Jazz comes alive

Pull up a lawn chair or towel and enjoy the rhythmic melodies of Jazz’SAlive outdoor festival at Travis Park on Saturday from noon until 11 p.m., Sept. 24 and Sunday from noon until 10 p.m., Sept. 25. This two day jazz music festival is free to the public and will include the talents of Diane Schuur, Jason Marsalis and Jackiem Joyner to name a few.

Enjoy a laid-back atmosphere as you become enticed by the eclectic sound of jazz. Bring comfortable seating or cool off on lush, green grass. The air will be filled with the aroma of diverse food and beverages. Vendors will have tacos, barbeque, fried catfish, hamburgers, fresh lemonade and more. Fans old and new can also purchase merchandise such as t-shirts and CDs from their favorite artists of the night near the stage after performances.

Do not worry about parking as there are two parking garages close to Travis Park. Admire flora and fauna with a backdrop of buildings in downtown San Antonio at Travis Park creating the best of both recreation and city life.

There will be two stages set up for this event. The Jefferson St. Stage is the smaller of the two; thus, enhancing the personal connection between audience and performer. Audience members can sit up close and personal to appreciate the music of their choice performers. The Jefferson St. Stage will accommodate San Antonio’s favorite jazz musicians and regional musicians from Austin, Houston and Dallas. When the sun sets, onlookers of the Bud Light Main Stage will get the sense of a production similar to an arena show with stage lights pulsating with the rhythm of the music and all the makings for a spectacular show. Entertaining on this stage will be prominent, national recording artists.

Jazz’SAlive has been held since the 80’s and, going on their 28th year, has dazzled audiences more and more throughout the years at Travis Park. Each year, the artists bring an incomparable sound to the entire festival whether it be dominant in smooth or Latin styles of jazz. Variations of jazz this year will range from fusion to contemporary jazz and everything in between.

Stan Killian, one of the performing saxophonists, will contribute a smooth and contemporary ambiance to the park. Attendees will feel cool, calm and collected when hearing Killian and savor the moment at hand. Another musician, Jeff Lofton, will make festival goers want to bob their heads and sway to the beat of this Austin-based trumpeter. Some more musicians to note will be the Saturday night headliner, Lionel Hampton All-Star Celebration which will consist of 10 national recording artists. Recent 2010 Grammy winner, Spanish Harlem Orchestra will be one of these renowned bands and have never been to Jazz’SAlive before. The Latin flavor of SHO will definitely liven up the crowd with dancing and celebrating.

The event is family friendly and a must-see for students and jazz fans alike. Kids are also welcome to join children activities going on from noon to 6 p.m. on both event days.

There are other events to look forward to during the festival being held at St. Anthony Hotel.

One event to consider attending is the Jazz’SAlive Sunday Champagne Brunch on Sunday, Sept. 25 from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. The entrance fee is $40 and includes an entire brunch menu to select from with entertainment provided by Jacqui Sutton. Some items to choose from will be Belgian waffles with all the fixings or roasted prime rib with sides.

One event that cannot be overlooked is the Jazz’SAlive After Dark jam sessions on Saturday and Sunday after the festivities are done for the day. This is a popular event as spectators get an intimate experience like no other while the artists are invited to jam.

All proceeds from admission and food and drink sales will benefit the San Antonio Parks Foundation and help improve city parks.