All That Jazz

It’s that time of the year again, the time for hot jazz, cool parties, and days and days of fun. From the 18th to the 22nd, the Sun Valley Jazz & Music Festival returns to Sun Valley Resort for five non-stop days and nights of live music, dancing, parties, and socializing. People travel from all 50 states, every Canadian province, and some foreign countries to be part of this unique scene that was founded by Tom and Barbara Hazzard’s appreciation and love for America’s music.

The Sun Valley Jazz & Music returns on October 18 with more than 200 high-octane musicians and countless ways to have fun

And music there will be! Forty bands, yes forty, and more than 200 musicians, will play at numerous venues over the course of the Festival. No matter if your taste runs to Swing, Big Band, Zydeco, Western Swing, or Vintage Jazz, there are many ways for you to get your jazz on. According to Festival organizers, “The history of this music echoes the history of twentieth century America,” and if you wander around the Resort during the Festival, the range of musical genres, performance styles, and the sheer enthusiasm of participants is sure to draw you in. There is so much going on you could go all day and night – and you will!

Whether your tastes run to Boogie-Woogie or Western Swing, the Festival offers something for everyone

Here are some of the highlights of the event:

Music, Music, Music
Of course, the Jazz Festival is all about music. Favorite performers and new soon-to-be-favorites share numerous stages at venues throughout Sun Valley Resort. The list of performers is way too long to do justice to here, but rest assured they are all consummate professionals who will delight and impress. Genres in addition to those mentioned above include: Blues, Gypsy, Stride, Boogie-Woogie, Cabaret, and Folk – truly something for everyone.  For a full biography of performers, please click HERE.

Get your Festival pass and prepare to be wowed by world-class musicians, parties, special sets, dancing … it goes on and on for five full days

Special Sets
In addition to the already packed schedule, the Jazz & Music Festival is offering some very “special sets” over the course of the long weekend. There are Dueling Pianos, a Hall of Fame Legends series, a Marching Band Salute, Big Band Jazz Sets, a Glenn Miller tribute from the Kings of Swing, and more.

Dancer’s Welcome!
Admittedly, it’s pretty hard to stay in your seat when the music is as good as it is at this Festival, so it’s a good thing dancing is encouraged throughout the weekend. From dance lessons that teach favorites like the Charleston, Fox Trot, and Lindy Hop, to dance competitions, and a special “Dancer’s Package” that features a pass for the Festival, small group lessons, free admission to dance competitions, and some housing specials – you will be jumping and jiving like a pro!

While the music is the star of the Festival, there are many enjoyable ways to look the part and jump into all the events with gusto

Although the entire Festival is one big party, specific themed parties also add to the merriment. Get things started by kicking up your heels at the Festival Kickoff Party on Tuesday, October 17, from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. at Sun Valley’s Limelight Room. This fun event features door prizes and party favors with dinner available for additional purchase. Entertainment will feature Tom Hook & Friends, Gator Nation, and the Sun Valley Jazz All Stars with Marilyn Keller and tickets start at $25. Two Private Jazz parties will be held on October 19, from 3:30 – 5 p.m. and on Saturday, October 21, from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. at private homes near Sun Valley Resort. The first features Tom Hook & Friends, the second, We Three. A $30 ticket includes complimentary wine, hors d’oeuvres, and a special Festival wine glass. Finally, the Festival ends on a high note on Sunday, October 22, with the Afterglow Dinner & Dance. The party in the Limelight Room starts at 7 p.m. and lasts well into the night with dinner and piano music, followed by the All Star Big Band Dance. Tickets are $65 per person. 

Free and Fun
This year, there will again be free shows at Town Square in Ketchum. Talents include the Carolyn Martin Swing Band at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday; Gator Nation at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday; and the All New High Street Party Band at the same time on Friday. These concerts bring the community together and are a rockin’ good time right in the middle of town. On Sunday, the Presbyterian Church of the Big Wood will also host a performance by the Midiri Brothers for “Jazz Sunday” at 11 a.m.

Some special performances take the music outdoors – right in the middle of Ketchum. Come one, come all!

To mull over the very full and very rich schedule, please click HERE.  And don’t forget to make some time to enjoy the beauty of the Sun Valley area during this very special season. A stroll through a golden aspen grove shouldn’t be missed at the very least and if adventure calls, be sure to take a hike or mountain bike ride, enjoy a round of golf, or give fly fishing a try. All activities are easily accessible right from the Sun Valley Resort. Check in with the pros at Pete Lane’s in the Sun Valley Village for rentals and recommendations.

As the famous song promises, “It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing,” and the Sun Valley Jazz & Music Festival has swing in spades. Don’t miss out on a moment of the fun and be sure to check out great lodging options right in the heart of the action!

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