North Bend is set to host its ninth annual North Bend Jazz Walk this Saturday (April 20).
The annual jazz festival will host diverse jazz groups ranging from local high school jazz bands to Pacific Northwest favorites such as Dmitri Matheny Quartet and Thomas Marriott Quintet, to international jazz legends such as Johnaye Kendrick Trio and Paul Green Quartet.
Organized by JazzClubsNW, formally known as Boxley Music Fund, the Jazz Walk will have 20 jazz bands perform throughout 14 venues across Historic Downtown North Bend from 5 p.m. to midnight.
The North Bend Jazz Walk is JazzClubsNW’s primary fundraiser. Funds raised go to support the nonprofit’s mission. Local sponsors include the North Bend Theatre, SnoFalls Credit Union, Edward Jones North Bend, KNKX and Earshot Jazz.
Danny Kolke, JazzClubsNW founder, said he’s happy to continue the tradition and living out the nonprofit’s mission.
The mission of JazzClubsNW is to provide education and performance opportunities for students interested in jazz.
“It’s been great to put pros and students together,” Kolke said. “The Mount Si Jazz Bands have been invited to national jazz band competitions, like Essentially Ellington, and I think one of the reasons why is because we have opportunities for them to meet, learn from and perform alongside professional jazz players.”
Over the years, the North Bend Jazz Walk has grown. Michael Croan, JazzClubsNW board president, said he predicts some 12,000 people will attend this year’s Jazz Walk.
“More and more people have been coming each year,” he said. “Jazz music, actually, music in general, has become a vibrant part of the Valley. It gives us more resources to drive our mission.”
At this year’s Jazz Walk, Croan said JazzClubsNW is making an important announcement. The Wildflower, where JazzClubsNW is hosted, is moving.
“We want to assure the community that while the Wildflower is moving, the music isn’t leaving North Bend,” Croan said. “Danny [Kolke] is opening a new venue. We don’t know when it’ll be open but we want to assure everyone that JazzClubsNW isn’t going anywhere.”
Kolke and Croan said they encourage the community to come out and enjoy high quality jazz and support the local businesses.
“We couldn’t do this without the community’s support and the support of our local businesses,” Croan said.
Tickets for this year’s North Bend Jazz Walk are $25 online and $30 at the door; youth tickets are $15 and $20 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at www.jazzclubsnw.org/northbendjazzwalk/tickets.espx.