No need to be blue about JazzFest: Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues has a full week planned

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — For more than 25 years, mid-July in Sioux Falls was synonymous with JazzFest. 

The music event that brought acts like Joe Walsh and Sheryl Crow to Yankton Trail Park for a free concert went on hiatus after 2019. But for those music lovers who want to reminiscence JazzFests of years past, a new exhibit at the Washington Pavilion is highlighting the history of the event with signed historical JazzFest posters, guitars from the 25th JazzFest anniversary, video montages of past JazzFests and historical timeline of the Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society. 

JazzFest posters from 2001 and 2002 at the Washington Pavilion exhibit.

“We’re really celebrating our history as an organization and then also focusing on our community,” SFJB Executive Director Alex Gilbert-Schrag told KELOLAND News. “Even though JazzFest isn’t happening, it’s a very important part of our history as the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society.” 

The exhibit opens Saturday, July 10th in connection with the start of Jazz & Blues Week. From July 10 through July 18, multiple events and concerts are being held throughout Sioux Falls by the SFJB. 

Starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, the Jazz Crawl will feature eight different venues with a variety of musicians. The music will start at 1 p.m. and go until 10 p.m. You can view a full schedule of events below. 

  • 1-3 p.m.: Escape 605: “Jazzed” with Bobby Gripp
  • 2-5 p.m.: Severance Brewing Co.: The Jeff Paul Quartet
  • 5-7 p.m.: PAve (Must be 21+): Greyson Schulz and some actually good musicians on the 2nd Floor
  • 5-9 p.m.: Ode to Food and Drinks: Dan Larson and friends 
  • 6:30-9:30 p.m.: R Wine Bar + Kitchen: S.F.O.G. Tentet
  • 7-10 p.m.: The Source Roastery + Taproom: The Guitar Doctors
  • 7-10 p.m.: WoodGrain Brewing Co.: Chris Pohlson
  • 7-10 p.m.: Covert Artisan Ales and Cellars: Elisabeth Hunstad Duo

In addition to the Jazz Crawl, there’ll be a scavenger hunt with prizes of donated gift cards, swag bags, concert tickets and some donated alcohol. Rules for the contest are listed on the SFJB website. 

“We got some fun goodie bags for folks that make it to the different venues,” Gilbert-Schrag said. “That should be really fun.” 

Longtime local musician Jeremey Hegg emphasized some of the musicians will be showcasing some new and original music this week in Sioux Falls. 

“They are premiering it this weekend,” Hegg said. “When people think of jazz, they think of older songs. This is their mood now, this is their art, this is what they are feeling, here’s how I express it on my instrument.” 

Hegg said anyone who has been to multiple JazzFests over the years would enjoy stopping by the exhibit of posters at the Washington Pavilion. 

“Coming around and revisiting those experiences is great,” said Hegg, who added people should try and check out some of the artists performing Saturday as well. “This new music is coming out and it’s terrific stuff.” 

Local standout guitar player Emmanuel Michael said JazzFest was always an “exciting time.” He remembered participating in jazz camp for three years and praised the “continuous fun and continuous soul-searching.” 

This year’s jazz camp starts on Tuesday and will wrap up with a final performance on Friday at O’Gorman High School. 

Michael agreed with Hegg about how much new music and good music will be showcased throughout the week. 

“Not only am I playing, but my friends are playing down the street,” Michael said. “The atmosphere of that sense of community is hospitality with everyone so it’s a beautiful environment.” 

On Sunday, Tab Benoit, a Grammy nominated singer, songwriter and guitarist, is playing a concert at The District. Advance tickets are $42 for pit and $27 for general admission.  

Everything else part of Jazz and Blues Week is free except for the Gourmet Jazz & Wine, an evening of music paired with food and wine for each course. You can find a list of events for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and next Saturday on the organization’s website.

“There’s something for everyone,” Gilbert-Schrag said. “If you don’t really care to go and sit in a park and listen to music, you can go to a bar on Tuesday or Thursday, hang out in air conditioning and listen to some really great local music.”

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