The Festival Roundup December 2021


One of the oldest Traditional Jazz Festivals in the country, the North Carolina Jazz Festival, will return February 3, 4 & 5, 2022. This 3 day event, held in the ballroom of the Hotel Ballast (formerly Wilmington Hilton Riverside), features internationally known jazz musicians from across the United States, Australia, and Italy.

Thursday is Special Event Night featuring different styles of jazz.

Explore Upbeat Records

Thursday night will be an EXTRAVAGANZA – a celebration of our all being together again, to enjoy live jazz with our friends, at the home of the North Carolina Jazz Festival – The Hotel Ballast! We will open the evening with vocalist Steve Washington, whose style and voice are reminiscent of Nat “King” Cole and Billy Eckstine. Backing him are Herman Burney on bass, Rossano Sportiello on piano, and on drums Chuck Redd.

north carolina jazz festival
All Stars fill the stage at a past North Carolina Jazz Fest

The next set will feature internationally renowned and award winning jazz pianist Lenore Raphael, who is a Steinway artist and radio host (Lenore Raphael’s Jazzspot) where she interviews and performs with famed jazz musicians. With her tonight is vibist extraordinaire Steve Hobbs and NCJF’s Herman Burney on bass.

Our third set for the evening will be a tribute – 2022 marks 60 years of Jazz Samba – the landmark 1962 album by Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz that launched Bossa Nova to international Stardom. Joined by Jeff Rupert on tenor saxophone, Herman Burney on bass and Chuck Redd on drums, Nate Najar pays homage to the spirit and iconic repertoire of that classic recording with songs like Desafinado, Samba Dees Days and of course One Note Samba. To help celebrate this 60th anniversary, Nate’s new album Jazz Samba Pra Sempre will make its’ debut here at our festival. It is a cd “coming out party”!

UpBeat Records

Rounding out the evening will be our Traditional Jazz Jam featuring some of our International All-Stars, who will be featured on Friday and Saturday nights.

On Friday and Saturday nights we will have thirteen jazz all-stars playing seven sets of traditional and classic jazz each night, with a different leader on each set. Invited musicians include Emily Asher, Ehud Asherie, Herman Burney, Shaye Cohn, Adrienne Cunningham, Kevin Dorn, Bruce Harris, Nate Najar,Nicki Parrott, Houston Person, Chuck Redd. Jonathan Russell, Rossano Sportiello, and Dion Tucker. All concerts begin at 7:30 pm, Thursday is a three hour concert, while Friday & Saturday concerts go until midnight.

Ticket are $45 for Thursday, and $65 for each night Friday & Saturday. Each night $25 military, $15 students. Patron tickets are $215, and include Fri. & Sat. evening concerts plus the special patron brunch at 10:30 Sat. morning, where the all-star musicians will play and socialize with patrons, then patron/musicians will be invited to “sit in” with the all-stars. Patrons receive preferred, reserved seating plus their names in the program. The $240 patron tickets include all of the above plus tickets to Thursday evening’s Special Event. Tickets may be purchased from the festival website, E-Tix, or at the AudioLab at 5732 Oleander Dr., Wilmington.

For more information visit, e-mail [email protected], or call 910-793-1111.

TUCSON JAZZ FESTIVAL (Tucson, AZ) Jan. 14-23

Primarily an event with individually-ticketed concerts at the historic Fox and Rialto theaters, as well as TCC Music Hall and Club Congress, with some free outdoor events around town. Main festival acts include Lee Ritennour & Dave Grusin, Dianne Reeves, Jon Batiste, Herb Alpert & Lani Hall, Adonis Rose and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s NOJO 7 feat. Cyrille Aimee, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Dave Stryker Quartet, Eric Alexander Quintet, Kendrick Scott, Sergio Mendoza & Quetzal Guerrero, and Emmet Cohen.


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

28th Annual EAGLES & IVORIES WEEKEND (Muscatine, IA) – Jan. 27-30

The 28th Annual Eagles & Ivories Weekend is staged in Muscatine in southeast Iowa, at four different locations: Sunnybrook, 3515 Diana Queen Drive; Wesley United Methodist Church, 400 Iowa Ave.; Muscatine Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Ave.; and after hours at Merrill Hotel & Conference Center at 119 Mississippi Dr., W. Muscatine. A free eagle watch takes place Saturday morning at Pearl City Station, 200 W. Riverfront, in Riverfront Park, and visitors can also focus their binoculars at the Norbert F. Beckey Bridge, the only span over the Mississippi River nocturnally illuminated with LED lights. The ragtime tunes will be performed by Ivory &Gold® featuring Jeff and Anne Barnhart, Steve Pikal, Brian Holland,Danny Coots, Chase Garret, Jim Radloff, the Mad Creek Mudcats, and the Locust Street Boys.

An entire four-day concert package costs $70; individual event admissions range from $5 to $20; children ages 16 and younger are admitted free to all events; the Merrill hotel offers a special rate for those attending the festival: 563-263-2600; for more information and tickets:; (563) 263-9978; [email protected].

SOUNDS OF MARDI GRAS (Fresno, CA) – Feb. 10-13 2020 INFO UPDATE!!!!!!!

The 2022 edition of this festive festival in Fresno kicks off at theDoubletree by Hilton with a Thursday evening pre-party. The schedule picks up Friday with a themed parade, followed by the annual coronation of the Festival King and Queen, and a Western Swing Dance Party.

Saturday festivities include a Parasol Parade and Masquerade and Costume Parade in the grand tradition of Mardi Gras. Things wrap up on Sunday.

Invite bands for 2022 include Bob Schulz’s Frisco Jazz Band, Gator Nation, Gino and the Lone Gunmen, Tom Rigney and Flambeau,  Hal Smith, Yosemite Jazz Band with more bands still to be added.

Four-day passes cost $150 before December 16, 2021 ($160 thereafter);  admission is free for those ages 18 and younger when accompanied by a paying adult;

Festival room rates at the Fresno Double Tree by Hilton are presently not available but will open in December.  At that time, you will be able to make reservations online.  For more information you can call Linda (209)534-1924 or visit

TEAGARDEN JAZZ FESTIVAL (Sacramento, CA) Feb. 12th

The joy of New Orleans-style jazz is at the heart of this scholastic combo festival, which is dedicated to fostering a better appreciation of this classic American art form. Each year, scores of young musicians gather at the annual Teagarden Jazz Festival (formerly named Traditional Jazz Youth Band Festival) for experiences that take their musical skills to the next level.

For band registration and tickets, call Patricia Jones at the SacJEF office: (916) 571-5533 or email: [email protected]; write PO Box 661763, Sacramento 95866; or visit the festival website:

SAN DIEGO JAZZ PARTY (Del Mar, CA) Feb. 25-27

The 30th annual San Diego Jazz Party is set to take place in Del Mar, Calif., 20 miles north of San Diego.

Performers at the 2022 Jazz Party will be Dan Barrett, Danny Coots, Evan Arntzen, Ken Peplowski, John Allred, Jon-Erik Kellso, Rebecca Kilgore, Ed Metz, Jr.,  Nicki Parrott, Houston Person, Ed Polcer, Vinny Raniolo, Harry Allen, Chuck Redd, Richard Simon, Peter Washington, Rossano Sportiello, and Jason Wanner. A swinging late night set with Lizzy and the Triggermen was recently added.

All-events badges cost $250 and includes Friday free-bar cocktail party, Saturday jazz brunch, and late night; Friday-evening passes cost $85; Saturday passes cost $145; Sunday passes cost $85; Saturday late night passes are $25. Purchase passes on or order by telephone (619) 787-8792; or write San Diego Jazz Party, 1632 Hillstone Avenue, Escondido, CA 92029-4332.

41st annual JAZZ BASH BY THE BAY (Monterey, CA) March 4-6

The 41st annual Jazz Bash By the Bay Monterey takes place March 3-6, 2022, in the beautiful Conference Center and Portola Hotel & Spa with seven venues and six dance floors.

Among the world-class musicians returning to Monterey are Blue Street Jazz Band, Bye Bye Blues Boys Band, Carl
Sonny Leyland Trio, Don Neely’s Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, Fast Mama Excitement, Holland/Coots Jazz Quintet,  Holy Crow Jazz Band, Ivory&Gold®, Le Jazz Hot Quartet, Sierra Seven, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, We Three,
Yve Evans and Company. Special guests include BobDraga, Brian Holland, Danny Coots, Dawn Lambeth, Eddie Erickson, Gary Ryan, Jeff Barnhart and Katie Cavera. NEW to the festival will be Corey Gemme’s Rolling Figs Jazz Orchestra and guest vocalist Marilyn Keller! The Musician of the Year is Brian Holland.

Kick off Jazz Bash by the Bay on Thursday, March 4, 2022 with We3, featuring Bob Draga, Jeff Barnhart, and Danny Coots, playing from 7 to 8:00 pm. Admission is $25. THEN join the Monterey Marauders SUPER band for a rollicking show for listening and dancing in the De Anza Room from 8:15-10:30, featuring TWO Bakers, and one each Caparone, Coots, Holland, Keller, Ketner, Maggio, Otto, Pikal and Rocha!  Admission is $30.  Enjoy both shows for $50.

All-event badges, $115 until 1/15/2022; $125 thereafter. Day badges, $50-$75. Order discount Early-Bird All-Event badge before January 15, 2022. Badges can be ordered by phone at 831-754-8786 or 888-349-6879. Download mailable order form at; Jazz Bash by the Bay, 177 Webster St., #206, Monterey, CA 93940.

42nd Annual SARASOTA JAZZ FESTIVAL (Sarasota, FL) March 13-19

Over 100 musicians to be announced. Highlights include four main stages, late night Jazz Jams, Jazz Trolley Pub Crawl, Jazz Films and Mini concert and more. Day passes and all event passes available. For more information visit Jazz Club of Sarasota, 330 S. Pineapple Ave, Suite 111 Sarasota, FL 34236; 941-366-1552.


The 16th Annual Charles H. Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Festival & the Gatsby Gala will be held at the Mississippi State University campus at Starkville from Thursday, March 24th through Saturday, March 26th. The Templeton Festival is the only one of its kind in the southeast that brings world-renowned artists and entertainers to campus to perform throughout the weekend, sharing their insights and love of ragtime, jazz, and blues music. For more information visit

ZEHNDER’S RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Frankenmuth, MI) – April 20-23

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 2020 tentatively include homeboy Bob Milne along with Andrew Ratajczak, Jeff Barnhart, Kerry Price, Martin Spitznagel, Bryan Wright, Anne Barnhart, and Terry Parrish.

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

19th EVERGRENN JAZZ FESTIVAL (Evergreen, CO) July 29-31

Following two Covid postponements, the 19th Evergreen Jazz Festival is set for July 29,30 and 31. Known for its beautify Rocky Mountain setting and up-close-and-personal atmosphere, the event will again feature five intimate venues that range from a bar and grill to a church, each offering a unique listening experience. Invited bands include After Midnight, Carl Sonny Leyland Trio, Felonius Smith Trio, Holland-Coots Swingin’ West, Hot Tomatoes Dance Orchestra, Joe Smith and The Spicy Pickles, LaPompe, Louis Ford & His New Orleans Flairs, Queen City Jazz Band with Wende Harston and The Dalton Ridenhour Trio. In addition, several dueling piano sets are planned featuring Brian Holland, Sonny Leyland and Dalton Ridenhour. Dancers welcome at all venues. For details and tickets, visit or call 303-697-6498.

2022 Announced Dates

April 8-10 Three Rivers (CA) JazzAffair

April 21-24 French Quarter Festival (New Orleans, LA)

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

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

 Sept 29 – Oct 2 Redwood Coast Music Festival (Eureka, CA)

Oct. 12-16 Sun Valley Jazz and Music Festival (Sun Valley, ID)

Nov. 18-20  Suncoast Jazz Festival (Clearwater Beach, FL)

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

Or look at our Subscription Options.