Jazz in July

Borrowed from the Des Moines Register

By Janet Klockenga

Jazz in July on Sixth Avenue

WHEN: 3-11 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Sixth and College avenues
BANDS: Whitney Marchelle Jackson, Alex Maasdam, The Taz Band, Downstairs Mixup
OTHER INFORMATION: Food and art vendors, children’s activities and fireworks

The Sixth Avenue corridor is planning to jazz it up during its second Jazz in July concert on Saturday. Organizers hope to triple attendance from last year’s event.

Last year’s crowd was close to 300, organizer Terry Wells said.

“It was one of the better Jazz in July crowds,” he said. “But this year we expect to double and possibly triple that. Our goal is 1,000 people, and I think we’ll be close to that as throughout the day people will come and mingle, maybe stay for an hour or three.”

Featured at this year’s event will be acclaimed vocalist Whitney Marchelle Jackson, originally from Newton and now living and performing in New York.

Three Des Moines jazz bands and performers will round out the show: Alex Maasdam, 19, of Pella, a solo saxophone player; The Taz Band, featuring Brian “Taz” Grant, who performs with Janey Hooper; and Downstairs Mixup, featuring members of the local band One Nite Stand, several times voted best rhythm and blues band in the Des Moines metro.

Wells said excitement is growing among neighbors, business owners and the community surrounding the corridor.

“We’ve got a good groundswell going,” he said, adding that organizers have handed out 3,000 flyers and put up 500 posters and yard signs. “Everybody we’ve talked to is really excited about it. It’s going to be a very enjoyable evening for folks.”

This year’s event will be larger than last year’s, Wells said, because it has increased from one to three bands, and it will run for a longer time frame. Also planned are children’s activities.

Wells said vendors and volunteers are still needed.

“We had a goal of 30 vendors and we only have 20 groups so far,” Wells said late last week. Vendors include people selling food, art and jewelry, and community service organizations. Vendors interested in selling their wares should contact Alecia Kates, director of the 6th Avenue Corridor Inc., at 314-4243.

Volunteers are needed to help set up and tear down, assist vendors and help visitors.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Blake Shultice at shultice24@gmail.com.