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Elkhart Jazz Festival

Updated on October 6, 2013

Elkhart Jazz Festival 25 Years And Counting

The Elkhart Jazz Festival celebrated 25 years in 2012, and is back in 2013 for four days of enjoyment. The musicians and fans filled this festival with playing and enjoying jazz music.

Last year, six stages hosted musical performances during the festival. There was food, too. And other events for Patron and VIP festival-goers, like a cruise on the river, a special jazz art exhibit, and access to the hospitality room where the musicians gathered when not on stage.

For many of the jazz musicians, this is a special event, too. Many have come for most of the Elkhart Jazz Festival's years, and made friends among their fellow artists. This festival draws jazz lovers from all over the country.

Headliners for the 2013 Jazz Festival include Wynton Marsalis and his 15-piece band, and jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli.

Collage photos by kimbesa

Saxophonists with the Cornbread Jazz group
Saxophonists with the Cornbread Jazz group

First Visit to the Elkhart Jazz Festival

Music Inside and Outside

I've heard other people talk about the Jazz Festival for years, but never had the opportunity to visit. Until last year. I'm looking forward to the next one!

What impressed me most is how much there is to hear! I don't know much about jazz, but I like live music. Event organizers anticipated 15,000 visitors over three days this year. And it looks like the festival brought in a lot of jazz fans. By Saturday night, events were standing room only.

The music is categorized into Big Band, Contemporary, Gypsy Swing, Swing, Blues, Dixieland, Smooth Jazz, Classic, Gospel and Latin Jazz. Something for everyone. I never knew jazz had this many flavors.

And I got to attend my first concert in the beautiful Lerner Theater, a gorgeous place for any kind of live stage performance.

Besides the panorama of musical styles in this festival, one of the things that impressed me most was the efforts being made to get young musicians involved in jazz. Three high school groups performed, all involving professional jazz musicians that were also performing in the festival. There were music clinics. And, the performers made themselves available to these aspiring jazz artists after their sets.

This was a relaxed and enjoyable festival. To anyone who loves good music, make plans to visit the Elkhart Jazz Festival!.

Concord HS Jazz Band at the Lerner

Concord HS Jazz Band at the Lerner
Concord HS Jazz Band at the Lerner

Jazz 101 - An Introduction For Newbies - Audio Book Format

Jazz 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Jazz
Jazz 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Jazz

An introduction to a truly American musical art...No music, just the book read so you can listen and absorb.


Are You a Jazz Lover? - Do You Follow Particular Styles?

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Catch The Jazz Festival on Youtube - The Flavor of Festivals Past

Paxton Manly at Civic Plaza Stage

Paxton Manly at Civic Plaza Stage
Paxton Manly at Civic Plaza Stage

What the jazz lovers say...

Just looking at the crowd, you can tell there are lots of returning visitors to the Elkhart Jazz Festival. Some have their programs marked, planning which groups they will hear when. Others just settle in for a day of live musical entertainment.

According to the sponsors, people come to the festival from all over the country, with 2/3 traveling from outside the local area.

  • "Awesome to be out here"
  • "Nothing quite as American or exciting as jazz"
  • "Fun by yourself, or with family and friends"
  • "So enjoyable, make it an annual event on your list of music festivals to visit"
  • "Elkhart should be proud"

Cornbread Jazz on the Plaza

Cornbread Jazz on the Plaza
Cornbread Jazz on the Plaza

What the musicians say...

From first-time appearances, to musicians who have been at almost all the festivals over 25 years, many keep coming back. Elkhart has something that they don't always see in bigger cities.

  • "It's a world-class festival"
  • "People around you are appreciative of the music"
  • "It has a great vibe"
  • "It's a welcoming environment and the people really know a lot about music"

Elkhart Jazz Festival

June 20-22, 2014

Three days of wonderful jazz!

~ Mark Your Calendar ~

Wynton Marsalis Headlined The 2013 Elkhart Jazz Festival

THE MUSIC OF AMERICA: Inventing Jazz - Wynton Marsalis
THE MUSIC OF AMERICA: Inventing Jazz - Wynton Marsalis

For your listening pleasure, and to get ready for Marsalis live and in person!


Find The Best Jazz on Amazon - Enjoy Jazz Music in the Off Season

Are You a Jazz Fan? - Would You Come To the Jazz Festival?

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    • dahlia369 profile image


      6 years ago

      The gatherings of musicians are always lots of fun! :)

    • spids1 profile image


      6 years ago

      looks like it will be a blast

    • SheilaMilne profile image


      6 years ago from Kent, UK

      I've always enjoyed jazz. Funnily enough there was a jazz band parading around our local town and market this morning (in France). Great fun!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      6 years ago

      I love jazz and jazz festivals. Truly America's music - and we need to ensure that it stays alive by supporting events like this. Pinned to my board "Music I love" and Squid Angel Blessed.

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      You need to invite me next year! Sounds fun.

    • greenmind profile image

      GreenMind Guides 

      6 years ago from USA

      Wow, nice lens. I dig this template and your information is clear and well delivered. Thanks.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this, had never heard of it, but sounds great!

    • BestMusicGear profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens... I must attend some year.

    • YogaAngel profile image


      6 years ago

      yes, I want to go to the jazz festival

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      6 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      If I could get away from work this time of year, I'd be up there every time. My brother's a jazz saxophonist. He never played at the Elkhart Festival, but he's played at others and I enjoyed them so much.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Looks like the place to be, to me.

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 

      6 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      Experiencing the music first hand is always fun even though I'm not a huge fan of jazz. Nice lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I like John Scofield

    • Millionairemomma profile image


      6 years ago

      For a jazz lover, this looks awesome!! I love jazz music. Nice use of the new squidoo lens.


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