUBILEE BY THE SEA (Pismo Beach/Arroyo Grande) – Oct. 21st-24th

The Basin Street Regulars, hosts of the Jubilee by the Sea, have been hosting wonderful monthly online events. Follow them on social media to learn about the fall festival as announcements are made.

Badge sales: PO Box 356, Pismo Beach, CA 93448; 805-539-5696. For badges and more information, please visit Information: [email protected].


The only major festival to go off as planned during the pandemic the ACJF will be back this fall.

For details, go to or call 480-620-3941. Send checks or credit card orders to ACJF, 10918 E. Michigan Ave., Sun Lakes, AZ 85248.


Many amazing artists have been invited back for 2021. An impressive list of themed sets is already posted on their website.

For tickets and other information, please visit[email protected].

SUNCOAST JAZZ FESTIVAL (Clearwater Beach, FL) – Nov. 19-21

Professor Cunningham & His Old School, Dave Bennett Quartet, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Ed Metz Trio and MANY MORE to be announced!

For tickets and information, visit us online at; or write: PO Box 395, Largo, FL 33779; (727) 248-9441.

39th ANNUAL SAN DIEGO JAZZ FEST (San Diego, CA) – Nov. 24-28

No details yet but there will be a lot to be thankful for this November!

Contact: AFCDJS, P.O. Box 880387, San Diego, CA 92168-0387; 619-297-5277.
Email: [email protected]; Website:

2022 Announced Dates

Jan. 13-23 Tucson (AZ) Jazz Festival

Feb. 3-5 North Carolina Jazz Festival (Wilmington, NC)
Feb. 25-27 San Diego Jazz Party (Del Mar, CA)

March 4-6 Jazz Bash by the Bay (Monterey, CA)

April 8-10 Three Rivers (CA) JazzAffair

June 1-4 Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival (Sedalia, MO)

Sept. 2-5 Hot Jazz Jubilee (Sacramento, CA)

Joe Bebco is the Associate Editor of The Syncopated Times and Webmaster of

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