Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival

Beiderbecke (Bix) Memorial Jazz Festival

Third weekend in July
Leon "Bix" Beiderbecke (1903-1931) was an American jazz cornetist, pianist, and composer whose unique style on the horn and tragically short life made him a Jazz Age legend at the age of 28. But it wasn't until 1971, on the 40th anniversary of Bix's death, that the seeds of an annual festival commemorating him were planted. That year, Bill Donahoe's Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Band arrived in Bix's hometown of Davenport, Iowa, to pay tribute to him by playing at his gravesite and elsewhere in the city. An enthusiatic response and desire to preserve Bix's memory and music led to the formation of the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society, which established the first official festival in 1972. This annual, four-day jazz festival, popularly known as the "Bix Bash," features concerts by some of the world's best jazz bands as well as the Bix Jazz Society Youth Band, tours of Bix's boyhood home, a Bix Jazz Brunch on Sunday, a jazz liturgy at the First Presbyterian Church, and a concert at Bix's grave in Oakdale Memorial Gardens. Many of the concerts are held at LeClaire Park on the banks of the Mississippi River, where musicians perform in a bandshell, as well as indoor venues.
Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society
P.O. Box 3688
Davenport, IA 52808
888-249-5487 or 563-324-7170; fax: 563-326-1732
MusFestAmer-1990, p. 192
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.