This weekend the 12th annual Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival will kick off. The popular musical event will begin on Friday and continues on Saturday.
Headlining the Jan. 14 Saturday Concert at Western Iowa Tech Community College will be the Lonny Lynn Orchestra from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is a different starting time from previous Jazz and Blues Festivals. Also, there will be no opening act for this concert.
Organizers hope that with a earlier start time, Festival goers will have a better opportunity to attend the popular Pub Crawls that follow.
The Lonny Lynn Orchestra is an accomplished, professional ballroom dance band - playing music from the 30's to the present, along with some Country and Latin music mixed in. The popular Midwest band consists of 10 musicians and a female vocalist. The orchestra celebrated it's 27th year in 2010.
Also seeing a time change this year are the Pub Crawls, which will begin at 9 p.m. and last until midnight on both nights.
With many previous acts coming from all over the United States, many of this year's acts have their roots in Iowa. The Northwest Iowa Musicians, Chad Elliott, Damon Dotson, Jimmy Davis and Friends with guest Kelsey Klingensmith, Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Bob Pace and Johnnie Bolin, are all "home grown Iowa musicians."
The Lonny Lynn Orchestra is based out of Nebraska and guitar sensation Ross William Perry of the Ross William Perry Band is out of the Twin Cities.
A special treat for this year's Festival is the return of internationally acclaimed New York City jazz/blues guitarist Glenn Alexander. Many may remember Alexander from previous Festivals or with his work with the Mark Pender Band, also a frequent participant in past Festivals.
Accompanying Alexander to Cherokee will be his daughter, Oria Aspen, who is a budding musician and a unique talent in her own right. Her current CD is available at the Copper Cup in Cherokee - just in time for Christmas!
This year's J&B Festival will have a little something for all ages. Younger musicians such as Klingensmith, Aspen, Dotson, Perry, and Elliott offer a stark contrast to veteran musicians such as Alexander, Bolin, Pace and last year's show stopper Mary Bridget Davies Group.
The Mary Bridget Davies Group, who is from Kansas City, Mo., will be hosting this year's Jam Session at The Gathering Place on Saturday.
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.
Advance ticket prices are still availablle today until 5 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.