Saturday is the big day for jazz fans who get to hear some of the best talent around – for free – right here at home.
It’s the 2013 Prairie Village Jazz Festival, which is the fourth annual event – with an asterisk. The 2011 event was cut short by a freak storm that blew through early in the lineup. But the festival rebounded in style last year with approximately 7,000 people coming to Harmon Park for the usual all-star lineup.
The first act kicks off at 3 p.m. and it’s solid jazz until at least 10:30 p.m. Plenty of parking is available at the SM East lot off Mission, the pool lot off Delmar, and the church lot south of city hall. Bring a blanket or lawn chair – the seating is on a grassy hill.
Food and drink – including beer and wine – will be plentiful from vendors at the site, so don’t bring your own. The weather forecast right now has no precipitation, but it could be a little warm.
The festival focuses on showcasing musicians with a Kansas City connection and in showing off young talent early in the day. Bobby Watson is back and closes the show with trumpeter Jon Faddis and a big band. The opening act, Andy McGhie Quintet, fulfills the mission of giving rising stars a stage.
The Mutual Musicians Foundation All-Stars are rooted in Kansas City history and in the 18th and Vine history. Another Kansas City legend, Marilyn Maye, will be performing with her trio. Parallax is a group that features two drummers and the Everette DeVan – Chris Hazelton Quartet come with two Hammond B3 organs to light up the crowd.
The lineup for the day:
3:00 – Andy McGhie Quintet
4:10 – Parallax
5:20 – Mutual Musicians Foundation All-Stars
6:30 – Everette DeVan – Chris Hazelton Quartet
7:40 – Marilyn Maye
9:00 – Bobby Watson All-Star Big Band with Jon Faddis