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Jazz & Beyond festival moves in new direction

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The Jazz & Beyond Music and Art Festival is taking a new direction in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The festival was founded in 2004. This is the first year in which gathering of large crowds at musical events has been restricted due to health concerns. The festival, originally planned to start Aug. 7, now has events starting Aug. 19 and continuing into September. It will include drive-in movies, small in-person concerts, live streamed concerts, and pre-recorded events made available to the public through the festival’s website at JazzCarsonCity.com.

“Back in the middle of March, we had a fairly complete schedule with a few dozen performances planned for the festival in August, but all that changed as the pandemic spread,” said David Bugli, president of the Mile High Jazz Band Association, sponsor of the festival. “With this new approach, we hope to share with the people in our community some of the great talent from our area, and perhaps reach a wider audience outside Carson City through our live-streamed and pre-recorded events. With few exceptions, admission to events will be free through the generosity of our grantors, advertisers, sponsors donors and Association members.”

The first event will be a free, jazz related drive-in movie, “High Society,” on Aug. 19-20, in the parking lot at the Brewery Arts Center. The movie is presented in cooperation with the Carson City Classic Cinema Club. The 1956 movie, based on the earlier “Philadelphia Story” movie, is moved to a high class setting near the Newport Jazz Festival. It features Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, and Grace Kelly in her last movie role before becoming Princess Grace of Monaco. Robin Holabird, film critic and former Nevada Film Commissioner, will introduce the movie and provide commentary. The event is supported in part by a generous grant from the Great Basin Consulting Group (Mike Drews). Reservations are required for each vehicle, and information will be posted on the festival website JazzCarsonCity.com.

The second annual Carson City Open Studios Tour, part of the festival, will be on Saturday, Aug. 22, and Sunday, Aug. 23, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 10 studios throughout Carson City. This admission-free, contemporary cultural event will showcase more than 25 local artists, presenting a wide variety of exceptional visual art and art demonstrations, from painting, sculpture, and 3D art to jewelry, photography, and pottery in ten individual and shared spaces. The Wa-Pai-Shone Gallery at Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum will display works of several Great Basin Native Artists. Individual musicians will perform at six of the locations. OST brochures, which include a map of the locations and list of artists and musicians, are available at the Carson City Culture and Tourism Authority, the Nevada Artists Association, and Carson City Chamber of Commerce, and may be downloaded from the OST page at JazzCarsonCity.com/openstudio.

The festival plans to start live streaming music events on Aug. 29 and on subsequent dates in September. Bands will perform with a very limited audience at A to Zen, and will be live streamed over the Internet and recorded for later access via the festival website. These will mostly feature musicians who were previously scheduled to perform live in mid-August.

The Day at the Silver Saddle Ranch will be on Sunday, Sept. 20, with the Sagebrush Rebels and Sierra Sweethearts. Reservations are required.

An outdoor Jazz Brunch featuring Niall McGuinness and the New World Jazz Project is planned for Sunday, Sept. 13, at Empire Ranch Golf, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Reservations, at $10 per person, include a mimosa or soft drink, and guests can order from the Mallard’s menu.

Due to the nature of the pandemic, these plans are subject to change. For up-to-date information, check out the festival website at JazzCarsonCity.com or the Facebook page at facebook.com/jazzcarsoncity, or call 775-883-4154.