[Dixielandjazz] Sacramento Music Festival

Mike Marois Mike.Marois at hirelivemusic.com
Tue May 22 13:54:12 PDT 2012

Good Afternoon Steve et al;

I think the first sentence of the article says it all, goodbye, yet they want to lay claim to the previous 38 incarnations of the Jazz Festival / Jubilee.  If you change the name and the talent booking paradigm that would make this the first annual Sacramento Music Festival.  This reminds me of a group that's going around promoting themselves as starting in 1949 and recording with Louie, and the names of the fifties and sixties, geez.

Mike Marois


From: "Stephen G Barbone" <barbonestreet at earthlink.net>
Sent: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 10:44 AM
To: "Mike Marois" <Mike.Marois at hirelivemusic.com>
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Sacramento Music Festival 

Form The Sacramento Bee Newspaper.

Steve Barbone
Sacramento Music Festival aims for turnaround

By Edward Ortiz
eortiz at sacbee.com

Welcome the Sacramento Music Festival, and say goodbye to the 
Sacramento Jazz Festival and JubileeThis year a new name and a new 
talent-booking paradigm define the 39th annual incarnation of the 
music fest that runs Friday through next Monday.

The name was changed after last year's festival as an effort to 
broaden its appeal in the face of declining attendance.

Since the name change, festival organizers have tapped new procurers 
of talent to move the festival away from its traditional Dixieland and 
jazz beginnings. The move has been toward trademark jazz offerings 
along with wide-ranging music including reggae, rock 'n' roll, country 
and American roots. A total of 36 acts will be first-time performers 
this year.

"We're hoping to get people back to the festival who have not attended 
the last few years," said Tom Duff, president of the Sacramento 
Traditional Jazz Society, the nonprofit organization that runs the 

The issue of recapturing audiences and building on new ones is no 
small matter for the organization. Last year saw an 8 percent drop in 
attendance from 2010.

The festival, which brought in $1.3 million in revenue in 2010, has 
seen a steady decline since 2002, when revenue was $2.7 million.

The declining numbers at the festival dovetail with declines in jazz 
attendance nationwide and a rapid aging of the jazz audience. A 2008 
National Endowment for the Arts study on arts participation 
established that the median age of the jazz concertgoer was 46 - a 17- 
year increase from 1982's median.

For jazz, it is a troubling development because it means the median 
age of jazz festival-goers has grown faster than the median age of 
U.S. adults, and faster than for other types of performing arts events.

To turn the tide of plunging attendance, festival organizers brought 
in local talent booker Jerry Perry.

"I think this will attract a lot of diversity as far as age group 
goes," said Duff.

Perry is well-known in the region and has been responsible for booking 
nearly 20 of the acts that will appear at the Sacramento Music Festival.

"I had a little learning curve as to what was expected of me," said 
Perry, who has booked acts for Old Ironsides and until this year 
booked for the popular Concerts in the Park series.

The bands Perry has gotten include Fresno's Fierce Creatures - a band 
Perry described as having a sound reminiscent of Grammy-winners Arcade 
Fire. Other bands include the local pop-punk band Kepi Ghoulie, and 
Rick Estrin and the Nightcats, a Sacramento favorite.

Perry said festival organizers were pleased with the bookings.

"In some ways I had wished I had pushed the envelope more," said 
Perry. "I think I will be more daring next year."

One of the newcomers to the festival is the Rusty Zinn band, blues and 
reggae artists from Alameda. Its leader, a onetime Sacramento 
resident, said that when he was booked to perform he had to go to the 
festival's website (www.sacmusicfest.com) to confirm that he was, 
indeed, to perform at the former Jazz Jubilee.

Zinn said he believes the new focus is prudent.

"Live music is tough anywhere these days, so I think it's crucial to 
have variety," Zinn said. "It's great to go to an eclectic music 
festival and hear a whole cross-section of styles."

The new look of the festival does not mean it is moving away from its 
focus on jazz. The event's lineup is populated with jazz acts. 
Traditional jazz such as swing and ragtime will be offered at the 
Hyatt Regency and Sheraton Grand Hotel ballrooms, said Vivian Abraham, 
executive director of the festival.

Still, the new, broader musical focus continues to alienate some who 
were loyal to the festival's past incarnations.

"I hope they're successful," said Jerry Vorpahl, one of the festival's 
co-founders, who recalls presenting the festival as a semi-private 
event aboard the Delta King in Old Sacramento in the early 1970s.

"As narrow a focus as it was when it was just Dixieland . it's just as 
bad to be all things to all people," said Vorpahl. "They don't have 
any mainstream jazz. This is all opposed to the major festivals in the 
country, like the Newport and Monterey, which have had a straight- 
ahead jazz feel . and whose music seems to appeal to a lot of people."

Vorpahl also feels that this year's lineup includes a heavy dose of 
the usual subjects.

"Basically, many of the people you're going to see at the festival are 
really good musicians, are really nice people, and they are all local 
- and we've heard them all year long," said Vorpahl.

One focus that has not changed at the festival is the commitment to 
giving a new generation of jazz musicians a forum to perform, as will 
happen when the Syncopating Sea-Monkeys perform as one of 15 youth 
bands at the festival.

That group hails from River City High School in West Sacramento, which 
boasts one of the few traditional jazz bands in the state.

"For us the festival is the pinnacle of the school year," said band 
director Felicia Greenwood. "We work all year to prepare music for it 
- and not having that outlet would be devastating to our program."


In its 39th year, the 2012 Sacramento Music Festival launches with a 
new name and new styles of music. Promoters call it a giant party in 
Old Sacramento and nearby hotels "pulsing with the rhythms of jazz, 
swing, blues, zydeco, rockabilly, bluegrass, Latin music and more."

Hundreds of musical sets will be performed by more than five dozen 

When: Friday-next Monday. The festival begins at 1 p.m. Friday and the 
final sets begin at 10 p.m. that day. The fest begins at 10 a.m. 
Saturday, Sunday and Monday. On Saturday and Sunday, the last sets 
begin at 10 p.m.; on Monday, the finale is set for 2:30 p.m.

Special events: The parade takes place at 10 a.m. Saturday in Old 

Where: Music will be performed at 24 sites on the streets from Old 
Sacramento to the Convention Center, including restaurants, 
courtyards, hotels and the Delta King.

Admission: Kids 12 and younger are free. Tickets cover a wide range, 
from $10 to $110, depending how many days you attend and if you are a 
senior. Go online to http://sacmusicfest.eventbrite.com or call (916) 

Home page: For more information about performers, ticket prices, 
special events, go to www.sacmusicfest.com.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/21/4504195/sacramento-music-festival-aims.html#storylink 
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