Jazz fest lineup announced

April 13, 2007
Kathy Miller, 661/654-2456, kmiller26@csub.edu or
Michele Newel, 661/654-2720, mnewell1@csub.edu

The 21st annual Bakersfield Jazz Festival will be held at the California State University, Bakersfield Amphitheatre May 11-12.

This year's festival includes sounds from Latin jazz legend Poncho Sanchez, Grammy-Award-winner Diane Schuur and the Night Owls.

For 21 years now music professor Doug Davis, festival organizer and director of CSUB's jazz program, has brought together jazz lovers to enjoy a weekend of dancing and socializing that for many has turned into a must-see event.

"From the very first notes you will find yourself feeling great," Davis said. "It's an outdoor festival for an audience that gathers once a year, looking forward to seeing each other at a big social event."

Smooth jazz musician Lee Ritenour will be among Saturday's performers, along with Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts, Vocology, the Kern County Honor Jazz Band and Industrial Jazz Group, which encompasses CSUB alumnus Kris Tiner,

All proceeds from the festival go towards student scholarships. "Scholarship winners are announced from the stage creating a presentation to the student that is a little better than writing a check," Davis said. Since the festival began in 1986, it has raised more than $70,000 in scholarship funds to help support students who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford a college education.

This year's sponsors include BMW, Advance Beverage, Budweiser, Occidental Petroleum Corp., and for the first time as a major sponsor Castle & Cooke. With donations totaling more than $30,000 in television advertisement and $20,000 in radio advertisements the media support helps create excitement throughout the community.

Music isn't the only thing to get excited about at the festival. Davis has a crew of 250 people to help create a festive atmosphere that includes a selection of New Orleans-style dishes paired with traditional barbecue, along with gourmet coffee, fruit drinks and kettle corn.

Jill Adams-Klein manages the artisan pavilion and make sure the tent is filled with promising artists who reflect an array of talent.

Inside this year's tent attendees will find award-winning Bakersfield photographer Kevin Roland; Nicole Saint-John, a local artisan whose artwork hangs throughout Bakersfield; hand crafted jewelry by Terry Vetter-Kent; and beautiful serigraph work by artist Larry Jason.

Last year's event was the first time for a fireworks show at the festival. Davis plans another such display this year. "Certainly at night it feels like you're at a major event, with the spotlights, light show and fireworks before the last group," he said.

Friday's show starts at 7 p.m. and advance tickets are $23 for students and $32 for general admission. Saturday's show begins at 2 p.m. and advance tickets are $25 for students and $35 for general admission. A two-day pass is $35 for students and $55 for general admission. Children under 12 are free. Tickets are available at CSUB, all Vallitix outlets, Stockdale Music, California Keyboards, Russo's at the Marketplace, and Front Porch Music.

For tickets, to reserve a table or for more information, please call (661) 322-5200 or log onto www.bakersfieldjazz.com.