Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival Celebrates Big Easy


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What: Webster-Kirkwood Times Presents the 8th Annual Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival - “A family-friendly music & cultural festival featuring multiple stages of locally and nationally recognized performers in jazz, blues, zydeco, funk, and R&B"

Where: Webster Groves Historic District at Gore & Lockwood Avenues (St. Louis)

When: Saturday, September 20th, 12:00 noon until 11:00 p.m.

Who: Gumbohead with Special Guest: The Funky Butt Brass Band, Erin Bode Group, Soulard Blues Band, Webster University Faculty Jazz Band, Pfeffer Trio Featuring Debby Lennon, Marquise Knox Blues Band, Anita Rosamond, Mosby Group, The SteamRollers, Webster Groves High School Jazz Band

FREE: Admission, Jazz Workshop + Gift Bags, Parking

INFO: For more information or directions visit oldwebsterjazzfestival.com or call (314) 961-4656 or the Webster Groves Events Hotline at (314) 961-8810

St. Louis - Nestled among historic buildings on the streets of Webster Groves, the Webster-Kirkwood Times presents the eighth annual Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival (OWJBF). This year the free, award-winning, family jazz and blues fest celebrates the music and cultures of Louisiana. Like the state's signature dish, gumbo, this year's festival offers a spicy stew of diverse ingredients from the Big Easy. Stroll street side shops, devour delicacies, and tune in to jazz born in Louisiana and the soulful holler of blues that was first sung in the Mississippi Delta.

Located just 10 miles southwest of St. Louis, Webster Groves has hosted this melodic Midwest jaunt for the last seven years. On Saturday, September 20th the festival's two stages will showcase ten area bands that pay homage to our nation's founding fathers of jazz and blues. Expect to see involvement from the entire community as kids from the age of six to ninety-six, frolic and mimic the anticipated second-line dances of the south.

Gumbohead will return to make their third appearance in 2008, but with a new twist. This year the eclectic and interactive band will not only headline the event, but will also bring along the Funky Butt Brass Band as their special guest. A collective of rhythmic rapscallions and tuneful tricknologists, Gumbohead finds great joy playing music born in and influenced by New Orleans and southwest Louisiana. Hatched in 1999, the seven-piece “zydefunk" group fuses high-energy with rich musical styles from the Crescent City. To hear the band, is to experience the full-spectrum of Louisiana dance music, including zydeco, funk, blues, jazz, R&B, brass band, and traditional “second line" tunes. Each show is a full-blown, bead-tossing, Mardi Gras throw down. And all songs are 100% groove-a-licious; guaranteed to leave you with a wicked case of the Funky Butt, so get ready to “laissez les bon temps rouler!"

Back by popular demand is the sensational Erin Bode Group with a new album, The Little Garden, to their credit. Other anticipated highlights are the world-class favorites from Webster University Faculty Jazz Band, award-winning Soulard Blues Band, distinguished diva Anita Rosamond, blues prodigy Marquise Knox Blues Band, and top-notch Webster Groves High School Jazz Band.

Making their first appearance as newcomers to the festival are the highly acclaimed Pfeffer Trio featuring Debby Lennon, brilliant Mosby Group, and much-awaited debut of The SteamRollers from Webster Groves.

Music Grant
Earlier this year the OWJBF presented its second “Johnnie Johnson Legacy Grant" to the Webster Groves School District Foundation in the amount of $2,000. The grant continues to honor the late Johnnie Johnson who graced the OWJBF stage from 2002-2004. This year the festival plans to fund another grant for an undetermined amount. The grants help eligible students obtain instruments so that they may participate in music programs for both education and performance.

A Jazz Workshop: Approaching the Standards; Methods for Interpreting Standard Repetoire for Jazz Singers and Instrumentalists
A free educational jazz workshop is available for regional students and amateur musicians of all ages. Co-Sponsored by Webster University and the OWJBF, the workshop is hosted by world-class faculty and artists. From 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. you can learn from experts Paul DeMarinis (saxophone), Steve Schenkel (guitar), Debby Lennon (vocals), along with members of the Jeremy Pfeffer (bass) Trio. The workshop takes place in the new Community Music School Building (Room 11), located at 535 Garden Avenue on the campus of Webster University. Each participant will receive a free gift bag from area retailers (ie. MAXJAZZ, Webster Records, Euclid Records, Switzer's Candy). Attendees do not need to bring instruments, and prior registration is not necessary.

A Taste of Old Webster
Enjoy diverse food and beverages located along festival avenues. Highlights feature neighborhood bars, restaurants and businesses. As you stroll along the nostalgic business district, don't be surprised if you bump into street entertainers who amuse you and your family with face painting, juggling and balloon-blowing clowns.

The OWJBF was founded by its taxing district to help promote music and culture in the Old Webster Groves Historic District. One of the most family-friendly jazz & blues festivals on the planet, the OWJBF beckons families to bring their kids and strollers as they celebrate, educate and commemorate. For more information about the OWJBF and its sponsors, visit our website or contact Webster Records at (314) 961-4656 or the Webster Groves Events Hotline at (314) 961-8810. The festival offers free parking and all events go on rain or shine. No glass bottles allowed.

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