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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cherokee Jazz & Blues Festival a big hit

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Kicking off the 13th annual Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival on Friday were the Northwest Iowa Musicians, who played to a packed house at The Copper Cup. The talented group has been a mainstay of the Festival for many years. See more photos in the Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival Photo Gallery. Photo by Mike Leckband
Music lovers were not disappointed with the incredible talent featured at last weekend's Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival.

Nine musical acts delighted Festival goers with a variety of music, and all the entertainers were lauded for their skills.

Beginning on Friday at the Copper Cup, The Northwest Iowa Musicians packed the house and played nearly three hours of classic Jazz and Blues.

Another talented musician who played on Friday at the Gasthaus was Chad Elliott with special guest, Bonita Crowe. The pair rocked out by playing many of Elliott's original compositions.

Dick and Jim Oatts of the Jim Oatts Family Jazz and renowned saxophone and trumpet players, displayed their talents on Friday at the Cherokee VFW Club as part of this year's Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival. Photo by Mike Leckband
Singer/songwriter Kelsey Klingensmith, along with the Buffalo Ridge Band performed at The Gathering Place. Klingensmith showed why she is a fast-rising star despite not even being in high school yet. Also joining Klingensmith and the Buffalo Ridge Band on Friday was Cherokee singer/songwriter Charley Leissler.

One of the biggest treats of the night was attending the Jim Oatts Family Jazz performance at the Cherokee VFW Club. This talented family performed some high octane jazz numbers.

The talented guitar player Ross William Perry rocked the Blue Room at the Cherokee Bowl on Friday with his no nonsense guitar playing.

On Saturday a wonderful turnout came to the Jam Session held from noon to 4 p.m. and was hosted by The Candymakers. During that event many talented musicians performed.

One such musician was 10 year old Paul Zelle of Waverly, who impressed the band so much that he was invited to play with The Candymakers at their performance later that night at the VFW.

Those who love the sounds of a big band attended the Big Band Dance at Western Iowa Tech Community College that featured The Mearl Lake Orchestra from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Saturday's Pub Crawls began at 9 p.m. and the talented, charming, downright wonderful Sherri Cafaro performed at The Gathering Place. This stunning singer and keyboard artist took a different approach to what is normal at the Festival. Most of her entire act was that of song requests. No matter what the song, she played it delightfully.

Another high energy act that performed at The Cherokee Bowl was the band Blues Drivin' of Storm Lake. The band played some hard hitting blues favorites to a large crowd.

But the largest crowd on Saturday migrated to the Cherokee VFW Club to watch the entertaining and sharp sounds of The Candymakers. The band had an exciting sound, along with a many brass instruments to blow the crowd away.

As for attendance at this year's Festival, it was down this year a little on Friday but picked up on Saturday with several venues packed, according to Festival organizer Jim Adamson.

Adamson stated that, all and all, the Festival was another big success and is looking forward to the 14th annual Cherokee Jazz and Blues Festival to be held next January.

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