Everybody can get in the mood and start to swing this Sunday afternoon at the Crest Theater, when the 22nd annual Great Bend Jazz Festival gets underway.
This year’s show will feature the ever popular Big Band music, said Robert Feldt, one of the event organizers.
Doors to the theater at 1905 Lakin Ave. will open at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 13, and the Prairie Winds Jazz Combo will play at 2:30 p.m. This year’s headliner, The 18-piece Delano Jazz Orchestra from Wichita, will take the stage at 3 p.m.
Admission in $15 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets are available at the A440 Music Store, 1207 Main, or at the door.
The Prairie Winds Jazz Combo is made up of area musicians. The group started 18 years ago when J.B. Webster formed The Little Big Band.
“The members have changed over the years,” said Marc Webster, one of the founding members. The only original members still playing with the band are him, Kurtis Koch and Steve Lueth. For today’s show, they’ll be joined by Greg Pohls, Bill Clausing and Russell Linderer.
The Delano Jazz Orchestra has gained a strong reputation in the Wichita jazz community. It also has a local tie, said Joe Boley, another of the Great Bend Jazz Festival organizers.
Bill Johnson, the current musical director or the Delano Jazz Orchestra, is a graduate of Hoisington High School where he first became interested in music under the tutelage of Lee “ebby” Dicks. A U.S. Navy veteran, Johnson is a former music instructor who later joined fellow band director Denny Senseney as director of the Band and Orchestra Division at Senseney Music Inc. in Wichita. He recently retired after 30 years with Senseney Music.
Sponsors of the Jazz Festival include the Great Bend Kiwanis Club and CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions.