The Festival Roundup November 201616 minute read

ARIZONA CLASSIC JAZZ FESTIVAL. (Chandler, Ariz.) – Nov. 3-6.
Staged at the classy Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort in Chandler, Ariz., the 27th annual festival features ample dance floors at four venues and offers jammers three sets at which to strut their stuff. The 2016 Classic Jazz Festival is dedicated to the memory of recording engineer Jack Miller, “The Man with the Golden Ear,” who recorded festival performances for many years.

Performers include Howard Alden, B.A.D. Rhythm, Dave Bennett Quartet, Cocuzzi Courtet, Danny Coots, Cornet Chop Suey, 52nd Street JB, High Sierra JB, Brian Holland, Kandu, Nicki Parrott, Queen City JB, Dan Reed’s Dixieland Hotshots, Diana Perez paying tribute to Billie Holiday, Slides & Strings, Sun City Stomperz, Wally’s Warehouse Waifs, Wildcat Jazz, Wolverine JB, and three jam sessions.

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All-event badge prices cost $100; (480) 620-3941; azclassicjazz.org. For Crowne Plaza info, call (480) 812-0900.

THE MIKE DURHAM CLASSIC JAZZ PARTY. (Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.) – Nov. 4-6.
England swings like a pendulum do! The Mike Durham Classic Jazz Party will run from mid-day on Friday until late on Sunday evening at the Village Hotel, Newcastle upon Tyne, some 70 miles south of Scotland in northeast Great Britain. The concert takes place in a luxurious setting with assigned seating of eight to a table, and tables are rotated twice daily. The program explores jazz from its first 40 years, with special jam sessions in the Victory Pub in the wee small hours. This year’s musicians include trumpeters Andy Schumm, Menno Daams, and Duke Heitger, reed players Lars Frank, Claus Jacobi, and Robert Fowler, trombonists Jim Fryer and Graham Hughes, pianists Keith Nichols and David Boeddinghaus, bassist Henry LaMaire and Malcom Sked, banjo/guitarist Spats Langham, drummers Josh Duffee and Nicholas Ball, bass saxist Frans Sjostrom, violinists Emma Fisk and Dawn Allen and vocalists Janice Day and Mellow Baku. The Union Revival Kings are booked to host a pre-fest jam session at the hotel on the evening of Nov. 3.

Weekend passes cost $193.75; whitleybayjazzfest.org; get in touch with us via email: wbjazzfest@btinternet.com.

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TREME CREOLE GUMBO FESTIVAL. (New Orleans, La.) Nov 12–13.
Discover the difference between Creole and Cajun gumbos while listening to some of Louisiana’s best musicians. The ninth annual Treme Creole Gumbo Festival is New Orleans’ premier brass band showcase, the best place on earth to sample a dozen different styles of gumbo, and admission is free. Music rings out from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., both days at Armstrong Park, 701 N. Rampart St., in New Orleans. This year’s lineup includes the Rebirth Brass Band, the New Breed Brass Band, the Soul Brass Band, and others. Gumbos served include dark roux chicken and sausage gumbo, Creole filé gumbo, seafood gumbo as well as po-boys, pecan pralines and shrimp’n’grits. Food prices range from $3 for tastings to $12 for fried soft-shall crab po-boys.

Free admission; (504) 558-6100, ext. 203; jazzandheritage.org/treme-gumbo/; Marcia Bodie.

The Festival Roundup November 2016
Saxophone phenom Grace Kelly is a guest artist at the Django Reinhardt New York Festival.

DJANGO REINHARDT NEW YORK FESTIVAL. (New York, N.Y.) Nov. 15-20.* For 17 years now, homage has been paid to Reinhardt’s expressive Gypsy swing style, at Birdland, 315 W. 44th St., NYC, and on tour. This year’s festival celebrates the return of Dorado Schmitt and an appearance by guest saxophonist Grace Kelly. Other performers include Amati Schmitt, Ludovic Beier, Pierre Blanchard, Jazzmeia Horn, Jorge Continentino, Edmar Castaneda, and Joel Frahm. The musicians will recall the sound crafted in the mid-1930s by the Quintette du Hot Club de France which blended New Orleans jazz, French waltzes and Romani dance tunes.

Admission costs $50, and there is an additional $10 per person food or drink minimum. Dinner is served between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m. Performances take place from 8:30 to 11 p.m. nightly; (212) 581-3080; birdlandjazz.com.

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SUNCOAST JAZZ CLASSIC. (Clearwater Beach, Fla.) – Nov. 18-20.
This white-hot festival celebrates in 26th anniversary this November at the Sheraton and Marriott Sand Key resorts in Clearwater. Music will ring out all day and night care of bands such as Bill Allred’s Classic JB with Jaimie Roberts, Dave Bennett Quartet, Climax JB, Betty Comora, Cornet Chop Suey, Fat Babies, Dr. Jim Gover, High Sierra, Hot Jazz Pie with Theresa Scarvadi, La Lucha with Whitney James, John Lamb, Midiri Brothers, Nate Najar, Ken Peplowski Quartet, Paulette Pepper, Alfonso Ponticelli & Swing Gitan, Bob Price and the Swing Time Dancers. The festival will be preceded by a Nov. 16 performance of The Four Freshman at the Largo Cultural Center.
Four-day passes cost $175 or $225; three-day pass, $125; daily tickets cost $40 or $50; suncoastjazzclassic.com; (727) 248-9441.

WEST COAST RAGTIME FESTIVAL. (Rancho Cordova, Calif.) – Nov. 18-20.
The 30th annual fest will be staged at the Sacramento Marriott Rancho Cordova, 211 Point East Drive, some 15 miles east of Sacramento just minutes from The American River. But you won’t have much time for rafting, paddle-boarding and kayaking since the hotel’s six ground-floor venues present live music nearly nonstop over three days.

This fall’s performers include Elliott Adams, Paolo Alderighi, Clint Baker, Tom Barnebey, Jeff Barnhart, Mimi Blais, The Bradshaws, Tom Brier, Danny Coots, Richard Dowling, Marty Eggers, Andrew Greene, Dale Hadley, Frederick Hodges, Brian Holland, Vincent Johnson, Max Keenlyside, Morten Gunnar Larsen, Carl Sonny Leyland, Frank LiVolsi, Jonathan Meredith, Larisa Migachyov, Max Morath, Ezequiel Pallejá, Will Perkins, John Reed-Torres, David Thomas Roberts, Jack Rummel, Sean Sharp, David Shepard, Patrick Skiffington, Adam Swanson, Virginia Tichenor, Stephanie Trick, and groups Big Mamma Sue & Fast Eddie, Ivory & Gold, Raspberry Jam Band, the Porcupines, Sullivan/Drivons, and the Pacific Coast Ragtime Orchestra. The fun begins on Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m. with a free, no-host pre-festival warm-up with pianos provided.

All-events badges cost $95, $110 after Nov. 1; Fri-Sat badges $85; Sat-Sun $75; Sat $55; Sun $35; (866) 724-9273 or (916) 457-3324; westcoastragtime.com/.

The Festival Roundup November 2016
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NEW YORK HOT JAZZ FESTIVAL. (New York, N.Y.) – Nov. 20.
Scorching jazz aplenty will be performed on this simmering Sunday afternoon and evening, but the real star of the show may be its venue, the historic McKittrick Hotel, at 530 W. 27th St., in New York City. The festival’s intrepid director, Michael Katsobashvili, explains: “The McKittrick is not a real hotel. There are no rooms for guests. It’s a meticulously recreated six-story 1930s faux-hotel for a mind-boggling immersive theatrical production. This will be like having a festival on a movie set that replicates a 1939 hotel, including its Grand Ballroom which is a dancer’s paradise.” The spicy Hot Sardines will perform as will the fiery Gordon Webster Septet, and other bookings are still TBA.

Early-bird general admission costs $35; advance sale general admission costs $45; and admission at the door costs $55; a limited number of reserved-seats cost $95. For tickets and info, visit nyhotjazzfest.com; for McKittrick Hotel info, dial (212) 904-1880.

SAN DIEGO JAZZ FEST & SWING EXTRAVAGANZA. (San Diego, Calif.) – Nov. 23-27.
San Diego – The Plymouth of the West – swings in style over Thanksgiving week and weekend. The Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, serves as festival headquarters as continuous music enlivens seven different rooms. Entertainers include Stephanie Trick, Paolo Alderighi, Katie Cavera and Chloe Feoranzo, Buck Creek JB, High Sierra JB, Cornet Chop Suey, Dave Bennett Quartet, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Dave Stuckey and the Hot House Gang, Lakeshore Syncopators, High Society JB, Memphis Speed Kings, Night Blooming Jazzmen, Uptown Lowdown JB, Sue Palmer and her Motel Swing Orchestra, Yerba Buena Stompers with Ida Blue, Grand Dominion JB, Titanic JB, Jazz Jammers, Euphoria Brass Band, Heliotrope Ragtime Orchestra, Mission Bay High School Preservationists, Joe Smith & The Spicy Pickles, Champagne Dixie, Big Butter JB, Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Katie Cavera, Champagne Dixie, Night-Blooming Jazzmen, the Buck Creek JB, San Fernando Valley Banjo Band, SD School of Creative and Performing Arts Jazz Ensemble, and Canyon Crest Academy Jazz Band..

All-event badges: five-days $110; four-days $105; three-days $100. Daily badges available at the door; email: jazzinfo@SDjazzfest.org; website: sdjazzfest.org/; (619) 297-5277; (800) 772-8527 or (619) 291-7131.

TUCSON JAZZ FESTIVAL. (Tuscon, Ariz.) – Jan. 12-22, 2017.
Primarily a downtown event with concerts at the historic Fox and Rialto theaters, the Tuscon Jazz Fest embraces a decidedly multi-cultural approach. A free outdoor Downtown Jazz Fiesta will be staged on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 17, with two stages: one featuring local Latin jazz bands and the other featuring smaller jazz ensembles. Other festival acts include John Pizzarelli, George Benson, Kamasi Washington, Storm Large, Anat Cohen, Howard Alden, DeeDee Bridgewater Quartet, TJI Ellington Band, the Tuscon Jazz Orchestra with Lewis Nash, Tower of Power, Armen Donelian, Storm Large, and the Bird & The Bee.

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Tickets cost $45 for VIP seating and $35 for other seating; George Benson tickets cost $96 and $76; VIP tickets cost $339, and each VIP ticket includes one premium seat to all festival concerts from Jan. 16 to Jan. 22 including George Benson and Tower of Power, and exclusive VIP Party on Jan. 18. The festival’s executive director is Yvonne Erwin, former stage manager at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, a founder of the Primavera Jazz Fest, the world’s longest-running women’s jazz festival and producer of the first Jazz on the Border: The Mingus Project, a weeklong festival in Nogales Arizona and Sonora; tucsonjazzfestival.org; (520) 989-0720.

The Festival Roundup November 2016
Ivory & Gold (featuring Jeff and Anne Barnhart) illuminate The 23rd Annual Eagles & Ivories Weekend in Muscatine, IA, January 27-29. 2017. (photo by Asucena Colon)

EAGLES & IVORIES WEEKEND. (Muscatine, Iowa.) – Jan. 27-29.
The 23rd Annual Eagles & Ivories Weekend is staged in southeast Iowa, at four different Pearl City locations—Sunnybrook, 3515 Diana Queen Drive, Wesley United Methodist Church, 400 Iowa Ave., Muscatine Art Center, 1314 Mulberry Ave. and after hours at Wine-Nutz at 208 West 2nd St. 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, Scott Kirby, Benjamin Loeb, Paul Asaro, the Mad Creek Mudcats, and the Locus Street Boys

An entire three-day concert package costs $50; individual event admissions range from $5 to $20; children ages 16 and younger are admitted free to all events; muscatineartscouncil.org.

NORTH CAROLINA JAZZ FESTIVAL. (Wilmington, N.C.) – Feb. 2-4.
As the Cape Fear River rolls by, the 37th annual festival will be staged at the Wilmington Hilton Riverside ballroom, 301 N. Water St. This historic city boasts many art galleries, museums and restaurants, as well as a movie studio and nearby beaches. All evening concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. The Thursday Night Showcase on Feb. 2 focuses on “Styles of Jazz,” with performances by Sea Pans from Trinidad, vocalist Nnenna Freelon, and Professor Cunningham’s Traditional Jazz Jam. Friday and Saturday evenings will feature 14 all-star musicians in the traditional seven sets of six or seven players, each set with a different leader. These will be four-and-a-half-hour concerts. Saturday’s Patron Brunch from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. will showcase all of the festival’s musicians culminating in an informal “jam” in which audience members have the opportunity to play with the all-stars.

Musicians include trumpeters Randy Reinhart and Bruce Harris, trombonists Jim Fryer and Dion Tucker, reed players Adrian Cunningham and Anita Thomas, Pianists Rossano Sportiello and Kevin Bales, bassists Herman Burney and Katie Thiroux, guitarist Nate Najar, violinist Jonathan Russell, drummers Marion Felder and Chuck Redd who will double in vibes.

The Festival Roundup November 2016

Three-day patron tickets cost $225, two-day tickets $200; Thursday only $40, Friday $60, Saturday $60; military $25; students $15; ncjazzfestival.com; (910) 793-1111.

JAZZ INSPIRED ON KIAWAH ISLAND. (Kiawah, S.C.) – Feb. 6-8.
One of the most talented—and loveliest—jazz pianists of the 21st century, Judy Carmichael, invites all her fans to Kiawah Island, a 10,000-acre residential-resort community 21 miles south of historic Charleston, S.C. Kiawah Island features five golf courses including Ocean Course, the site of the 1991 Ryder Cup and the 2012 PGA Championship, and tennis, water fun and wildlife adventures abound. The pianist/radio host and guitarist Chris Flory welcome pianoman Mark Shane to the stage on Feb. 8, bassist/saxophonist Mike Karn on Feb. 7, and drummer Tom Melito on Feb. 8.

All concerts are free and open to the public but tickets are required. For tickets for Jazz Inspired from Kiawah Island, S.C., Call or email Stephanie Braswell: (843) 768-9166; sbraswell@ kiawahisland.org; East Beach Conference Center; Sanctuary Hotel: (800) 654-2924.

The Festival Roundup November 2016
Bob Schultz leads his famous Frisco Jazz Band at the 2017 Sounds of Mardi Gras in Fresno CA.

SOUNDS OF MARDI GRAS. (Fresno, Calif.) – Feb. 9-12.
The 33rd edition of this festive festival in Fresno kicks off at the Doubletree by Hilton with a Thursday evening pre-party. The schedule picks up Friday with a “Putting on the Ritz” Charleston-themed parade, followed by the annual coronation of the Festival King and Queen, and a hot-jazz Swing Dance. Attendees can meet-and-greet musicians Saturday morning before the Parasol Parade and Masquerade Party and Costume Parade in the grand tradition of Mardi Gras. Things wrap up on Sunday with a Wind Down Dinner and Dance. Bands for 2017 include Grand Dominion JB, High Sierra JB, Midnight Rose, Bob Schulz’s Frisco JB, Climax JB, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Blue Street JB, Gino & The Lone Gunmen, Devil Mountain JB, Yosemite JB, the Zydeco Flames, Dick Williams’ Jazz Sea Jammers, Doug Finke’s Hot Cookies, Tom Hook & The Terriers, and guest artists Brady McKay and Ken Hall.

Three-day passes cost $105 before Dec. 16, or $110 thereafter; admission prices for individual events range from $20 to $55; day passes are free for those ages 29 and younger, but a free-entry coupon must be obtained; (209) 534-1924; fresnodixie.com.

The Festival Roundup November 2016
Jazz/Gospel star Marilyn Keller appears at the 42nd Central Illinois Jazz Festival in Decatur in Feb. 2017. (photo by Mette Kramer Kristensen)

CENTRAL ILLINOIS JAZZ FESTIVAL. (Decatur, Ill.) – Feb. 10-12.
The city of Decatur is known far and wide as the Soybean Capital of the World and less famously as the birthplace of jazz singer June Christy and saxophonist Boots Randolph. The Juvae Jazz Society presents the 42nd annual festival at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel, 4191 US 36 West (Wyckles Road) in Decatur is the county seat of Macon County, located smack dab in the center of the Prairie State about three hours south of Chicago. Featured guests for 2017 will be Marilyn Keller, Kathleen Miller and Robin Hopkins; the CIJF All-Stars—Jeff Barnhart,

Danny Coots, Eddie Erickson, Russ Phillips, Ken Peplowski, Bobby Durham & Duke Heitger—and bands such as the Dave Bennett Quartet, Red Lehr’s Powerhouse Five, Cornet Chop Suey, Dan Levinson’s New Millenium Band with Molly Ryan, Dixie Daredevils, Millikin Jazz Lab Bands, Hot Jazz Pie, Gator Nation, and the Fat Babies JB. Music rings out Friday from 2 p.m. to midnight, Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Swing dance sets are scheduled for Friday and Saturday evenings at Fountain Hall. A Jazz Gospel Service will be conducted at 10 a.m. Sunday featuring Red Lehr’s Powerhouse Five with vocalist Marilyn Keller at Fountain Hall and is free and open to the public.

Admission prices range from $20 to $40; patron packages which include reserved seating at Holiday Hall events, cost $140 before Nov. 15, or $160 thereafter; (217) 546-6091 or (217) 454-2709; juvaejazz.com.

TRADITIONAL JAZZ YOUTH BAND FESTIVAL (Sacramento, Calif.) – Feb. 11.
Staged at Capistrano Hall at California State University, Sacramento a.k.a. Sacramento State, the TJYBF is cosponsored by the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society Foundation and Sacramento State University Jazz Studies in cooperation with the Trad Jazz Educators Network. It is an all-day festival dedicated to the performance and teaching of traditional jazz open to 30 school bands, jazz-club sponsored bands and independent youth bands with combo bands performing non-competitively. Each ensemble receives onstage feedback and a lead-sheet clinic following its performance. Also included is an optional Friday-evening clinician-mentored jam session; Saturday jazz workshop; noon Jazz’n’Pizza jam session; evening showcase of encore performances and more than $4,000 in awards/scholarships; and closing concert featuring trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso and the Clinicians Band. Kellso is the 2017 guest artist, aided by clinicians Katie Cavera, Bill Dendle, Bob Draga, Ron Jones, Joe and Paul Midiri, and Jason Wanner, who will also perform as the all-star Clinicians Band at the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society’s “Jazz Sunday” at Elks Lodge No. 6.

Festival tickets cost $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Contact ticket chairperson Kathy Becker at (916) 635-7224 or Jazzgal57@att.net. For festival info, call (916) 444-2004; email youthbandfest@ sacjazz.org; or visit sacjazzfoundation.org/tjybf/.

SEASIDE JAZZ FESTIVAL. (Seaside, Ore.) – Feb. 23-26.
Formerly called the Oregon Dixieland Jubilee, the Seaside Jazz Festival takes place on the north coast of Oregon in a little town with a population of about 6,500. Seaside is widely known for the stunning sunsets that can be witnessed from its 1.5-mile ocean-side promenade—“The Prom”—as it’s known by the locals. The 34th annual jazz fest, organized and presented by the Lighthouse Jazz Society, is headquartered at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center. Concerts are staged at five featured venues, three at the Convention Center, one at Seaside Elks Lodge 1748, and one at the Best Western Ocean View Resort. All located in downtown Seaside, the venues are within easy walking distance of one another, and a free shuttle service will be running between them.

A special Thursday-night performance will kick things off with music by Dave Bennett & Memphis Speed Kings. The main festival starts on Friday afternoon and runs until Sunday afternoon. Each band or performer plays multiple sets, moving between venues. These sets typically average an hour or so._Seaside’s featured bands include the Blue Street JB, Bob Draga & Friends, Cornet Chop Suey, Black Swan JB, High Sierra JB, Ivory & Gold, Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Bob Schulz’s Frisco JB, the Roof Garden Jass Band, and the Uptown Lowdown JB.

Festival badges cost $85 through Oct. 31, $90 between Nov. 1 and Feb. 1, 2017, and $95 at the door; three-day badges for students cost $15, and kids ages 14 and younger are admitted free if accompanied by a patying adult; daily badge prices range from $20 to $60. PO Box 813, Seaside, OR 97138. Information and credit card sales: (866) 345-6257, 9am-5pm M-F, or (503) 738-8585; jazzseaside.com. Lodging: Visitor’s Bureau: 888-306-2326. Email: Lighthousejazz@pacifier.com.

The Festival Roundup November 2016
“Fast Eddie” Erickson is honored as the 2017 Jazz Legend at the San Diego Jazz Party in Del Mar, CA.

SAN DIEGO JAZZ PARTY (Del Mar, Calif.) – Feb. 24-26, 2017.
At 2:10 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26, Eddie Erickson will step center stage at the Del Mar Hilton and be introduced as the 2017 Jazz Legend to be so honored at the annual San Diego Jazz Party in Del Mar, Calif., 20 miles north of San Diego. Looking on among the 21 musicians performing during the weekend event will be three previous honorees: Ed Polcer and Butch Miles, both of whom took part in the first SDJP in 2005, and Rebecca Kilgore, the 2016 honoree. The genial Erickson is a virtuoso banjoist and guitarist, vocal stylist and entertaining showman and is considered one of the most affable and approachable musicians on the jazz circuit today. His first steady job was at the colorful Capone’s Warehouse in Monterey, followed by two years at Disneyland and seven years at Disney World in Florida where he led the Riverboat Rascals. Most recently he has worked with the Rebecca Kilgore Quartet along with Dan Barrett and Joel Forbes. Over the years, he has shared his seasoned skills at youth camps and workshops which he calls “a very rewarding and important experience in helping to keep jazz alive.”

Stride pianists Stephanie Trick and her husband Paolo Alderighi will make their first appearances at the party, and others due to perform are Howard Alden, Harry Allen, John Allred, Dan Barrett, John Cocuzzi, Jon-Erik Kellso, Ed Metz Jr., Nicki Parrott, Houston Person, Chuck Redd, Richard Simon, Rossano Sportiello, Dave Stone, and Jason Wanner along with pianist-historian John Eaton who will present a special program on Sunday. This will be the first SDJP directed by Dan Reid, a retired real-estate developer and board member for the past seven years who has taken over from Dave Cooper, who has been in charge the past dozen years and who will continue on the board as treasurer.

All-events badges cost $240 and includes Friday free-bar cocktail party and Saturday jazz brunch; Friday-evening passes cost $80; Saturday passes range from $80 to $130; Sunday passes cost $80; reservations for single sessions accepted after Dec. 1; sandiegojazzparty.com; (619) 787-8792. –L.S.

SANTA CRUZ RAGTIME FESTIVAL. (Santa Cruz, Calif.) – Feb 24-26.
Surf City becomes Syncopation City on the third weekend of February. The second Santa Cruz Ragtime Festival will be staged at the Calvary Episcopal Church, the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Lúpulo Craft Beer House and outside on Pacific Avenue, with additional venues TBA. While the rich musical tradition of ragtime will be at the heart of the festival, listeners will be dazzled by interpretations of jazz, swing, boogie-woogie, stride and novelty piano classics performed by some of the best musicians in the world including Michael Chisholm, Danny Coots, Kylan deGhetaldi, Brian Holland, Vincent Matthew Johnson, Carl Sonny Leyland, Jimin Park, Will Perkins, John Reed-Torres, Daniel Souvigny, Adam Swanson and others.

Ticket prices are TBD; santacruzragtime.com; (831) 421-1734; kylan@santacruzragtime.com.

The Festival Roundup November 2016
Multi-instrumentalist Shaye Cohn of New Orleans braves Wisconsin in March to play hot cornet with Tuba Skinny at Phil Pospychala’ s twenty-seventh annual Tribute to Bix Fest in Racine. (photo by Armand Richardson)

TRIBUTE TO BIX FEST. (Racine, Wisc.) – March 9-12.
Legendary cornetist Bix Beiderbecke is remembered at this 27th annual fest staged at the Architect Conference Center & Hotel (formerly the Marriott), 7111 Washington Ave., Highway 20, in Racine. Known as the Invention City, Racine is located at the mouth of the Root River, halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago. The brainchild of festival Director Phil Pospychala, the Tribute to Bix Fest offers several unique events including the Annual Bus Tour to Hell, rare films, historical fun lectures, a 1920s Galaxie Girls chorus line, two days of new/used 78/LP/CD record sales with 50 dealer tables, all-night 78 spinning, late-night jam sessions and lobby cartwheels with the famous Schmooze Gals. “We’re proud to be out of tune with the times,” Phil says. “Good luck to all from Rexall!” Bands include Tuba Skinny featuring Erika Lewis and Shaye Cohn, the Honky Tonk Gang from Germany and Austria, Ralph Norton’s Varsity Ramblers with Andy Schumm, Tom Bartlett, and Steve Torrico.

Patron with bus tour plus all events, $100; patron minus bus tour, otherwise all-events, $85; bus tour only, $30; Saturday night concerts, $25; Sunday afternoon concerts, $20; lectures, films, record sales, $5/admission; free admission to after-hours jam sessions; bixfest.com; (847) 996-0246; bixguy@hotmail.com.

SOUTH COAST CLAMBAKE JAZZ FESTIVAL (North Bend, Oregon) – March 10-12.
Since 1988 jazz fans have flocked to southwestern Oregon to attend the annual South Coast Clambake Festival now staged at the Mill Casino, in North Bend. The bands play at four different venues—the Salmon Room, Hazel Room, Cedar Room, and Saw Blade—within the hotel owned and operated by the Coquille Indian Tribe. Located on Highway 101, the venue overlooks lovely Coos Bay, an S-shaped water inlet and estuary where the Coos River enters the big bay. Volunteers from the Bay Area Traditional Society for Jazz (“B.A.T.S for Jazz”) continue to keep the flame burning for Dixieland jazz. This year’s clambake serves a hot mix of traditional jazz, swing, doo-wop, blues, big band and zydeco. Performers will include the Barn Door Slammers, guitarist Lisa Mann, Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners, the Phat Cat Swingers and others TBA.

All-event badges can be purchased for $75 before March 1, and $85 after that; prices for daily badges range from $16.42 to $53.34. For info, call (541) 267-7665; email clambakejazz@gmail.com; or write to P.O Box 374, North Bend, Ore. 97459; or visit clambakejazz.com.

DURANGO RAGTIME AND EARLY JAZZ FESTIVAL. (Durango, Colo.) – March 24-26.
What better place for a Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival than in the heart of the Old West where the cowboys still amble about, saloon girls melt hearts and the uplifting music can be heard playing out onto the streets of this old mining town—Durango, Colorado—known as one of the most scenic places in the world. For three days, the historic Strater Hotel will be filled with the sound of old ragtime tunes and early jazz by an assorted group of entertainers—from young to seasoned, from spirited to swanky, TBA. The 5th Annual Durango Ragtime & Early Jazz Festival also offers silent film comedies, dance lessons, after-hours parties and a Farewell Sunday Brunch in the hotel’s Diamond Belle Saloon. Festival music director is pianist Alan Swanson.

Festival pass for two costs $185; festival pass for one costs $99; day tickets cost $45; individual concert ticket prices cost $20/afternoon, $25/evening; reduced rates for students; silent movie admission costs $8; prices remain subject to change prior to purchase; (970) 375-7160; durangoragtimefestival.com; Strater Hotel: (800) 247-4431.

The Festival Roundup November 2016
Molly Ryan sings with the Grand St. Stompers at the Redwood Coast Music Fest. (photo by Tom Salvas)

REDWOOD COAST MUSIC FESTIVAL. (Eureka, Calif.) – March 30-April 2.
The Northern California city of Eureka sits amid towering redwood forests south of Arcata Bay, 275 miles north of San Francisco. Eureka’s atmospheric Old Town waterfront district stands adjacent to this festival’s six venues—The Red Lion Hotel, The Adorni Center, the Eureka Theater, The Sequoia Center, Morris Graves Museum, and Eureka Municipal Auditorium. The 27th annual Redwood Coast Music Festival presents four days of traditional jazz, swing, rockabilly and zydeco, and two nights of blues. 2017 performers include Bob Draga & Friends, Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners, Mona’s Hot Four, The Au Brothers, Le Jazz Hot, the Grand Street Stompers with Molly Ryan, Jonathan Stout and His Campus Five, Dave Bennett & The Memphis Speed Kings, the Kris Tokarski Quintet with Chloe Feoranzo, Sonny Leyland & Friends, Stompy Jones, Nathan James & The Rhythm Scratchers, Gator Nation, Cocuzzi and Coots Courtet, Dave Stuckey & The Hot House Gang, Two Tone Steiny & The Cadillacs, Gino & The Lone Gunman, Tom Rigney & Flambeau, and Michael Doucet. Blues artists include Duke Robillard, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats and the James Harman Band.

Ticket prices are TBA, but in 2016 all-event tickets cost $75, $25 for youth; blues package $40; and daily ticket prices ranged from $25 to $50; 523 Fifth St., Eureka, CA 95501; (707) 445-3378; admin@redwoodjazz.org; rcmfest.org.

11th ANNUAL CHARLES TEMPLETON RAGTIME AND JAZZ MUSIC FESTIVAL. (Starkville, Miss.) – March 31-April 2.
This ragtime romp is named after the Starkville, Miss. businessman who donated his extensive collection of sheet music, instruments, record players and memorabilia to Mississippi State University in the late-1980s. Charles H. Templeton particularly appreciated ragtime music, a genre that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918, right around the time Machine Gun Kelly was attending Mississippi State during World War I. Although this decade-old festival has academic roots – it’s hosted by the University Library and the Charles Templeton Sr. Music Museum as a means of enhancing research in the area of early jazz – it always showcases some of the world’s best ragtime and stride piano players. For 2017, Festival Artistic Director Jeff Barnhart, himself a talented pianist, will perform along with keyboardist Brian Holland and Dan Levinson’s Roof Garden Jass band from NYC. Daytime events take place in the Templeton Music Museum, while evening concerts are staged at McComas Hall.

Prices for 2017 are TBA, but in 2016 all-event badges cost $50; daily badge prices ranged from $8 to $30, and seniors received a 20 percent discount; P.O. Box 5408, Mississippi State, MS 39762; (662) 325-6634; Lynda Graham, 662-325-6634, email: lgraham@library.msstate.edu; library.msstate.edu/ragtimefestival.

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