The last main music event before last summer's flooding "disruption" was the Fourth Integrity Jazz Festival in Roosevelt Park. Even then, rain forced the headline act's appearance to the Vegas Motel. This Saturday, the fifth will take place in Scandinavian Heritage Park, and thanks to sponsorship of local businesses, there will be free admission to the event for all.
Festival organizer Steve Veikley noted that both Oak Park and Scandinavian Heritage Park are celebrating the "Hope Floats: Rebuild the Magic" weekend, with free activities in both parks.
"We're hoping the weather will be good enough to have it all outdoors," said Veikley. "We'll be holding it in The Vegas Motel again if it rains."
From 1 to 8 p.m., Minot Area Council of the Arts executive director Terri Aldrich said, it will be a somewhat streamlined return, but with the same format as usual.
"The run is moving to Oak Park and no dance on Friday," she said, "but we will have the popular jam sessions at Off the Vine both Friday and Saturday night." Those will be from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, both also free to the public.
One of the more popular sets is the youth jazz performers. The young musicians are selected during the Magic City High School Jazz Festival in February, with local judges selecting the award winners who will be showcased at the Integrity Jazz Festival. Those selected this year are Magic City Campus' Jasmine Spitzer on tenor sax and Erik Anderson on alto sax; Central Campus' Reese Hamilton on French horn; Ashley Mozart from Surrey on alto sax; and all the way from Garrison, Brittany Riemer on trumpet.
That competition, now in its fifth year, is hosted by Pat Schwan and sponsored by Town and Country Federal Credit Union.
Other local talent includes the band Soulshine and Chris Hanson, a Minoter relocated to Fargo, who returns annually to play.
The headliner at 6 p.m. is Amanda Carr and the Everett Longstreth Orchestra, in a tribute to North Dakotan Peggy Lee and the Benny Goodman band.
Veikley points out these are not impersonators, but a tribute, as there is no reason for such good music to die simply because those performers did.
"The distinction is the arranger," he said. "Although the song was written by, say, Cole Porter, it has to be arranged to suit the person or group singing it. If the Voices of Note (Minot women's chorus) sings it, there will be voices and a piano accompaniment. That's different than if the City Band were to perform it."
Veikley compared the arranger to the workman who fashions the framing for a concrete sidewalk.
"He doesn't make the concrete, nor does he pour it, but if he didn't provide the structure for it, it would be a mess, not a sidewalk."
Lee, who died 10 years ago, joined Goodman's band in 1941, beginning a career in songwriting and singing in all venues from night clubs to movies and becoming one of the most influential jazz artists in America. Several of her compositions might surprise listeners, including "Manana" and the music to Disney's "Lady and the Tramp." Goodman was a stunning clarinetist himself, and helped define the "Big Band" sound in the 1930s, '40s and '50s. Carr and the Longstreth Orchestra have been touring nationally with this tribute for several years, and she finds herself constantly surprised by what she's still learning after 30 years in the business.
"There's so much more room between the notes than when I began," Carr said in a Wall Street Journal interview.
Concert-goers will be able to tell whether the show is taking place in the park if they will look west from Broadway and see the inflatable band shell being used for the festival. When no sets are being performed, pianist Dianna Anderson will be playing the segues, and John Witteman will again be the emcee.
In other related news, Aldrich said the festival has received confirmation that "the Glenn Miller Orchestra will be back for next year's Jazz Festival."
For more information contact Minot Area Council of the Arts at 852-2787.