Port Angeles: ‘Nobody’s standing still’ at lively Jazz in the Olympics festival

PORT ANGELES — A jazz waltz from the 11-piece Belvedere Broadcasters filled the Eagles Club as Nancy Foster and her dance partner, Terry Mitchell, spun across the wooden floor.

It was Saturday afternoon at Jazz in the Olympics, and Foster, of Belfair, smiled and twirled easily as Mitchell lifted her hand in his.

Foster has attended jazz festivals for 17 years, while Mitchell, of Vancouver, British Columbia, is more of a newcomer.

Jazz has become a shared passion for the couple, now engaged, since they met at a Vancouver festival more than two years ago.

This weekend, their passion is shared with hundreds of other mostly older music lovers who have gathered in Port Angeles for the annual Jazz in the Olympics Festival.

“I love it,” Foster said.

Dressed to the nines

On Saturday, women dressed to the nines in brightly colored, 1920s-era flapper gowns, and men donned shiny shoes as they danced to the music of 11 different traditional jazz bands performing this weekend.

“All you’ve got to do is look at their faces, and everybody’s moving,” said festival volunteer Wally Loucks of the Vancouver, British Columbia, area.

“Nobody’s standing still.”

He watched a skilled couple in matching white flapper outfits showing off their moves as Climax Jazz Band from Toronto played an upbeat set on the Vern Burton Community Center stage.

Loucks, for whom Jazz in the Olympics is his first such festival, said he planned to squeeze into his too-small dancing shoes later and hit the floor.

“I haven’t danced for 25 years, but I’m gonna dance tonight,” he said.

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