Hundreds of people attended the inaugural Integrity Jazz Festival Saturday in Minot's Roosevelt Park. "We have a great lineup," said Terri Aldrich, director of the Minot Area Council of the Arts, which sponsored the event. "Everybody seems to be smiling." Aldrich said the jazz festival grew out of MACA's desire to raise money for its summer concert series. They found a number of community sponsors to help get it off the ground. Integrity Mutual is the primary sponsor. Aldrich estimated she'd seen close to 500 people by early afternoon Saturday and more seemed to be coming. They could purchase wrist bands and come and go throughout the day. "It's just a great family event," she said. The event started with a 3.1 mile road race for competitive and noncompetitive runners and walkers in the morning and continued with a jazz festival including performances, visual arts displays, food vendors, and artistry in the afternoon and evening. Jennifer Bowles and fellow representatives from Minot State University were selling a selection of hand-crafted pottery, made using different techniques and representing different styles. They were among about a dozen artists who had set up shop during the festival. Nearby, people on lawn chairs or on blankets on the grass reclined in the sun as they listened to the mellow sounds of jazz classics such as "Stella by Starlight" by the group Pluckstruck, comprised of University of North Dakota professors Jeff Anvinson and James Popejoy, who describe themselves as a chamber jazz group. The music professors played jazz classics and more contemporary numbers. Other artists represented included a mix of locals and out of state performers, including groups such as the Jeni Fleming Trio, Dakota Dixie, the North Dakota American Legion Big Band, Steve Veikley and Integrity All Stars. The Youth Spotlight focused on Tim Olson, Sam Kauffman, and Tyler Schwan, all from Minot or Surrey. Vocalist Julie Rogers, of New Jersey, performed with the American Legion Band. Aldrich said MACA plans to make this an annual event. They've already booked the Glenn Miller Band for next summer's jazz festival.
Jennifer Holmes runs a pottery booth during the Integrity Jazz Festival.