Jazz It Up

On October 16, Sun Valley will jump, jive and wail for five days as the annual Jazz Jamboree, and all the live music, dancing and fun that comes with it, swings into town.  There is no cooler place to be!

Jazz Jamboree swings back into town next week

Jazz Jamboree swings back into town next week for the 24th music-filled year

People travel to Jazz HQ at the Sun Valley Lodge from all over the country for one of the most highly anticipated festivals around. Why? To listen to the music of more than 40 bands; to watch 260 shows on ten stages; to dance the night away after learning all the moves; to see old friends and make new ones; to take advantage of this spectacular time of year in this one-of-a-kind place. The fun is non-stop as enthusiasts choose from live jazz, Dixieland, Swing, Zydeco, and the Blues all day and all night, at all types of venues.

40 bands, 260 acts, 10 stages ... enough said!

40 bands, 260 acts, 10 stages ... enough said!

This 24th installment of the Jazz Jamboree story has some special events. Free dance lessons and an amateur dance competition will get everyone moving.  Come out to check out the All Star Big Band Bashes, a Marching Band Salute, a Pianist Showcase, even a Jazz Worship service. For a full schedule of what is available, click HERE.

The party kicks off with a free event and the entire community is invited to come out and tap their toes. At 7 p.m. on October 15, Meschiya Lake & Dem Lil’ Big Horns will get things rolling with their supercharged take on New Orleans style jazz. Opening for Lake (who incidentally was honored Best Female Performer at the 2011 Big Easy Music Awards) and her band will be the Wood River High School Dixie Band. The action takes place at the indoor Sun Valley indoor ice rink that is converted into a fantastic jazz club, replete with a sprung dance floor, for the duration of the Jamboree.

A Next Generation concert, scheduled for October 19 at 5 p.m. in the Limelight Room includes my favorite act at the Jazz Jamboree – the Whiffenpoofs of Yale. This all-male A capella group, founded in 1909, consisting of 14 seniors, is the world’s oldest, and perhaps best know, collegiate A cappella group. Every year, I take my children to see the Whiffenpoofs’ concert and their music and style always carry me back 20-plus years to my undergraduate years in New Haven. My children remain impressed that the Whiffs still perform in tails and I love seeing formal wear in the middle of the Idaho mountains. Performing with the Whiffenpoofs at this free event are Bill, Shelley & Westy and high school choirs. 

Whether your taste runs to funky New Orleans grooves, big band swing, rhythm and blues, traditional jazz, sousaphones, lyrical standards, big band or almost any other permeation of this always-evolving music, you will find something to love at the Jazz Jamboree.

The Whiffenpoofs of Yale entertain fans of all ages in style at the Jazz Jamboree

The Whiffenpoofs of Yale entertain fans of all ages in style at the Jazz Jamboree

Sun Valley invites all jazz enthusiasts to take advantage of special room packages during the Jazz Jamboree. Call 208.622.2030 or email reservations@sunvalley.com for rates reserved for festival participants and stay and play right in the middle of the action.

Come join the party!

–RES

It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got that Swing

Opening night of the 2012 Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree was a high-energy cacophony of color, smiles and the sweet sounds of jazz. From the Inn to the Lodge to the Indoor Ice Rink, converted into a vast performance hall for the weekend, the Resort was crowded with folks poised for a great time. Every chair was occupied in the cozy Duchin Lounge during a show featuring Jerry and Gary, battling banjo players. The rink was filled to capacity while 12 world-class performers, under the banner of Little Big Band N’Awlins Style, bebop’d and blew, improvised and grooved. Though early in the evening, many began to venture to the floating dance floor, one of the most appreciated and talked about features of this Jamboree.

Banjos battle in the Duchin Room

“People love the floating dance floor,” explained Scott Irvine who manages the Sun Valley Ice Rinks and is responsible for converting the indoor rink into a nightclub for the Jamboree. “The floor is sprung, almost like a tumbling floor in gymnastics, and people can dance for four hours and feel like it’s been one hour. It’s really fun – try it!” We bounced a bit among the dancers. It is fun.

Big Band fun

Back in the Lodge, the warmly lit lobby was full of festival-goers, on their way to or from of the dozens of evening events around the Resort. A helpful volunteer from Wood River High School, a musician herself, answered questions with a smile. The famous men’s singing group from Yale University, the Whiffenpoofs, congregated in the lobby, taking in the scene following their performance. Many grabbed a bite at the bar in the Duchin Room (myself included – I highly recommend the vegetable quesadilla) surrounded by hep cats of all varieties, including some of the weekend’s talented and smartly dressed musicians.

One of the helpful volunteers at the Jamboree

Welcome!

This was my first foray into the Jazz Jamboree and I plan to go back for more this weekend. It was terrific to see the Resort so crowded during shoulder season and it was terrific to see all the participants having such a tremendous time. People travel from all over (some I spoke with were from Kansas, Oregon, British Columbia) to be entertained, spend time with old friends and make new ones.

Things are in full swing in Sun Valley. Break out the boas, lace up those dancing shoes and get in on the fun. In addition to music and dancing, there is great food to eat and room specials if you want to relax through the last acts (that run until 1 a.m.) and then just roll into a comfortable bed, ready to start again the next morning.

The Jazz Jamboree runs through Sunday, October 21. Click here for a full schedule and get your jazz on!

– RES

Dressing the part

Dancing is a huge part of the festival

Sun Valley Jazz Festival

The 20th Anniversary Celebration for the Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree runs October 14th – October 18th, 2009!

For Tickets and more Info visit www.sunvalleyjazz.com