The Festival Roundup May 2024

50th WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OLD-TIME PIANO PLAYING CONTEST & FESTIVAL (Oxford, MS) – May 23-26

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.

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.

Hot Jazz Jubile

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 662-801-2251; oldtimepianocontest.com.

SCOTT JOPLIN INTERNATIONAL RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Sedalia, MO) May 29-June 1

Celebrate the festival’s 50th Anniversary! Free open air venues and ticketed indoor concerts, symposia, tours, dances, and food trucks. All in historic downtown Sedalia. Scheduled artists include;  Jacob Adams, Tom Bartlett, The Chicago Cellar Boys, Danny Coots, Neville Dickie, Richard Dowling, Bill Edwards, Marty Eggers, Eve Elliott, John Gill, Frederick Hodges, Brian Holland, Vincent Matthew Johnson, Miss Maybell and Charlie Judkins, Valerie Kirchhoff (aka “Miss Jubilee”), Ethan Leinwand, Dave Majchrzak, Royce Martin, William McNally, T. J. Muller, Andrew Oliver, Dr. Terry Parrish, Will Perkins, Sam Post, David Reffkin, Donald Ryan, Hal Smith, Martin Spitznagel, Adam Swanson, Virginia Tichenor, Terry Waldo, Bryan Wright,    For information, please visit www.scottjoplin.org.

UpBeat Records

58th ANNUAL WEST TEXAS JAZZ PARTY (Odessa, TX) – May 30-June 1

The 2024 West Texas Jazz Party—the 58th annual—will be held at the Odessa Marriott Hotel and Conference Center. Musicians to appear at the Jazz Party include: Jon Erik Kellso, Peter Anderson, John Allred, Dan Barrett, Daniela Soledade, Nate Najar, Frank Tate, Richard Simon, Chuck Redd, Ricky Malichi, Johnny Varro, Brian Piper, and more!

To purchase tickets which are $250 for a full patron pass, or $50/$60 for individual event passes, please visit wtjs.org or call (432) 217-0765 for details and membership information. The address for the Marriott is 305 East 5th St., Odessa, Texas 79761. Contact the Marriott at (432) 580-5805 to book your rooms at the special Jazz Party rate of $159 per night.

36th ELKHART JAZZ FESTIVAL (Elkhart, IN) – June 20-23

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.

Scheduled this year are: Adam Hawley, Alex Anest’s “Organ” Trio, Bria Skonberg, Bryan Eng’s Trio, Christopher Lucas Wilson, Cohen-Rutkowski Project, Connie Han, Couch, Dave Bennett Quartet, David Hilliker’s Jazz Trio, Dean’s List, Emily Cavanagh, Emma Hedrick, Eric Jacobson, Generations Trio, Huntertones, Ilya Serov, Isabella Isherwood, Jazz Assemblage, Joe Marcinek Band, Julieta Eugenio, Kait Dunton Band, Keb’ Mo’, Kinga Glyk, Kris Brownlee, Lucia Sarmiento, New Breed Brass Band, Paul Decker & The Difference, Q Sonics, Rafael Chávez Trio, Rebecca Jade, Scott Allen, Stella Cole, Steven Perry Quartet, The Frost Duo, The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, The Nth Power, Third Shore Collective, Truth in Jazz, VibeNation, and the Zac Zinger Group For ticket pricing visit elkhartjazzfestival.com; tickets: (574) 293-4469; festival info: (574) 218-6477.

ROCHESTER JAZZ FEST (Rochester, NY) – June 21-29 

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 2024 Club Pass Series will feature 216 sets of music at 12 venues in downtown Rochester. More information is forthcoming at www.rochesterjazz.com.

WTJP

SYRACUSE INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL (Syracuse, NY) – June 26-30

With special events at many venues around downtown and free headliners at Clinton Square the Syracuse Jazz Festival is a premier event for the city. Of particular interest to Syncopated Times readers will be appearances by Catherine Russell, Gunhild Carling, the Freda Payne Big Band, James Carter Quintet, The O’Jays, Marissa Mulder & Jon Weber, and Tish Oney’s Salute to Sarah Vaughan. More info is available at syracusejazzfest.com

EVERGREEN JAZZ FESTIVAL (Evergreen, CO) – July 26-28

The 2ist Evergreen Jazz Festival is set for July 26, 27, and 28. 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 currently include After Midnight, Carl Sonny Leyland Trio, Hot Tomatoes Dance Orchestra, Holland-Coots Swingin’ West, Queen City Jazz Band with Wende Harston, Jeremy Mohney and his Band, Your Father’s Mustache Band, Chicago Cellar Boys and Espresso! Dancers are welcome at all venues! For details and tickets, visit www.EvergreenJazz.org or call 303-697-5467.

BIX BEIDERBECKE JAZZ FESTIVAL (Davenport, IA) – Aug. 1-3

Hot Jazz will return to the Upper Mississippi River next year during the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival. On August 2, 2024, there will be even more music aboard the Celebration Belle, with Matt Tolentino’s Iowans playing on the main deck while T.J. Müller’s Jazz-O-Maniacs perform on the upper deck.

Nauck

The Jazz-O-Maniacs will also perform at the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival, which takes place August 1-3 at the Rhythm City Casino in Davenport. Groups playing for the first time at the festival are Mike Davis’ New Wonders, Paul Asaro & his Rhythm, and the El Dorado Jazz Band. Festival favorites the Chicago Cellar Boys, Graystone Monarchs, and the Bix Youth Band complete the band lineup.

Scheduled musicians include: Andy Schumm, David Boeddinghaus, Steve Pikal, Jeff Barnhart, Dave Kosmyna, and Natalie Scharf (who was interviewed for the September issue of The Syncopated Times). Also, four musicians will be performing at the Bix Jazz Festival for the first time in 2024: guitarist Jacob Alspach, trombonist Brandon Au, bassist Mikiya Matsuda, percussionist /vocalist Gina DeGregorio, and Grammy nominee/multi-instrumentalist Colin Hancock.

In addition to the sets at the Rhythm City Casino and the Riverboat Cruise, specially-assembled jazz bands will perform at the Putnam Museum in Davenport on Thursday, August 1 and at Bix Beiderbecke’s gravesite on Saturday, August 3.

Nauck

Check the Bix Jazz Society’s website for updates, to purchase tickets, and for information regarding area lodging: www.bixsociety.org.

HISTORIC SUTTER CREEK RAGTIME FESTIVAL (Sutter Creek, CA) – Aug 9-11

Once again, the tantalizing strains of Ragtime, Early Jazz and Boogie Woogie Music will fill the streets and venues at the 26th annual Historic Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival, in the beautifully well-tailored gold rush town of Sutter Creek in California’s Sierra Foothills.

Elvis

This Historic Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival runs for 3 days, Friday thru Sunday, August 9-11.  Festivities start at 4 pm on Friday afternoon and end on Sunday afternoon after the finale concert.  Music is performed at five venues along main street, which includes 2 special concerts highlighting the performers.   And of course, we hope to have Silent Movies with piano accompaniment at the Auditorium this year.   There is almost always after hours jamming at the hotel and other venues as well.

Badges can be purchased on the website, by mail or when you arrive in town for the festival. Please refer to the festival website for this year’s prices, including admission for individual events. www.historicsuttercreekragtimefestival.com or call 209 304-0835.

HOT JAZZ JUBILEE (Sacramento, CA) – August 30 Sept. 2

Join Us Labor Day Weekend 2024 for Sacramento’s Premier End of Summer Celebration! Hot Jazz Jubilee will return to the DoubleTree Hotel August 30 to September  3, 2024.

Featuring: Auchestra, Brass Nickel, Carl “Sonny” Leyland Trio, Parker & the Weis Guys, Shaymus Hanlin Quartet, Stephanie & Paolo, Crescent Katz, Todd Morgan and the Emblems, Tom Rigney, Groovus, Dave Bennett Quartet, Yve Evans & Company, High Street Band, and Katie Cavera & Her Lost Boys …plus more to be announced.

Tickets are on sale now, check back here for further updates. hotjazzjubilee.com; P.O. Box 2931, Carmichael, CA, 95609, USA. [email protected]

25th Annual PENTASTIC HOT JAZZ & MUSIC FESTIVAL (Penticton, BC) – Sept. 6-8

Situated between two lakes in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Pentastic Hot Jazz is celebrating its 25th year.  As “the best Jazz Party in the Northwest”, the three day Pentastic HOT Jazz Festival brings world class jazz bands and performers to Penticton from Friday, September 6 through Sunday, September 8, 2024.

The line up this year includes Tom Hook and the Hounds, Dave Bennett Quartet, Dave Bennett and The Memphis Speed Kings, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, Professor Cunningham and His Old School Band, and more to be scheduled. There are four venues that are close together although a free shuttle is available for all those that wish to use that service. All venues are non smoking and dancing is encouraged.

Tickets are NOW on sale! Tickets for the event are $85.00 (Friday), $105.00 (Saturday), $85.00 (Sunday) and three day festival tickets are $160.00.  For further information, visit Pentastic online at www.pentasticjazz.ca, or call toll-free 1-866-599-3494. Purchase tickets online at www.valleyfirsttix.com.

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA RAGTIME AND AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL (Orbisonia/Rockhill Furnace, PA) Sept. 12-15

Spend a weekend away in the mountains for the 2024 Central Pennsylvania Ragtime & American Music Festival, taking place September 12-15 in the heart of Huntingdon County, PA! Enjoy pianists Adam Swanson, Bryan Wright, Martin Spitznagel, and Andrew Greene, cornetist Andy Schumm, clarinetist/saxophonist Dan Levinson, and drummer Danny Coots for a weekend of ragtime, rhythm, and rails! Events include multiple concerts, a lecture on James P. Johnson by scholar Dr. Scott E. Brown, a Roaring 20s dinner train with the East Broad Top Railroad, dancing, silent movies with live music, and more!
Learn more about the festival by visiting www.rockhillragtime.com or www.eastbroadtop.com. An All Access Pass is $225, with individual concert tickets ranging from $20-$65 per event.

REDWOOD COAST MUSIC FESTIVAL (Eureka, CA) – Oct. 3-6

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.

Featuring: Americana, Hot and New Orleans Jazz, Swing, Blues, Western Swing, Zydecco, Rockabilly, and Country, 40 Bands, and 100 sets of music, TST readers will find many of their favorites in the mix.

Please write [email protected] with questions. Find payment 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.

SUN VALLEY JAZZ & MUSIC FESTIVAL (Sun Valley, ID) – Oct. 16-20

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. April will bring announcements about this year’s lineup.

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

ROSWELL JAZZ FESTIVAL (Roswell, NM) – Oct. 23-27

Previous years have included over 30 popular classic jazz artists. Tickets for the 17th annual festival will go on sale in September; for more information visit roswelljazz.org, email [email protected], or telephone 505-359-4876.

34th annual ARIZONA CLASSIC JAZZ FESTIVAL (Chandler, AZ) – Oct 31-Nov. 3

Scheduled performers: Howard Alden, Cheryl’s Vintage Jazz with special guests Dan Levinson & Katie Cavera, St. Louis Stompers, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Holland-Coots Jazz Quintet, Groovus, Sentimental Breeze, Stephanie Trick & Paolo Alderighi, Sun City Stomperz, WE 3 + 1 (Patrick, Lansford, Pesce, Early), Wildcat Jazz Band, Wolverine JazzBand, ACJS JAMMERS.

“Afterglow” event to be held in the San Tan Ballroom 6 – 8 pm. MUST MAKE RESERVATIONS With ACJF​​
Must purchase the buffet to attend. $40 per person. Please send a separate check with notation “Afterglow”
Cash bar for alcohol.

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

MIKE DURHAM’S INTERNATIONAL CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK) – Nov. 1-3

The globe’s foremost gathering of specialist Classic Jazz musicians and fans; a three-day concert series featuring live music of a rarely heard quality and authenticity, performed by a truly international roster of world-class performers. Held over a long weekend from midday on Friday until late on Sunday evening, the Party takes the form of a series of special themed concerts chosen and curated by the musicians themselves and drawn from the canon of the first 40 years of jazz.

Themes this year include: A Centenary Celebration: Bix and The Wolverines, After the Armistice: Jass in London 1919-23, Pleasure Mad – Charlie Creath and Dewey Jackson, Futuristic Rhythms – Irving Mills’ Hotsy Totsy Gang, The Red Heads and Ukulele Ike, A Rhythmic Dream: Fletcher Henderson, Modernism in Mayfair: The Piccadilly Revels Band, Mamie Smith’s Jazz Hounds, Clarence Williams’ Blue Five, Creole Trombone: The Music of Kid Ory, Roger Wolfe Kahn’s Orchestra, Boyd Senter, Vic Meyers, Lil Armstrong, Early Bennie Moten, Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake, The Two Bright Boys: Cecil Scott and Lloyd Scott, Thomas Morris, Bobby Hackett & the Singers, Gene Austin, Benny Goodman’s Rhythm Makers Orchestra, and A Battle of the Bands: Duke Ellington vs Luis Russell

Artists include: Trumpet – Andy Schumm (USA), Malo Mazurié (France), Mike Davis (USA), Enrico Tomasso (UK), Torstein Kubban (Norway), Jon-Erik Kellso (USA). Reeds – Lars Frank (Norway), Lorenzo Baldasso (Italy), Michael McQuaid (UK), Natalie Scharf (USA – new for 2024) David Horniblow (UK), Claus Jacobi (Germany), Richard Exall (UK). Trombone – Alistair Allan (UK), Graham Hughes (UK), Charlie Halloran (USA – new for 2024). Piano – Andrew Oliver (USA), David Boeddinghaus (USA), Morten Gunnar Larsen (Norway), Ulf Johansson Werre (Sweden – new for 2024!). Guitar & Banjo – Thomas “Spats” Langham (UK), Martin Wheatley (UK), Félix Hunot (France), Curtis Volp (UK – new for 2024). Brass bass & string bass – Phil Rutherford (UK), Henry Lemaire (France), Harry Evans (UK). Drums & Percussion – Nicholas D. Ball (UK), Josh Duffee (USA), Richard Pite (UK). Violin – Emma Fisk (UK). Vocals – Thomas “Spats” Langham (UK), Nicolle Rochelle (France).

At the end of each day, musicians and audience relax and enjoy themselves at the legendary after-hours jam sessions in the hotel’s bar, often going on into the wee small hours.

The concerts take place in 4-star luxury, with audience members being assigned to cabaret seating of 8 to a table. A twice-daily rotation system is in place to ensure that everybody gets a good view. For tickets and other information, please visit whitleybayjazzfest.com; [email protected].

SUNCOAST JAZZ FESTIVAL (Clearwater Beach, FL) – Nov. 22-24

Featured this year are: Grammy nominated Diego Figueiredo, Jason Marsalis,  the New Black Eagle Jazz Band, Wally’s Warehouse Waifs, Wycliffe Gordon. Also (in alphabetical order) Adrian Cunningham, the  Professor and His Old School, Al Downing AllStars, Bakey and Betty, Daniela Soledade, Dave Bennett Quartet, Davy Jones and the Suncoast Seven with Tom Hook, Don Mopsick, Eddie Metz, James Suggs Quintet, Jon-Erik Kellso and the EarRegulars with John Allred, Naples Jazz Society Jazz Band, Nate Najar, Pepper and Fine Thyme, St. Louis Stompers, Theo Valentin.  Over 80 musicians were featured in 2023.
For tickets and information, visit us online at suncoastjazzfestival.com; or write: PO Box 395, Largo, FL 33779; (727) 248-9441. It’s not too early to make your hotel reservations – check our website for hotel specials.

JAZZ FEST AT SEA (Caribbean) January 17-27, 2025

If you are a fan of Swing, Dixieland, Classic Jazz, Chicago Jazz, Traditional Jazz, in fact just about any style which emerged during the first half of the 20th century, plan to attend JazzFest at Sea – presented in a private jazz club atmosphere limited to 200 guests! Our cruise will be departing roundtrip Miami to St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Thomas, Dominican Republic and Ocean Cay on the MSC Divina for 10-nights of jazz and fun.

Scheduled artists include Allan Vaché – clarinet, Terry Myers – tenor sax, Houston Person – tenor sax, Davy Jones – cornet, Dave Bennett – clarinet, Mike Francis – piano, Kris Tokarski – piano, Jim Fryer – trombone, Jake Jones – guitar & banjo, Jon-Erik Kellso – trumpet, Mark Shane – piano, Danny Coots – drums, Charlie Silva – bass, Paul Keller – bass, Ricky Malichi – drums, with Vocalists Banu Gibson and Yve Evans.

Call us for more information! 1-800-654-8090 or visit www.JazzFestatSea.com

AHOY VINTAGE CRUISES: Matt Tolentino and his Orchestra (Southampton, UK – New York, NY) May 16-23, 2025 / Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra (Southampton, UK – New York, NY) Sept. 26-Oct. 3, 2025

Ahoy Vintage Cruises is celebrating 100 years of Art Deco with two exclusive trans-Atlantic crossings.  We will start off with a few days touring era-influenced sites in Paris, the birthplace of Art Deco in 1925. After a quick jaunt in London, we’ll board the iconic RMS Queen Mary 2 for a seven-night crossing.

Each crossing, departing from Southampton and arriving in New York City, features a renowned orchestra playing Deco-era music for nightly dances.

Enjoy dining, drinking, and dancing your way across the Atlantic in the delightful Deco style. Live your best vintage life for this trip. Is it 1925 or 2025? It’s a dream come true. ahoyvintagecruises.com

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

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