Jazz festival more than music

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The Denton Arts & Jazz Festival has endured for more than three decades and it seems to get bigger and better every year.

We have no doubt that this year’s event will be one of the best ever, so we encourage you to join us at Quakertown Park tonight through Sunday for great music, fine art, crafts and food, games and much more.

There’s plenty of entertainment for all ages and this year’s lineup offers something for every musical taste.

The free event, which is expected to draw more than 200,000 visitors, is produced by the Denton Festival Foundation Inc. with support from sponsors such as the Dallas/Fort Worth American Federation of Musicians Local 72-147 and the city of Denton, according to the festival website.

Carol Short, foundation executive director, said each year offers a fresh experience, with new craftsmen, musicians and the much-loved festival food.

“We look for a group or performer that will attract many age groups — someone who is well-established so we can cross multiple platforms,” she said. “It could be someone you heard your parents playing growing up.”

Headline acts this year will include Al Jarreau, Asleep at the Wheel and the Quebe Sisters Band. Plus, in keeping with tradition, the event will “bring it back home” with a finale by Denton’s own Brave Combo.

In addition to providing a weekend of great entertainment, the festival benefits the local economy. As one of Denton County’s top tourism draws, the festival brings in revenue for local businesses and boosts sales tax receipts.

In addition, the Festival Foundation uses proceeds from booth rentals and concession sales to support the arts throughout the city of Denton, officials said. Past events have benefited arts facilities, service organizations, public art and preservation projects.

“It’s very rewarding putting on this event and watching it impact so many,” Short said.

This year’s festival will offer entertainment on seven stages, but it’s much more than just a music festival, organizers emphasized.

The popular children’s tent with hands-on activities, rides and exhibits on display are just a few of the many things visitors can see and do.

“We always mix it up each year,” Short said. “It’s more than music. The festival includes all the arts. It’s all about taking that platform and expanding to the next generation.”

Hours for the 34th annual festival are 5 to 11 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. You can find more schedules and more information at http://dentonjazzfest.com/index.shtml.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a newcomer or a longtime fan, Denton’s Arts & Jazz Festival is the place to be this weekend.

And don’t forget to bring along a canned food item or two to benefit your neighbors in need. The Denton County Transportation Authority is hosting a food drive supporting the city of Denton’s third annual Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry.

Festival attendees can help those in need by donating a canned food item at the DCTA booth in the children’s area and receive a free regional day pass (one per person) to use any day of their choice. Donations collected at the festival will be distributed equally among nonprofits that serve hungry people in Denton and its surrounding communities.

There will be plenty going on at Quakertown Park this weekend, and you don’t want to miss any of the fun and excitement.

We’ll see you there.


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