Fourth Annual Davis Jazz Artists Festival: Beyond the Beat Generation

by admin on June 29, 2010

The Fourth Annual Davis Jazz Artists Festival: Beyond the Beat Generation marks a significant collaboration between local and national jazz musicians, visual artists, poets, students and the business community while serving as an educational event for younger artists and musicians. The event has proved to be a successful and major fundraiser for The Davis High School Jazz Band, consistently drawing over 3,500 people to Downtown Davis on perfect fall afternoons. This event is free to the public and is a fun and educational experience to all ages of the community. Coordinated by the Cultural Action Committee of Davis, this year’s Davis Jazz Artists Festival promises even more success. See the schedule of events here! Supported by highway signage, radio sponsors like KDVS and KXJZ, and several pre-festival events on October 1st and 3rd, a high visibility campaign will raise awareness and funds for the Davis High School Jazz Band. Prior to the festival, KDVS sponsors a free jazz and poetry pre-festival event from 7-9pm. Last year the festivities began on the evening of October 9th, with the premier of Mary Kerr’s Beat Era film “San Francisco’s Wild History Groove” and readings from the winners of the Jack Kerouac Poetry Contest, along with live jazz from Tony Passarell Trio. Again this year I will have the honor and pleasure of being the master of ceremonies, and with Scott Evans, publisher and editor of Davis’ Blue Moon Literary Review, jury the selection of award winners from across the country. This year the festival will occur on Friday and Saturday, October the 8th and 9th. On the 9th, twenty jazz groups with over 200 musicians will perform on three stages throughout downtown from 12-10pm. Last year featured performers included internationally recognized jazz musician Motoshi Kosako, harpist on Grammy winning albums; renowned poet Keith Abbott, faculty at the Naropa Institute; the Brubeck Institute Quintet; Brazilian jazz group Boca do Rio; Adam Jenkins and the Ganbare Spirits Ensemble; CSUS Latin Jazz Ensemble; and Yolo Mambo. Leading jazz painters Nancy Ostrovsky and Jonqui Albin performed live in the gallery, and the winners of the Jack Kerouac Poetry Contest performed with live jazz from Tony Passarell Trio. In a time when art funding is being cut in our schools and community, this festival holds numerous opportunities for children to become immersed in arts education. Along with all this amazing professional art, this year again we plan to feature a Kids’n’Clay section that provides a hands-on experience for children to create with clay, while painting walls will be set up for children to create while accompanied by Jazz music. Last year, local artist Donna Billick and her Art-Science Fusion Program had children work together to help create the Oak Trail Mural behind Borders at the Davis Commons. Older children and teens had the opportunity to submit their work and participate in the Jack Kerouac Poetry Contest. This mixture of the music, art, and literary communities is what truly sets the Davis Jazz Festival apart from similar events. The business that these festivals bring to the downtown area significantly enhances economic development in Davis. Yolo County Visitor’s Center Executive Director Diane Parro wrote about the impact that these festivals have on downtown Davis:
“We support the Davis Jazz & Beat Festival because it is a rich celebration of visual and performing arts but also because it is a great boost to our local economy.  This single event generates an estimated $110,000 of revenue for our community. This translates into the equivalent of 3 full time employees and means an additional $4,000 of income to our city coffers through fees and taxes.  There is an ongoing impact; when our local businesses reap the benefits of visitor's purchases on food, fuel, shopping and arts and entertainment, their employees in turn spend locally thus creating an enormous trickle-down effect.” "A thriving arts community frequently generates high-quality jobs and state tax revenue - results that are especially important in rural areas.  In California, arts and cultural organizations in rural communities generate $6.8 million in state tax revenue and employ 1,400 people." California Arts Council, The Arts-A Competitive Advantage for California II, 2008
Photos from previous Davis Jazz Festivals can be found at our gallery.

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