Healdsburg Jazz Festival Canceled 2011

We’re very sad to hear the news about the Healdsburg Jazz Festival being canceled for 2011. We’ve got our fingers crossed that it’ll be back in 2012! Everyone loves the Healdsburg Jazz Festival, and people from all over the country visit Healdsburg yearly just to watch the artists perform.

Here’s the article from the Press Democrat.

The Healdsburg Jazz Festival will take a year off in 2011 and may undergo some changes in size and format before it returns.

The festival’s five-member board of directors decided Monday to put the event on hiatus and eliminate festival founder Jessica Felix’s position as director to cut costs, said board chairwoman Pat Templin.

Introduced by Felix in 1999, the festival has generated national acclaim and drawn as many as 5,000 fans to Healdsburg for up to 10 days of performances by big-name jazz stars, such as saxophonist Charles Lloyd, pianists Cedar Walton, McCoy Tyner and George Cables.

“The festival cannot assume any expenses now, except for very minimal administrative support,” Templin explained.

Felix, who also operates the Art and All That designer jewelry gallery in Healdsburg, declined comment on the board’s decision.

The festival has operated at a deficit of $30,000 a year for the past three years, Templin said. Surplus funds covered the deficit in 2008, but not in 2009 and 2010, Templin said.

“The economy has had a huge impact on us in terms of the money sponsors and individuals feel they can donate,” Templin said.

The one program that the festival definitely plans to continue next year is Operation Jazz Band, a week-long workshop that introduces fifth-graders at six schools to jazz music and ends in a public concert.

The festival, devoted to pure jazz rather than “smooth jazz” or other pop-music iterations, held its 12th annual event last June 4-13 at a variety of venues, including wineries, cafes, parks and the Raven Theater.

Templin said the board will survey the community and potential supporters to come up with a sustainable format for the festival in the future, but said the Healdsburg event wouldn’t imimate the Sonoma Jazz + fesival, which headlines rock and pop acts and very little jazz, if any.

“We will not use the Sonoma Jazz + model,” she said.

By DAN TAYLOR
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

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