[Dixielandjazz] Festival memories

Dave Hanson jazzdude at bellsouth.net
Wed Apr 28 03:36:20 PDT 2004

While reading the emails concerning the Sac jazz festival, cuts in drink tickets, fewer European bands, but the pay schedule intact for the players, I remind myself of a band I played with at the festival in 1984. 

The city of Sacramento is very friendly, with beautiful neighborhoods and lots of venues. Our hotel accommodations were splendid and I even had about an hour to take a swim after about three days.

I found the volunteers quite helpful but the problems started immediately. TRANSPORTATION from venue to venue was very difficult to obtain and we found ourselves walking many times. The only food we had time to find was "junk" food and though we had all the drink tickets we could ever consume, it only added to our physical condition. After three days we were all running on empty. Add to this, most venues were in the direct sun and our fluid loss was high. We rarely had enough time to drink water, eat a decent meal and were always on the move. 

I'm surprised we sounded as good as we did, and in conversations with other band members from other groups, we all had  similar problems. I can't tell you how happy we were to finally get on the plane and quite frankly I wouldn't go back to that festival regardless of the pay.

I  really don't think the organizers had a clue how difficult they made it for the performers, and wonder if it's even been mentioned. I haven't heard it on the DJML and I would welcome anyone commenting on THEIR experience at the SAC jazz fest as a player.

I'm a 40 year veteran of every venue you can imagine, but this was the absolute pits !!

Dave Hanson

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