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Small Town, Big Music

Eureka Springs hits perfect note for jazz

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The Eureka Springs Jazz Festival was designed to shine a light on both national and local jazz musicians as well as the town of Eureka Springs itself, says H.A. "Andy" Green, Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotions Committee event coordinator.

The town is a perfect environment to feature some of the finest jazz musicians in the country, says Green.

FYI

Eureka Springs Jazz Festival

Today — Free music in Basin Spring Park to include Block Street Hot Club, Fourscore and Charged Particles featuring Paul McCandless, 3-8 p.m.

Saturday — Free music in Basin Spring Park to include Richard Bruton Quartet, Block Street Hot Club, and Charged Particles featuring Paul McCandless, 2-7 p.m.; Veronica Swift, Upstairs at the Grotto, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday — Jazz Brunch at The Crystal Dining Room in the Crescent Hotel, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

INFO — jazzeureka.org

"There are some lovely rooms and nice places to do music here, including the auditorium and Upstairs at the Grotto -- which has a cabaret-like environment -- the Ballroom at the Basin Park Hotel, the Crescent, the band shell and some of our nightclubs. And, of course, you can walk to almost all of them."

Green has been in the entertainment and music business for more than 50 years. He is a musician himself and sits on the board of the Northwest Arkansas Jazz Society. Jazz, he says, is a music genre worth promoting and celebrating.

"Many of us have grown up appreciating the great American art form of jazz, truly a wonderful genre that is almost impossible to define. I know that jazz is a genre of music that has a lot of supporters and listeners in Northwest Arkansas, [but] I think it's underexposed here."

The Bay Area jazz trio Charged Particles will be performing with Grammy Award-winner Paul McCandless both tonight and Saturday night at Basin Spring Park. Original member and drummer Jon Krosnick says it will be the group's second time to visit Eureka Springs.

"We were so warmly welcomed and appreciated," he says of the last visit, which was roughly 10 years ago. "It was such a delightful experience. The character from the natural resources that you have [in Northwest Arkansas] made it really memorable. I've always thought fondly about Eureka Springs, and I thought, 'I'm going to reach out and see if we could perform again.'"

Green was eager to get a representation of the West Coast jazz sound on the festival schedule.

"[Headliner] Veronica Swift is from the East Coast, and Paul is from the West Coast," says Green. "They'll represent two completely different styles of jazz and two different formats."

"We are definitely in the 'electric funky Latin jazz' category, which is very West Coast," explains Krosnick. "There are so many great Cuban, South American, Mexican musicians in California who bring tremendous character to the jazz scene. But we're also bringing in Paul McCandless, and he's known for soaring melodies and melting hearts. So we're going to mix our style with his soaring beauty, so there will be a lot of variety."

The lineup for tonight (3 until 8 p.m.) and Saturday (2 until 7 p.m.) at Basin Spring Park will be free to listeners.

"We wanted to make sure that some of the presentations were available to anyone, whether you had a big budget or a small one."

NAN What's Up on 09/08/2017

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