Little America will offer a big dose of Dixieland next week when the hotel hosts the second annual Salt Lake City Dixieland Festival II on Sept. 24-27.
Presented for the second year by the Wasatch Mountains Dixieland Jazz Society, the event will feature 14 bands, both local and from out of state, along with a two-day "Pianorama" of keyboard talent.The schedule gets under way with an opening-night gala Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. Light refreshments will be served, along with an hour each from the Riverboat Rhythm Kings, the Phoenix Jazz and Swing Band and the Chicago Six, followed by a 10:30 p.m. jam sesson.
Performances continue Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the last preceded by a two-hour gospel service in two different venues, featuring the California-based Blue Street Jazz Band and, from Tempe, Ariz., Igor's Jazz Cowboys.
"If we make any money, it will go to Dr. Floyd Seager's clinic in Ogden," says the society's president and founder, Carl Santoro.
He organized the group a year and a half ago. Last year's festival, held appropriately enough at the Riverboat, drew more than 1,000 people. This year he is hoping for around 2,000.
"I don't think Utah has to take a back seat to any state in terms of the quality of musicians we have here," he says. "But there was a time when there was only one Dixieland band around here, Harry Black and the Easy Winners. Now we've got four of them."
Those performing at the festival will be Alvino Rey and the Bob Bailey Quartette, "Doc" Miller's Jazz Band, the Salt Lake Good Time Jazz Band and Santoro's Riverboat Rhythm Kings.
In addition there will be appearances by such out-of-state groups as the St. Louis Rivermen with Jean Kitrell and sousaphonist David "Red" Lehr; the River City Stomperz from Sacramento, Calif., whose lead singer is former Utahn Brady McKay; the Jim Beatty Band from Portland, Ore.; the Last Chance Jazz Band from Helena, Mont.; and San Francisco's Natural Gas Jazz Band.
"We also have Erich Graf and Ricklen Nobis, who are going to play a flute-and-piano duo, along with pianists Larry Jackstien, Craig Larson, Dan Waldis and Marjorie Janove. They could be playing anything from modern jazz to blues or ragtime. I really have no idea."
Tickets are $40 for all four days or $15 for Thursday, $20 for Friday or Saturday or $10 for Sunday. Students age 13-15 may purchase an all-event ticket for $15.
For information, call 467-4249 or 486-4853. - William S. Goodfellow