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Nightlife & Music

Guide to Local Summer Jazz Festivals

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credit: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Summertime… and the livin’ is easy. Jazz and summer just seem to go together! Make plans to head to one of these WA jazz festivals for good music, food and fun!

Tacoma Jazz & Blues Festival
Saturday, May 26
Tacoma, WA
http://www.tacomajazzfestival.com

Free parking and festival jumping off point at Freighthouse Square, best place to park and ride the light rail for free back and forth to the other venues. Great food, great jazz and blues in wonderful venues and better than ever, bring your friends! FREE admittance provided by your donations, our sponsors and all these prestigious venues – top jazz and blues bands all day long, featuring top notch Northwest jazz and blues musicians. The festival officially concludes with Tacoma’s high energy big band, Rich Wetzel’s Groovin Higher Jazz Orchestra, from 8:00pm to 11:00pm at the Stonegate. More information online.

Bellevue Jazz Festival
Wednesday – Saturday
May 30 – June 2
Bellevue, WA
http://www.bellevuejazz.com

The fifth annual Bellevue Jazz Festival returns to Downtown Bellevue. National artists, local musicians and high school all stars will perform in free and ticketed venues throughout the weekend. You’re invited to explore and share your passion for live jazz at the Eastside’s premier showcase for top national and regional artists. Shows range from concerts at the Theatre at Meydenbauer — with its ideal acoustics and intimate setting — to tableside sets in downtown bars and hotels. Tickets are available for individual concerts or in packages. Tickets and more information are available online.

America’s Classic Dixieland Jazz Festival
Thursday – Sunday
June 28 – July 1
St. Martin’s University
5000 Abbey Way Southeast
Lacey, WA 98503
http://www.olyjazz.com

The stages are set and the dancing floors are in place for all those tapping toes to enjoy the “greatest” 22nd annual America’s Classic Jazz Festival at St. Martins University’s Marcus Pavilion in Lacey, WA. Set in the shadows of beautiful majestic Mt. Rainer, this is where jazz lovers can hear and dance to the music of 11 favorite and leading circuit jazz bands. More information available online.

Jazz in the Valley
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
July 27, 28 and 29
Historic Downtown Ellensburg, WA
http://www.jazzinthevalley.com

Bask in Central Washington’s sun-drenched days and cool evenings. Stroll through historic downtown Ellensburg and revel in the town’s down-home hospitality. Bring the family, children are welcome at most venues. Sip some of the Northwest’s premier micro brews and wine in the festival beer garden Savor some specialty food, and of course … the music will be amazing! Order tickets online now at http://www.jazzinthevalley.com.

The 15th Annual Vancouver Wine & Jazz Festival
Friday, Saturday and Sunday
August 24, 25 and 26
Esther Short Park
610 Esther Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
http://www.vancouverwinejazz.com

Internationally acclaimed jazz, blues and pop musicians, as well as local and regional jazz musicians; over 200 wines, especially Pacific Northwest wines, to sample and taste; fine artists/crafters from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California featuring all forms of artistic genres/media; a variety of Northwest cuisines by local restaurants; and commercial exhbitors of all types.

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