Veteran jazz trumpeter Jim Oatts of Des Moines and the other members of the Jim Oatts Quintet will work with jazz students and instructors from around the Northwest Iowa region.
The son of Iowa's patron saint of high school jazz bands, Jack Oatts, Jim is the driving force behind the Des Moines Big Band, a group he began playing with in 1969 and took leadership of in 1979. Eight years later Jim helped get the band settled into its regular Monday night appearances originally at Spaghetti Works and now at Adventureland Inn in Altoona. In addition to the big band, Jim performs with the Tony Valdez Ensemble and numerous other local combos.
His membership in the rock band Chase lead to his 2005 induction into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it's his dedication to keeping jazz alive in Des Moines through performance and education that has earned him inclusion in the CJC Jazz Hall of Fame.
The event, one of the educational highlights of Cherokee's annual Jazz & Blues event, is usually held during the Jazz and Blues Festival, but had to be delayed at other times in recent years due to scheduling problems. Nevertheless, thanks to Oatts and his band members, it is a highlight for several area music students and their directors.
With a background that includes stints with Chase, Machito, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band, trumpeter Jim Oatts could earn a living as a jazz musician in just about any city of his choice. He shares his musical knowledge with students at Southeast Polk Schools and shares his talents in numerous musical settings throughout the area.
This year's Jazz and Blues Festival has a lot to offer to everyone who enjoys a variety of music.
The venues for the popular Pub Crawls scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights are as follows:
The Northwest Iowa Musicians will appear at The Copper Cup from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Jimmy Davis and Friends with Kelsey Klingensmith and special guests Glen Alexander and Oria Aspen will be performing at The Gathering Place from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Chad Elliott will be at The Gasthaus from 9 p.m. to midnight.
The Damon Dotson Band will be at The Other Place from 9 p.m. to midnight.
The Ross William Perry Band will be at the Cherokee Bowl from 9 p.m. to midnight.
*Saturday, Jan. 14
The Mary Bridget Davies Group will be hosting the Saturday Jam Session at The Gathering Place from noon to 4 p.m.
The Lonny Lynn Orchestra will play from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Festival's Main Concert at Western Iowa Tech Community College Conference Center.
Glenn Alexander and Oria Aspen will be at the Copper Cup from 9 p.m. to midnight.
The Bob Pace Band will be at the Cherokee Bowl from 9 p.m. to midnight.
The Johnnie Bolin Band will be at The Other Place from 9 p.m. to midnight.
The Mary Bridget Davies Group will be at the Cherokee VFW Club from 9 p.m. to midnight.
The popular Student Music Clinic for invited area schools conducted by the Jim Oatts Sextet will be held at the Cherokee Middle School Friday, Jan. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Ticket prices for the 12th Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival are as follows:
Friday night Pub Crawl $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
Saturday Jam Session is $10 for non-musicians. Students and kids are free. No advance sale of tickets are available.
Saturday night concert at WITCC $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
Saturday night Pub Crawl $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
Saturday night combo ticket Concert and Pub Crawl $20 in advance and $30 at the door.
Advance ticket prices end at 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 9.
Tickets for all events are available at The Copper Cup, State Farm Insurance, and the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce.
For more information on the Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival go to www.cherokeejazzbluesfestival.com.