June 21st, 2024

JazzFest wraps up 22nd year

By Mo Cranker on June 25, 2018.

Capt. Sean E. Watts of Punch Drunk Cabaret helped put a bow on the 22nd edition of Medicine Hat JazzFest on June 23, 2018, at the annual Parkade concert.


Medicine Hat’s annual jazz festival came to a close this weekend and this year’s event was yet another success, says producer Lyle Rebbeck.

The week-long festival showcased a number of local and non-local talent in a wide range of venues around the city, giving Hatters a chance to see high-end talent for little or no cost.

“It was such a great festival this year,” said Rebbeck before the annual parkade show. “All of the bands were great and so different and unique, all while being top quality.

“I think everyone who attended felt transported and we know that this is something that so many people look forward to every year.”

Saturday’s parkade show was held on the first floor of the building, rather than on top, due to rain warnings in the area, something that Rebbeck says has happened plenty of times before.

“This is maybe the sixth time this has happened to us,” he said. “With the rain earlier in the day, we just didn’t want to take the risk, so we set up down here.

“It actually works really well on the bottom floor, and it sounds incredible down here, so people will be in for quite the show.”

Rebbeck has been producing the festival for 20 years, and says this year’s attendance was good. He says JazzFest is always a blast to work on.

“The show is like a work of art, and there’s a lot of the people in the community who appreciate that,” he said. “Every year we hear so many stories on how JazzFest positively impacted their lives.

“It’s an event that happens every year where everything is involved is positive — there’s never any negatives surrounding JazzFest.”

As for big moments from this year’s festival, Rebbeck says it’s hard to choose.

“It’s like picking a favourite child,” he said. “Every single act we had was just amazing — it was a really good year.”

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