This year, due to the pandemic outbreak of COVID-19, Anchorage, Alaska-based Spenard Jazz Fest has gone into Hunker Down for its 13th year, streaming almost every set live online in different formats. After three incredible weeks of jazz, fusion, folk, and so much more, Spenard Jazz Fest is going out in style -- and they’re streaming it all FOR FREE LIVE on FACEBOOK.
Join them starting at 6pm AKT (7pm PDT/10pm EDT) on Friday, June 5th as Alaska’s own Kevin Barnett (now located in Boise, Idaho)takes to the virtual stage, for one-hour of dulcet tunes to sooth the very soul. Then, artist-in-virtual-residence Amina Figarova and her band, Bart Platteau, Yasushi Nakamura, and Morgan Guerin ( Esperanza Spalding, Teri-Lynn Carrington) stretch the virtual-boundaries of this Alaskan festival -- with a set LIVE from New York City, recorded in Bart & Amina’s Harlem apartment. Following that, get transported back to Alaska as Anchorage jazz quartet, Quad Shot, and Joel Schnaper’s band bring their talents back to SJF.
Then on Saturday (June 6th), Spenard Jazz Fest is excited to welcome another east coast powerhouse, (5 pm AKST / 9 pm EST) Ingrid Jensen & Jon Wikan, for a beautiful set, shot right in their own yard. You’ve heard of a house-concert, and maybe even a virtual house-concert. Welcome to (probably) your first virtual garden-party including a set in the basement bringing in Lady Gaga’s keyboard player Alex Smith on Organ. Then it's back to Anchorage, Alaska for some of the finest guitar-playing you have ever seen (and heard), from master guitarist, Mark Manners. At 7pm AKT (11pm EDT), join Spenard Jazz Fest for the world-premiere of a true labor-of-love from truly a whole host of musicians performing together on Karrie Pavish Anderson’s track, ‘Climbing’. Another of Alaska’s great jazz artists, tech-wiz & sax player Rick Zelinsky plays his own brand of what he calls ‘zelectrik’ jazz - a fusion of wouldn’t ya know, jazz and electronic music. The night is all capped off, streaming LIVE from one of the Spenard neighborhood’s most iconic venues, Alaskan grunge rock-trio, SunDog. This full-slate of music is bound to both satiate your music taste-buds and leave you wanting more.
Lucky for you, there IS one more thing. This past week, Spenard Jazz Fest, along with musical brothers and sisters from across the country, took part in the #TheShowMustBePaused movement, cancelling all its events for Tuesday, June 2nd, instead committing their time to acts of reflection, examination, activism, and art-creating, in memory of George Floyd and the countless other POC killed in senseless acts of racial violence in the USA. To bring that full-circle, the show must find a way to go on. A made-to-order, split screen video set with Tanana Rafters, along with Rafters-member Matt Faubion and special guest, his father Michael Faubion, close out this year’s Hunker Down Edition of Spenard Jazz Fest (13th annual) this one hosted all over the great state of Alaska.
All this traveling, and you never have to leave the comfort of your own home! That’s what a virtual festival is all about. Whether you’re in Anchorage, Alaska or the suburbs of New York City, Chicago or New Orleans, Seattle or Los Angeles -- Spenard Jazz Fest comes to you! More information on the festival and how to watch any or all of this awesome weekend of music can be found both on Facebook (www.facebook.com/spenardjazzfest) and their website (www.spenardjazzfest.org).