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For the week of October 18 through 24, 2000

The 11th Annual Swing ‘n’ Dixie Jazz Jamboree


Even the word seems to express the essence of the musical form. It is an American music like no other: full of life, diverse sounds, and nuances of style. It has a rich history and, gauging from the popularity of 10 previous Sun Valley Swing ‘n’ Dixie Jazz Jamborees, it has a bright future.

This year’s celebration began last night with a free community concert at the Sun Valley Indoor Ice Rink featuring the Mardi Gras Jazz Band and Mike Vax’s All American Jazz Band. There was even a special appearance by the Wood River High School Wolverine Jazz Band.

One of the great virtues of the Jamboree is that it has come to appeal to young and old alike. In the beginning, the event was considered a sort of Woodstock for senior citizens. In its 11th year, the festival now attracts huge numbers of teens and early 20s listeners.

Tom Hazzard, director of the Jamboree, said one of the organizers’ main goals is to "encourage young people to listen to and perform ragtime and swing music."

This year’s event offers bands coming from all over the United States, Canada and even Australia. Special events will include the Clarinet Clambake, Pianorama, Banjomania, Trumpet Tribute, and Trombone Triumph. The Roots of Jazz will be presented by the St. Louis Rivermen and the History of Ragtime by the Evergreen Jazz Band. There will also be tributes to jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Sidney Bechet, Tommy Dorsey, Stan Kenton and the Boswell Sisters.

On Saturday, over 100 musicians will come together at the Sun Valley Indoor Ice Rink to salute The Marching Bands.

All-events badges for the Jamboree are on sale at the Sun Valley Sports Center for $70. Day badges are $25 for Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Wednesday and Sunday badges are $20. Children under 12, accompanied by an adult, are admitted free of charge. For more information call 622-4111 and ask for the jazz office.

So, it’s time. Jazz up your life; come listen, dance, play. Express yourself. It’s what jazz is all about.


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