Music is in the air this week as the Blaine Jazz Festival kicks off its ninth annual season with noon-time concerts at the boardwalk plazas downtown.
The week-long festival, organized each year by the Pacific Arts Association (PAA), features six days of rehearsals for music students taught by internationally recognized faculty.
This year’s line-up includes New York Philharmonic bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann, of Blaine; percussionist Lou Abbott, of Florida; trombonist Bob Gray, of Blaine; pianist Jon Mutchler, of Blaine; and internationally recognized composer Greg Hopkins, of Massachusetts.
Organizer Suzanne Conrad said they have also scheduled a “Big Band Benefit” concert and dance for 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 15. The event features a 15-piece big band led by trumpeter Greg Hopkins and will include a cash bar, dance floor and hors d’oeuvres by Semiahmoo Resort’s chef Andy. Admission is $30.
Friday will feature a student showcase 7:30 p.m. at the performing arts center (PAC). Admission is free.
“This year’s camp is going very well and we’d love for people to come out Friday night at 7:30 at the PAC to hear how much the students have learned in just one week from our talented professionals,” Conrad said.
The festival will culminate with an “Art To Jazz” street fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 17 in downtown Blaine with food vendors and activities. A portion of Peace Portal Drive will be closed to allow for artists from throughout the county to exhibit their works.
Students from the festival will perform jazz music from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the G and H street boardwalk plazas.
Children will have an opportunity to show their talent by participating in an art contest with cash prizes. The contest is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with prizes being awarded at 3:30 p.m.
For more information, call 332-8311 or visit the PAA’s website at www.pacificartsassoc.org