Good weather, good music: Jazz festival kicks off Friday

July 27, 2017 GMT

It should be a perfect weekend for jazz.

The weather forecast calls for sunny skies through the weekend in Ellensburg, with a high of 93 on Saturday and 90 on Sunday. As is tradition, the Sidewalk Stompers will kick things off with Dixieland standards at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The Total Experience Gospel Choir, reggae master Clinton Fearon and the Ellen Whyte Band will close things out at Rotary Pavilion on Sunday.

In between, people can catch a variety of blues, jazz, big band, gypsy jazz, soul and swing performances throughout downtown Ellensburg.

Most of what people have come to love about Jazz in the Valley will be present again. One new venue is the Methodist Church on the corner of Ruby Street and Third Avenue, which will host the swing bands and allow room to dance.

“The whole lineup has a bunch of really good acts,” board member Tony Swartz said. “Some returning, some new. Jelly Bread is from Reno, they will be pretty good guys to listen to. DoctorFunK is back … those are on my list of things to check out.”

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Jr Cadillac, which plays classic rock and roll, is returning. The band started in 1970 and is a legend in the Pacific Northwest.

Other acts include Little Bill and the Blue Notes, Happy Orchestra, the West Coast Women’s Jazz Revue, the Kim Archer Big Band, and Les Stress and the Testers.

A beer and wine garden will be set up at Rotary Pavilion, with a wine tasting at Gallery One on Saturday afternoon.

In addition to the Methodist Church and Rotary Pavilion venues, other locations this year are Kelleher Motors, the Clymer Museum, Gallery One, the Ellensburg Event Center, Fitterer’s Furniture, Gard, Grand Central and Rodeo City Bar-B-Q.

Tickets are available at jazzinthevalley.com, the Kittitas County Chamber of Commerce and the downtown box office once the festival starts.