Band to add swing to annual jazz festival

PORT ANGELES — About 3,000 people are expected to listen and dance to jazz music during a three-day festival beginning today.

Now in its 10th year, the Jazz in the Olympics Festival will offer for the first time a full day of swing music and dance lessons at the Elks Lodge, 131 E. First St., on Saturday.

The lessons will wrap with a 17-piece big band Olympic Express.

The festival always has featured traditional jazz, but this year the Elks Lodge will feature the swing flair.

“I’m so excited about this event because we’ll have some of the favorite dance teachers from the area,” said Vanessa Shearer, director of events and Web master for the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce, which coordinates the festival.

“This venue will have the same traditional jazz bands as the other venues, but they’ll be playing a different type of jazz music — swing.

“And at the end of the evening, we’ll have a great time because this is really the first time we’ve ever had a big band at the festival.”

A special discount is available for those who want to go to the swing venue but none of the others.

Tickets and venues

Tickets to just the Elks Lodge on Saturday are $30 and $15 for those attending the big band event only starting at 7 p.m.

The traditional jazz music will go on at the three other venues in Port Angeles: the Eagles Club, 110 Penn St.; the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St.; and the Vern Burton Community Center, 308 E. Fourth St.

The event drew about 3,000 people last year, and the festival is expected have about the same number of people this year, Shearer said.

Badges for the entire festival are $85, tickets for today only are $35, tickets for Saturday only are $45 and Sunday only are $20.

The tickets may be purchased at the door of any of the venues.

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Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at paige. [email protected]

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