The Pensacola area was treated to an entire week of great jazz, leading up to the 30th Anniversary Pensacola JazzFest. There were over 40 live music events in Pensacola, Gulf Breeze and Pensacola Beach, including a Jazz Gallery Night in Downtown Pensacola on the Friday before JazzFest.
JazzFest itself drew a great crowd who enjoyed lovely spring weather (although there was a short cloudburst late in the afternoon on Sunday which brought out umbrellas from the dedicated jazz fans).
Many thanks are due to the dedicated, hard-working volunteers who manned the tents offering JazzFest posters, merchandise, beer, wine and sodas, as well as the V.I.P. tent and Musicians Hospitality tent. The crew at the Information tent distributed programs, signed up new members, sold raffle tickets and answered questions. The Stage Crew did a great job of efficiently moving acts on and off stage, as emcee Harley informed and entertained the audience between sets.
The headlining artists included the Harry Allen Quartet with Rossano Sportiello, Giacomo Gates, Roman Street and Rick Trolsen and the New Orleans Po’Boys. Also on the program were the Downbeat Jazz
Orchestra and the Joe Occhipinti Big Band. All three area colleges featured special guests who performed with their jazz ensembles. There were also jazz ensembles from several high schools and middle schools, including for the first time a vocal jazz ensemble.
It was a packed week, topped off by yet another fantastic FREE weekend of Jazz, presented as JSOP’s gift to the community.