Thursday, 19 November 2009

Jazz Fest 2009 - The Top Jazz Festivals Throughout the US

Jacksonville Jazz Festival

What started out as a one-day, free event in Florida in 1980 has turned into an impressive festival, one of the country's largest, almost 30 years later.

More than just strictly a jazz festival, this event also boasts the Great American Jazz Piano competition, which takes place at the start of the fest. The winner of that gets to play a featured set at the festival, held yearly in Jacksonville's Metropolitan Park.

Wine lovers also have the rare opportunity to not only sample some of the more than 50 featured wines at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, but also speak with representatives from the highlighted wineries. That makes it a double-bonus weekend for devotees of jazz and wine - always a winning combination, anyway. In addition to good drink and good music, good food is served as well at the festival's traditional Sunday morning brunch.

The Jacksonville Jazz Festivals has spotlighted a variety of categories from straight-up jazz - the Ramsey Lewis Trio and Chick Corea - to the smoother side of things with David Sanborn and Chris Botti.

Mt. Hood Jazz Festival

Now in its 28th year, the Mt. Hood Jazz Festival offers jazz lovers a premier reason to travel to the beautiful state of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

Not too far out of Portland, the base of majestic Mt. Hood serves as setting for the festival, located in Gresham, Oregon, on the campus of Mt. Hood Community College.

Held in mid-August, the Mt. Hood Jazz festival has certainly seen its share of jazz legends take the stage. Those that have performed at the event that first started back in 1982 include: Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, The Crusaders and Buddy Rich, among others.

The Mt. Hood Adventures in Jazz series also brings in musicians from outside the region to play at various venues in Portland throughout the year.

Telluride Jazz Celebration

Talk about your scenic backdrops.

Located in the middle of the breath-taking San Juan Mountains, the Telluride Jazz Celebration cannot be matched in the landscaping department.

Mountain range above, gorgeous Beer Creek and San Miguel River below - that makes for an amazing setting to listen to jazz.

As such, this festival is definitely for the nature lover. Camping spots are available for those who really want to take advantage of all Telluride, now in its 33rd year of hosting a jazz fest, has to offer. Early June is usually when the Telluride Jazz Celebration is held. A jam-friendly jazz festival, Telluride welcomes an eclectic roster, featuring bands like Licorice, Ozomalti, Benvento-Russo Duo, Rebirth Brass Band and the Jimmy Herring Band.

The festival's Jazz after Dark series takes over the nearby Sheridan Opera House and Nugget Theater.

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