jazz festival attracts hot new bands and some old favorites | New
After a two-year absence due to the pandemic, the Pentastic Hot Jazz & Music Festival returns.
The three-day music festival begins at 3 p.m. today and runs through Sunday afternoon at venues including the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, SS Sicamous and Orchard House.
“We often meet people on the street saying ‘thank you’, they can’t wait to come,” said company president Michael Campbell.
Many music festivals across British Columbia have closed because they had to go on hiatus for two years. Killing Jazzfest was never a consideration, says Campbell.
“If it’s worth having, it’s worth having. It’s been hard to stop for two years, some bands have lost members and we’ve had people with travel issues in the US, but we’re doing well.
Festival organizers have received calls and messages from as far away as Florida and California. In addition, there is a group of over 50 people who come annually from Courtenay.
This year’s lineup includes: Black Swan Classic Jazz Band, Gator Nation, Professor Cunningham and His Old School, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, Dave Bennett and the Memphis Speed Kings, Groovus with Holland, Coots and Pikal, Sonny Leyland’s Boogie Four , Dave Bennett Quartet, the Holy Crow Jazz Band and local favorite, the South Okanagan Big Band.
Professor Cunningham, making his Penticton debut, is not in New York and will have
special sets featuring the music of Bobby Darin, Count Basie and New Orleans.
Groovus, an all-star California trio of Brian Holland, Danny Coots and Steve Pikal are guaranteed to “blow you away”, promises Campbell.
The musical styles offered are “HOT” jazz, that is to say the big band, ragtime, swing, zydeco, dixieland and a little rockabilly.
A three-day all-access pass is available for $120 at valleyfirsttix.ca or in person at the South Okanagan Events Center box office. Individual day passes are also available.
There is a discount for 18 and under accompanied by an adult.
The festival also offers two affordable options.
An outreach is scheduled for 2 p.m. today at Princess Margaret High School featuring Gator Nation.
On Sunday mornings from 9-10am, Black Swan’s Marilyn Keller will be featured in a gospel show at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. It’s free.
The festival also provides free tickets to care facilities for patients and their carers.
Depending on your own version of the story, it’s either the 26th edition (if you don’t count the years canceled by COVID) or the 24th festival.
The event is organized with the cooperation of 120 volunteers, including Campbell’s wife, Beth.
Campbell, who recently celebrated a milestone anniversary, said he hoped a successor could be found to keep the festival running for 24 years.