April 7, 2004
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456 or mstepanovich@csub.edu

Bakersfield’s two-day rite of spring, the 18th annual Bakersfield Jazz Festival, once again will have a stellar lineup at California State University, Bakersfield’s Amphitheater on Friday and Saturday, May 7-8.

The festival opens Friday at 7 p.m., with the popular Zzah, followed by Mindi Abair and Marlena Shaw. The music begins at 2 p.m. Saturday with the Kern County Honor Jazz Band. Other Saturday performers include the Mother Funk Conspiracy, Dave Douglas, CSU All State Big Band, Bennie Wallace, and Kevyn Letau. Saturday’s headliner is renowned guitarist Larry Carlton.

Gates open an hour before the music starts each day.

For those new to the jazz festival, a variety of food vendors are available, from hamburgers and hot dogs to deep pit barbecue and Cajun delights, said festival organizer and CSUB music professor Doug Davis. "There will be plenty to satisfy your sweet tooth as well," Davis said. He said beer and wine are available at the festival, but cautioned that the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Department forbids the bringing of alcoholic beverages into a licensed site.

Davis reminded festival-goers to bring sunscreen. "Who can predict the weather, but be prepared," he said. "Also, know that all children under 12 are free, and the kids seem to love the wide-open (but fenced) spaces.”

All proceeds from the Jazz Festival go for student scholarships. Over the years the festival has created a scholarship endowment of more than $50,000. "So come on out, enjoy some great music, relax and help the cause," Davis said.

Festival-goers have a variety of packages from which to choose:

Advance tickets are available at all Valitix outlets, Stockdale Music, California Keyboards, Russo’s Books at the Marketplace, and Front Porch Music, and the CSUB cashier. Reserved tables for parties of six are also available, and include beverage and snack service. To reserve a table or for more information, please call (661) 322-5200.