The 10th annual Spenard Jazz Fest is underway, but anyone involved with the event will tell you there’s more to it than just jazz music.
“I don’t personally think we should compartmentalize music,” said Yngvil Vatn Guttu, the director of Spenard Jazz Fest. “I like to collaborate with people across genres. The Spenard Jazz Fest does have sci-fi, rock we have Super Saturated Sugar Strings and we have world music. We have different ethnicities and we have, of course, a lot of jazz.”
New this year is the presence of international artists coming to Alaska to perform; Lenny Pickett is the artist in residence. Pickett along with seven or eight other musicians will take part in the weekend’s performances, workshops and events.
“Lenny Pickett from Saturday night live … one of the absolutely greatest musicians working in the U.S. and maybe the world today, is here right now, working with Alaska musicians,” Guttu said.
Guttu says his presence along with others tells a bigger story of Anchorage’s jazz scene.
“It does say that we’re ready,” Guttu added. “I have been fairly active in trying to galvanize the professional artists that are little invisible, especially jazz artists and the classical artists as well.”
Spenard Jazz Fest Events:
- Opening party Friday June 2 at the Blue Hollomon Gallery, 5 p.m.
- All day music marathon Saturday at 49th State Brewing Co., 12 p.m. to 1 a.m.
- Workshops Saturday June 3 at 49th State, 2 – 6 p.m.
- The Music Bus Saturday June 3 from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m., on the corner of Spenard and Fireweed – FREE
- Sunday June 4 is the Jazz Brunch at 49th State with Anchorage Jazz Ensemble – $30 includes a la cart menu and 2 sets of music. Call 49th State to reserve your table.
- Monday night June 5 – Silent film Steamboat Bill Jr. at Beartooth with live score – in partnership with Anchorage International Film Festival. Show at 8 p.m.
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