Welcome to what would normally be JazzFest week in the Sioux Empire.

In December of 2019, the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society made the tough decision to put the nearly 30-year Sioux Falls music festival on a “hiatus" as they called it, claiming the Sioux Falls music scene was going through some changes.

At the time, the official press release citied examples like; increased costs, unforseen artist cancellations, and punishing weather events as the primary reasons why the SFJB was re-evaluting the model for the festival.

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Then along came the COVID-19 pandemic, which pretty much deep-sixed practically every form of entertainment in 2020. It certainly put the live music scene in a state of limbo as we know it across the country. Only now are we beginning to see more concerts and live music festivals starting to sprout up due to the arrival of the vaccine and the decrease in COVID-19 numbers.

On Sunday night, I was having dinner with some friends, and the topic of "JazzFest" came up. Someone at the table asked, "Hey is JazzFest ever coming back?"

At this time, the official word out of the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society is there's still a possibility the 3-day music festival could make a return to Sioux Falls down the road.

In an article published recently in Pigeon 605 Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society director, Alex Gilbert-Schrag said, "The return of JazzFest falls farther down the list of goals for the SFJB Society than financial stability does."

According to Gilbert-Schrag, "At this point, we’re still really focused on rebuilding the organization, focused on our fundraising and saying ‘you know, we’re still here as an organization, but we do need the community’s help to keep us going forward.’”

A number of performing arts organizations and venues throughout the country have folded as a result of the pandemic. The SFJB Society is just glad they're still around and have been able to weather this difficult season for entertainment.

For the immediate future, the SFJB will continue to focus on their Jazz Diversity Project and Jazz Camp for younger musicians. Along with a number of other different music related opportunities throughout the year, like the Jazz and Blues week going on now that features a variety of music and events in multiple venues across the city from (July 10-18).

Events range from a jazz crawl through downtown Sioux Falls, to a Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues Society Exhibit at the Washington Pavilion, to a Jazz Camp Performance, at O’Gorman High School on Friday night (July 16).

See the complete schedule of this week's entertainment in the Pigeon 605 article here.

Source: Pigeon 605

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