Music News & Reviews

Sacramento’s Hot Jazz Jubilee offers rousing variety of music

Tom Rigney and his band Flambeau will be part of the Hot Jazz Jubilee at the DoubleTree in Sacramento.
Tom Rigney and his band Flambeau will be part of the Hot Jazz Jubilee at the DoubleTree in Sacramento. Sacramento Bee file

Get ready to tap your feet and dance at the third annual Hot Jazz Jubilee this weekend in Sacramento.

The jubilee was created in 2013 in response to a change in venue by the Sacramento Music Festival, said Ken McMurry, Hot Jazz Jubilee director and founder. That Memorial Day weekend festival previously hosted traditional Dixieland music but changed its structure by inviting other bands that appealed to a younger audience, he said.

The older crowd “stopped going to that festival, and I saw an opportunity to provide them with the music,” McMurry said. “(Hot Jazz Jubilee) is air-conditioned and convenient for the elderly people, and it’s been a success.”

The event, which draws about 1,500 people, has moved to the DoubleTree Hotel next to Arden Way in Sacramento to provide more space, McMurry said. The new venue, about double in size from the first years of this festival, offers 1,200 square feet for a dance floor.

Celebrating jazz is important because it is a part of America’s culture and history, McMurry said.

“It is the U.S.’s only truly original art form in music,” McMurry said. “Jazz was created in New Orleans while almost any other type of music has been done in different countries. It goes back to the roaring ’20s and reflects that.”

Among the bands on this year’s schedule are Tom Rigney & Flambeau, Bill Dendle & Eddie Erickson, Katie Cavera, the High Sierra Jazz Band and the Au Brothers Jazz Band.

Highlights include:

▪ A pre-festival performance of Trad Reputation followed by Bob Draga & Friends, 7-10:30 p.m Thursday, $15

▪  Festival kick-off parade of ladies in flapper dresses, parasols, boas and beads led by the Ophir Prison Band, noon Friday

▪  Dance featuring the Ron Cunha Big Band, 8-10:30 p.m. Saturday; ’20s-’30s apparel encouraged.

Jennifer Crane: 916-321-1161, @Jenn_Crane

Hot Jazz Jubilee

What: The third year of this festival features 22 adult and five youth bands

When: Friday-Monday

Where: DoubleTree Hotel, 2001 Point West Way, Sacramento

Cost: $25-$110

Information: 916-822-2210,