The three-day Texas Jazz Festival will begin at Heritage Park on Oct. 16. The largest free jazz festival in the country, which got its start at Del Mar College, will be celebrating its 55th year.
According to festival society president Rick Sanchez, there have been many improvements to this year’s event. “You can expect bigger and better bands,” Sanchez said. “Thanks to the RTA we improved the free parking bus ride.“ The free park and ride will run every 15 minutes, Sanchez said.
Sanchez, who has been the festival’s president for 16 years, has a life-long connection to the South Texas jazz scene.
Brittany Richardson is a member of the DMC jazz band. the band performed in the Harvin Center on Del Mar College’s East Campus. The Texas Jazz Festival will begin on Oct. 16 at Heritage Park.
“I’ve been attending the festival since I was a little boy and I was part of the Veterans Band” Sanchez said. “I always promised myself that I would be part of the festival and I’ve been involved for 53 years”
The Texas Jazz Festival started in 1959 at Del Mar College by former DMC professor Al “Beto” Garcia. Approximately 150 people came to the DMC student union building to watch Beto’s band play.
Fifty-plus years later there will be 55 bands and thousands of festival attendees.
The festival will include a variety of music including blues, gospel, Dixieland, Latin jazz and smooth jazz. More than 80 vendors will be on hand selling antiques, crafts, collectibles, jewelry and more.The Del Mar College Jazz band will also open up the Texas Jazz Festival on Oct. 16 while the kick off party for the festival is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at Katz 21.
Visit www.texasjazz-fest.org for more information.
IF YOU GO
What: 55th annual South Texas Jazz Festival
When: Oct. 16-18
Where: Heritage Park
MR. AND MISS TEXAS JAZZ FESTIVAL
A scholarship will be awarded at the festival.
1st place = $1,500
2nd place = $750
3rd place = $500
Want to be a contestant next year? Contact Rene Guzman at 361-510-5040
Contestants must be 16-25 years old and a home school, high school or college student.