July 14, 2008 – Guests visiting Watertown found ways to beat the summer heat Saturday afternoon with ice cream, cold beverages and the cool, sultry tones coming from the 13th annual Jazz Festival.
This year's event featured a wide-range of artist including: Tony Nagy & Trioshift; Keli Cox Sextet; April Barrows; Denny Jiosa; Mark Douthit; Pat Coil with the George Tidwell Sextet; Joe Murphy & The LoudHorns and Earl Vantrease. Headliner for the Jazz Festival, The Rod McGaha Orchestra, was unable to perform due to the severe weather that night.
Attendees also had the opportunity to hear guest performances from Bobby Hebb, who performed his 1966 hit "Sunny" with Denny Jiosa, and new Jazz Singer, Brianna Thomas, performing with Earl Vantrese.
"This was my first year at the Watertown Jazz Festival, and I've had a blast performing here," said Singer April Barrows. "I heard a lot about this festival from my friends Alan and Susan Hunter. So I decided to check it out."
"They [Watertown] are so committed to the arts and keeping culture alive not just in Watertown, but in the region," said Coordinator Amber Sanders with PlanIt Nashville. "The opportunity to see Bobby [Hebb] scat was great and he is such an icon."
Mary Murphy added,"The playing has been wonderful. What a gas to hear all these artist in one day."
Jazz enthusiasts travelled from all over Tennessee to see the festival in Watertown including: Malina Taylor and her son, Huston, from Franklin.
"For jazz enthusiasts, like me, I love seeing all these people coming out to enjoy the music," said Taylor with a smile. "I attend many Jazz festivals in Tennessee and I see a lot of my friends from other festivals, so it's like a jazz reunion."
While others travelled several states to be here.
"I started coming to the festival in 2004 and I liked the nice, relaxing atmosphere," said Tick Craver of New Jersey. "My daughter lives in the area so I make a vacation out of this. I was really looking forward to seeing Denny [Jiosa]. I knew April Barrows was performing, so I went to see her also. They are the two that I looked for, but all the artist have been good."
For others, the chance to support the arts brought them in.
"This is out third year attending the festival," said Lee Pierce of Watertown with wife, Allison. "We came out for the music appreciation."
Jason Briggs, of Watertown, agreed, "We haven't paid attention to who's who; We mainly came out to be part of the event."
And while the rain did finally flush the festival out, Music Director Joe Murphy committed to the crowd, "You all troopers to hang out in the rain."
Sanders added,"We have had a good crowd turn out. This event is strong today thanks to Colette Lanham-Stoffel and the entire committee. They all worked hard to hammer this thing out.
"Sponsors for this festival was also fabulous, and with their help it has made this a successful event."
To get a jump start as a sponsor or help be apart of 14th annual Watertown Jazz Festival, call Amber Sanders at 615-466-7007.
Night Editor Marie Corhern can be reached at 444-3952, ext. 46 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.