This May marked my tenth year of living here in Sacramento. For the Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee, this Memorial Day weekend celebrates 38 years here in California’s capital city. And while it’s one of the more celebrated Jazz Festivals in the country, our paths have never crossed – until this year.
(Note: The Sacramento Jazz Festival has actually been here for more than 38 years – but you will have to check out the video to get more information on that.)
Even though I grew up in the South, I wasn’t really exposed to a lot of jazz music. I learned a little bit about it in school as I took a music history class in college. And while I enjoy travel music on the road, I haven’t taken the time to listen to or learn much about jazz. So with the celebration of an anniversary, I had a lot to learn about jazz history in Sacramento.
Sacramento Jazz Festival overview
When most people think of jazz, New Orleans may be the city that comes to mind – not Sacramento. And while there is more of a family atmosphere here than a Mardi Gras one, there was plenty for everyone to enjoy – beads included.
Most of the Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee takes place in the old, historic part of Sacramento known as Old Sacramento. Throughout the streets and ‘old west’ style buildings along the Sacramento river, a variety of venues plays hosts to saxophones, trombones, trumpets, pianos with the music ranging from jazz to blues and everything in between. From restaurants to a former paddle-wheel steamboat (now a hotel and dinner theater) to museums and streets, you can experience music being played by musicians of all age levels and talents.
The artists range from 13 to 70s and beyond as bands take their acts to the stage over a four day period Memorial Day weekend in Old Sacramento and at the Sacramento Convention Center. And while music is the focus, there are plenty of opportunities to learn, have fun with the kids, eat, and just enjoy the variety of activities offered during the jazz festival and jubilee.
Before I indulged in too much music and fun, I felt there was a lot for me to learn about the Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee. I didn’t know anything about its history or what goes on. So while many people were enjoying the festival, I got to work to get an overview about how it started, what it is all about, and some ways Sacramento seeks to promote jazz music in the community to people of all ages.
While there will be plenty of photos and some more detailed information on the jazz festival coming up, here’s a brief introduction to the Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee, an overview of the event, and a sneak peak at some of the music people enjoyed.