The Festival Roundup April 2023

FRENCH QUARTER FESTIVAL (New Orleans, LA) – April 13-16

More than 20 stages throughout the French Quarter celebrate local music and represent every genre from traditional and contemporary jazz to R&B, New Orleans funk, brass bands, folk, gospel, Latin, Zydeco, classical, cabaret, and international. Traditional jazz fans will find nearly every artist of interest to them currently active in the city.

New Orleans restaurants serve food and beverages in Jackson Square, the Jazz Museum at the Mint, JAX Brewery, and Woldenberg Riverfront Park during French Quarter Festival weekend. The French Quarter Festival has been consistently voted “favorite festival,” “favorite food festival,” and “favorite event open to the public” by locals. Schedule and map available at frenchquarterfest.org.

Hot Jazz Jubile

JAZZAFFAIR (Three Rivers, CA) – April 14-16

The 48th annual Jazzaffair, hosted by the Sierra Traditional Jazz Club, takes place at three venues in Three Rivers: the Lions Club Arena, the Memorial Building, and St. Anthony’s Retreat.

Bands will include the Sierra Stompers, the Blue Street Jazz Band, Dave Stuckey and the Hoot Owls, Gino and the Lone Gunmen, Dave Bennett Quartet, Carl Sonny Leyland, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, St. John’s Riverboat Jazz Band, Bob Schulz Barbary Coast Jazz Band, and Holland & Coots.

Early birds’ three-day all-event badges are $110 if postmarked before March 15, $120 thereafter; children attend for free; the Lions Recognition Dinner with Music on Thursday, April 7th, is $15. Visit the Sierra Traditional Jazz Club online and download order form: www.threeriversjazzaffair.com; S.T.J.C., PO Box 712, Three Rivers, CA 93271.

Evergreen

ZEHNDER’S RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Frankenmuth, MI) – April 19-21

Zehnder’s 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 2022 included Bob Milne along with Andrew Ratajczak, Jeff Barnhart, Kerry Price, Martin Spitznagel, Bryan Wright, Anne Barnhart, and Terry Parrish. A similar lineup can be expected.

Ticket prices for individual events range from $16 to $60. Reservations are required for lunch, brunch, and all dinner concerts. For more info or reservations call (844) 288-1484; or visit zehnders.com.

AHOY VINTAGE CRUISES: Matt Tolentino and his Singapore Slingers (Southampton, UK – New York, NY) May 18-26

A Transatlantic Ragtime Romp with Matt Tolentino and his Singapore Slingers step into the early decades of the 20th century for an incredible seven nights at sea on RMS Queen Mary 2. Departs NYC on May 26, 2023, arrives in Southampton, England, UK, on June 2, 2023. Package includes 5+ Private parties featuring Matt Tolentino and his Singapore Slingers, Private Cocktail Party, All meals in the ship’s main dining rooms and buffets, 24 hour room service, All taxes and port fees, all QM2’s entertainments, activities, and facilities.

Other crossings include Glenn Miller Orchestra (April 30th to May 7th, 2023. Departs from NYC), Alex Mendham and his Orchestra (June 14-21st, 2023. Departs from Southampton, England, UK). Find more information at ahoyvintagecruises.com or call, 214-761-1968 from US or (001) 214-761-1968 from the UK.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OLD-TIME PIANO PLAYING CONTEST & FESTIVAL (Oxford, MS) – May 25-28

Every year over Memorial Day weekend in Oxford, Mississippi, the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest is held to provide an opportunity for pianists to compete and learn in a stimulating atmosphere, and to educate people about old-time piano music written prior to 1940.

Nauck

Through the years, the contest has provided more than $60,000 in prize money to more than 500 piano players from across the United States and from five foreign countries. Players in 2020 will compete in three divisions—Regular, Junior & Senior—as they vie for over $6,000 plus trophies—as well as the New Rag Contest, where aspiring composers present their original tunes.

A variety of other activities include workshops, guest artist performances, silent movies, an old-time sing-along, a double-decker bus tour of historic Oxford, and after-hours events every night on the Oxford Square.

For more information, write: Old Time Piano Contest, 350 University Ave., Oxford, MS 38655; [email protected]; telephone 662-915-1282; oldtimepianocontest.com.

Elvis

SCOTT JOPLIN RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Sedalia, MO) – May 31-June 3

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 scheduled presenters and musicians include Christina Austin, Jeff Barnhart, Brandon Byrne, Danny Coots, Richard Dowling, Bill Edwards, Eve Elliot, Takashi Hamada, Frederick Hodges, Brian Holland, Valerie Kirchhoff, Ethan Leinwand, Royce Martin, William McNally, Jerron Paxton, Peacherine Sextet, Will Perkins, David Reffkin, Dalton Ridenhour, Martin Spitznagel, Adam Swanson, and Bryan Wright.

Write: Scott Joplin International Ragtime Foundation, P O Box 1244, Sedalia, MO 65302; (660) 826-2271; [email protected]; scottjoplin.org.

Nauck

35th ELKHART JAZZ FESTIVAL (Elkhart, IN) – June 22-25

Since 1988, jazz legends and fans have gathered each summer at the Elkhart Jazz Festival which combines warm, intimate, small-town hospitality with the excitement of big-city jazz. Known as the Band Instrument Capital of the World, Elkhart companies employ nearly 2,000 skilled craftsmen in the production of musical instruments.

Headliners at the 2023 festival will soon be announced. For ticket pricing visit elkhartjazzfestival.com; tickets: (574) 293-4469; festival info: (574) 218-6477.

ROCHESTER JAZZ FEST (Rochester, NY) – June 23 – July 1

The CGI Rochester International Jazz Festival is one of the world’s leading jazz festivals. Held annually in Rochester, NY, more than 200,000 music fans attend the nine-day Festival, which presents 320+ shows 20+ venues with more than 1750 artists from around the world. The 2023 Club Pass Series will feature 219 sets of music at 12 venues in downtown Rochester. More information forthcoming at www.rochesterjazz.com.

AHOY VINTAGE CRUISES: Alex Mendham and his Orchestra (Southampton, UK – New York, NY) – July 14-21

Essex-born musician, singer, lyricist, and conductor Alex Mendham is the debonair, white-tie-and-tails wearing bandleader. Together, they orchestra sweeps audiences away with the high style and musical glory of the ’20s and ’30s. The Orchestra has turned the music of a golden age into a worldwide concert touring show and we are delighted to partner with them for Ahoy Vintage Cruises for a week of unforgettable entertainment!

The cruise departs Southampton, UK, on RMS Queen Mary 2 on July 14, 2023, arrives in NYC on July 21, 2023. The package includes 5+ private parties featuring Alex Mendham and his Orchestra a private Cocktail Party, all meals in the ship’s main dining rooms and buffets, 24-hour room service, all taxes and port fees, all QM2’s entertainments, activities, and facilities. Our private vintage events take place in the Queen’s Room, which features the world’s largest ballroom at sea. And don’t miss Cunard’s famously grand Afternoon Tea, which also takes place in the Queen’s Room.

Other crossings include Matt Tolentino and his Singapore Slingers (see above). Find more information at ahoyvintagecruises.com or call, 214-761-1968 from US or (001) 214-761-1968 from the UK.

20th EVERGREEN JAZZ FESTIVAL (Evergreen, CO) – July 28-30

The 20th Evergreen Jazz Festival is set for July 28, 29, and 30. Known for its beautiful Rocky Mountain setting and up-close-and-personal atmosphere, the event will feature five intimate venues, each offering a unique listening experience. Invited bands include After Midnight, Carl Sonny Leyland Trio, Dalton Ridenhour Trio, Capt. John Royen’s New Orleans Rhythm, Espresso Gypsy Jazz, Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet, Queen City Jazz Band with Wende Harston, Poudre River Irregulars, with a special guest appearance by James Dapogny’s Chicago Jazz Band directed by Kim Cusack. Dancers are welcome at all venues! For details and tickets, visit www.EvergreenJazz.org or call 303-697-5467.

THE BIX BEIDERBECKE JAZZ FEST (Davenport, IA ) – Aug. 3-5

The 52nd Annual Bix Jazz Fest will be held at Rhythm City Casino & Hotel in Davenport, IA. The Jazz Fest begins Thursday evening, with afternoon and evening sessions on Friday and Saturday. Scheduled bands include TJ Muller and the Arcadia Dance Orchestra, Dan Levinson and his Roof Garden Jazz Band, Banu Gibson and her Band, Andy Schumm and the Chicago Cellar Boys, Hal Smith and the New Orleans Night Owls, and Josh Duffee and the Graystone Monarchs.

For more information on this event visit: bixsociety.org, email questions: [email protected] or contact our office at (563) 324-7170.Join us for our initial Riverboat Luncheon Cruise on the Mississippi River with live Trad Jazz Music played by TJ Muller and musicians from St. Louis. Bringing Bix back to the river where he first heard live Jazz! Call the Celebration Belle for details at (800) 797-0034 x 204.

HISTORIC SUTTER CREEK RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Sutter Creek, CA) – Aug 11-13

Once again, the tantalizing strains of Ragtime, Early Jazz and Boogie Woogie Music will fill the streets and venues at the 25th annual Historic Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival, in the beautifully well-tailored gold rush town of Sutter Creek in California’s Sierra Foothills.

This year’s musicians will be announced soon. The Festival has four venues along Main Street Sutter Creek all in a short walk of each other. There will be nonstop music, duet collaborations, themed sets, mini concerts, silent movies, and much more.

Badges can be purchased on the website, by mail or when you arrive in town for the festival. Last year an All-Events Badge was $105; please refer to the festival website for this year’s prices, including admission for individual events. www.historicsuttercreekragtimefestival.com or call 209 304-0835.

SUN VALLEY JAZZ & MUSIC FESTIVAL (Sun Valley, ID) – Oct. 18-22, 2023

Idaho’s Sun Valley Jazz and Music Festival covers five days and offers excellent bands in five venues at the Sun Valley Resort, plus free community concerts in Ketchum Town Square. Currently scheduled performers include The Baker Boys w/ Katie Cavera, Blue Renditions, Blue Street Jazz Band, Boise Straight Ahead, Brian Casserly- Guest Artist, John & Kristy Cocuzzi, Shaymus Hanlin- Guest Artist, High Street Party Band, Tom Hook & the Hounds w/ special guest Danny Caron, Hot Jazz Collective (Randy Morris, Jay Mueller, Dick Maley, Jerry Krahn, Terry Myers, Russ Phillips, Don Clarke & Jaimie Roberts), Kings of Swing, Jerry Krahn Quartet, Carl Sonny Leyland & Friends, Carolyn Martin Swing Band, Midiri Brothers Septet, Professor Cunningham & His Old School, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, and the Side Street Strutters w/ Meloney Collins.

Tickets are available by telephone (877) 478-5277 or on our website; sunvalleyjazz.com.

JAZZ FEST AT SEA (New York to Nova Scotia) – October 15-25

JazzFest at Sea will be departing from New York for an amazing jazz cruise to Canada and New England on the MSC Meraviglia for 10-nights. Passengers will have their choice of world-class evening and afternoon performances on the JazzFest at Sea cruise, all presented in an intimate jazz club atmosphere limited to 200 guests.

JazzFest at Sea will once again be offering nearly forty hours of opportunity for guests who are amateur musicians to jam in their own JazzFest Jammer sessions many of which will be led by John Skillman and Mike Evans.

Invited musicians include Allan Vaché, Clarinet; Houston Person, Tenor Sax; Warren Vaché, Cornet; Harry Allen, Tenor Sax; John Allred, Trombone; Dan Block, Clarinet; Danny Tobias, Trumpet; Randy Reinhart, Trumpet; Banu Gibson, Vocals; Ted Rosenthal, Piano; Mark Shane, Piano; Yve Evans, Vocals; Charlie Silva, Bass; Brian Nalepka, Bass; Tardo Hammer, Piano; Kevin Dorn, Drums; and Danny Coots, Drums.

Prices start at $1299 per person including taxes and fees. Telephone 1-800-654-809 or visit www.jazzfestatsea.com.

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

Featured this year are Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers, Ranky Tanky x2 Grammy Winner, Professor Cunningham and His Old School, Jason Marsalis, Dave Bennett Quartet, Tom Hook and the Hounds, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, Galvanized Jazz Band with Janie Campedelli, Cynthia Sayer and Her Joyride Band, Rossano Sportiello, Grammy nominated Diego Figueiredo, and many many more – over 80 musicians! All info is on the web-site.
For tickets and information, visit us online at suncoastjazzfestival.com; or write: PO Box 395, Largo, FL 33779; (727) 248-9441.

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

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