Jazz Festival comes back to the Preserve
Written by Lauren Dowdle
Ask a person what jazz means to them, and they might respond with a favorite musician, song or just the feeling they get when they hear the lively beat.
But for Hoover residents, their answer might be the upcoming Preserve Jazz: Over the Mountain Music Festival. Now in its ninth year, the festival will be Sept. 17 at the Preserve.
The event, which has typically been held during early summer, is back after a year hiatus, says Jason Henderson, event organizer and president/CEO of Moss Rock Music.
The festival was at the Preserve for the first seven years and then at Sloss Furnace in 2014. Now back in Hoover, Henderson says everyone is excited about it.
“We’re moving back to a beautiful park setting,” he says of the Preserve’s 10-acre park. “There’s hardly any obstructive views of the stage, and it sets up like an amphitheater.”
They are hoping to have about 2,500 people at the festival, Henderson says, and there will plenty for everyone to enjoy.
A variety of jazz artists will perform at the festival: Chieli Minucci, Grammy-nominated contemporary jazz guitarist; Alex Bugnon, Swiss-born jazz pianist and composer; Gerald Veasley, bass player extraordinaire; The Stooges Brass Band, Nola’s own; Six Times Cool featuring Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Inductee Cleve Eaton; Vann Burchfield, Guiness World Record Holder and saxophonist; Keith “Cashmere” Williams, smooth jazz guitarist; and the Hoover High “First Edition” Jazz Band.
“We’ve done a good job of having a lot of different genres of jazz each year, from contemporary to smooth,” he says. “It broadens people’s perspective of jazz.”
Henderson says they’ve wanted to include Hoover’s jazz band in the past, but it never worked out when the festival was held during the summer. So, they are excited the jazz band will be able to kick off the event this year.
“It’s a neat platform for these young jazz musicians to open up our deal,” he says.
Beyond the swinging music, there will also be a vendor village, which will feature six to eight vendors with things like jazz oil paintings and jewelry.
Something else that’s new for the festival is allowing limited parking along Preserve Parkway — in addition to having shuttles to the event. There will also be VIP onsite parking for $20.
The Preserve’s Vecchia and The Boot will be open and serving food and drinks, and people can bring in food, drinks and small coolers to the event.
Attendees are also welcome to bring blankets, seating, lighting (for after dark), sunscreen, insect repellent, umbrellas and other outdoor items. Pets aren’t allowed, except for service animals.
“It’s a laidback crowd,” Henderson says. “You can come for the entire day or just to see the headliners.”
Advanced general admission is $42 (including processing and handling), and children 10 and younger are free. Tickets are available online and at the gate. There are also twilight tickets available the day of the event for $25 to get in after 6:30 p.m. The festival is rain or shine.
A portion of the festival proceeds will go to Samford University’s the Rev. John T. Porter Scholarship and WVSU 91.1 FM.
Gates open at 11 a.m., and the music begins at 1 p.m. For tickets and more information, visit Preservejazz.com.
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