Bix Festival Boasts Most Bands Ever, July 22-25

Quad Cities – In late 1930, the cornet of Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke proclaimed in song, “I’ll Be a Friend with Pleasure.” Now, 80 years later, come renew that friendship again.Thursday through Sunday, July 22-25, 2010, the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival celebrates “Bix and Friends” in numerous locations around Davenport, Iowa.  The 39th annual festival celebrates the life and musical contributions to jazz by Bix Beiderbecke in his birthplace alongside the Mississippi River with the most bands scheduled to play this year that the festival has ever had.Tickets are available now for a variety of packages which allow admission to all weekend activities or single concert sessions. Information on the complete schedule is available at bixsociety.org. Specific questions, or info on group and individual ticket orders with a MasterCard or Visa, can be directed to the Bix Memorial Jazz Society office at (563) 324-7170 or 888-BIX-LIVS.Six bands are performing at the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival for the first time.  Dan Levinson’s Roof Garden Jazz Band will be the featured band at the gravesite ceremony on Saturday at 10 am at Oakdale Memorial Gardens, along with other performance times.  The Ballyhoo Foxtrot Orchestra is a vintage ensemble dedicated to early jazz music.  The Buffalo Ridge Jazz Band plays classic traditional jazz.  The Firecracker Jazz Band pays homage to the roots of jazz in Dixieland and New Orleans. Cynthia Sayer is an internationally known jazz banjoist who is a 10-plus year veteran of Woody Allen’s New Orleans Jazz Band.  She has also played with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Marvin Hamlisch and Bucky Pizzarelli.  Joining her on the bandstand in Davenport are top “Trad” jazz players in their own right – guest trumpeter Sandke and trombonist John Allred.At 2 pm on Thursday, July 22, another band newcomer, Andy Schumm & His Gang, play at the Putnam Museum, 1717 W. 12th St., Davenport.  During this concert, Bix’s trumpet and family piano will be played.  Just 24 years old, Schumm formed the group in 2009 for the Bix Festival in Racine, WI.  Vince Giordano also plays in this band which performs throughout the festival.As a special treat, Vince Giordano of The Nighthawks has put together an 11-piece ensemble that performs on Saturday night at the Col Ballroom.  This band includes David Boeddinghaus on piano and Andy Stein on violin who is part of the house band on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. Returning bands include: the New Red Onion Jazz Babies with outstanding traditional jazz and Josh Duffee & His Orchestra who perform at Sunday’s “Afterglow” with a tribute to jazz drummer Chauncey Morehouse who performed at the first Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival.  Six of his grandchildren are coming to the festival.For the second consecutive year, the whole family is welcome to the celebration at “Bix’s Kids” children’s activity area. Activities will be at the LeClaire Park venue on Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25, from 1:00 to 5:00 PM each day. There will be music-oriented games and crafts and representatives of West Music in Moline, IL.In addition to the outdoor venue by the Mississippi in LeClaire Park, the music will play indoors at the Clarion Hotel on Brady Street near I-80, and at the downtown Col Ballroom – a venue that Bix himself played in. The schedule wraps up with the “Afterglow” concert the evening of Sunday, July 25th at the Capitol Theater – a traditional Vaudeville stop in its heyday.For convenience, festival organizers offer shuttle service throughout the weekend to transport guests from venue to venue. The shuttle service will be available for the Thursday night kickoff concert at the Col as general parking for that venue has been moved offsite to Modern Woodmen Park – the local pro baseball stadium.Besides the music, the schedule includes educational seminars, musician clinics, tours of the Beiderbecke Family Home, the Sunday liturgy at First Presbyterian Church and the memorable graveside service at Bix’s final resting place in Oakdale Memorial Gardens. Full details of the schedule are available at bixsociety.orgFans attend from all over the world, not only to enjoy the music, but also to visit some of the places where Bix played, his boyhood home, his church and his burial place in Oakdale Memorial Gardens. In the Roaring 20′s, Davenport, Iowa, produced a legendary jazz cornetist, pianist and composer whose worldwide fame continues to grow.  His name was Leon “Bix” Beiderbecke, and his music continues to astound listeners with the clarity of its tone, the musical imagination, and the complex piano compositions.  He played with the great bands of the era—the Wolverines, Jean Goldkette, and Paul Whiteman.  Since 1972, the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival has been held annually in July to honor this unassuming young genius whose career was cut short by his death in 1931 at the age of 28. The Bix Jazz Festival offers family entertainment and tunes of a time and era that will never die.  Bix has been the subject of two movies, three major books, a Lalo Schifrin symphony, Carnegie Hall performances, selection to the International Jazz Hall of Fame, and more.For more information and to order tickets, contact the Bix Society at 563-324-7170 or visit their website at bixsociety.org.  For information on the Quad Cities, contact the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-747-7800 or visit their website at visitquadcities.com.The Quad Cities is located on the Mississippi River and is made up of the riverfront Cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois.  The area is just a 2-½ hour drive from Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois. It is easily accessible via I-80, I-74, I-88 and several major state highways.# # #Media Contact: Muriel Voss, Bix Society, 563-359-7680 or  Photos & Media Trips: For High-res photos or for information about media tours, please contact Jessica Waytenick at the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-747-7800 Ext. 103 or .  

Bix Festival Boasts Most Bands Ever, July 22-25

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