Marilyn Keller and the Black Swan Classic Jazz Band traditionally switch to gospel on Sunday mornings at the Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival/ Steve Kidd/Western News

New name but still a party

Pentastic Hot Jazz reaching out with name change

The Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival is adding a few syllables to its name, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to stop turning up the heat for the first weekend of September.

Related: Wrapping up Jazz Fest for another year

The annual festival — Sept. 6 to 8 this year — is now going to be known as “The Pentastic Hot Jazz and Music Festival.”

“It better reflects who we are, and all we’ve added is ‘and music’ to our name,” said Michael Campbell, president of the Penticton Jazz Festival Society, explaining it better reflects the range of music at Pentastic. Along with traditional jazz, there’s also big band, swing, two-step, zydeco and rockabilly.

“We’re not just jazz. We’ve got Dave Bennett and the Memphis Speed Kings, that’s rockabilly, that’s not jazz and then some people would say that zydeco, isn’t jazz.”

It’s also an answer to people that say they don’t like jazz, who Campbell likes to ask what kind of jazz they don’t like?

“And then they’re stumped. We’re pretty much everything but cool jazz,” said Campbell, resolute that the Pentastic weekend will continue to be a party.

“You won’t notice any difference at all, except in the marquee. People want more than traditional and we’ve tried to offer that right from day one. We’ve had a mix in there so that there’s something for most tastes.”

The lineup for the 2019 festival is almost full, Campbell said, and features lots of returning favourites like Lance Buller, Tom Rigney and Flambeau, Coronet Chop Suey, Gator Nation and more.

Campbell is excited about one of their new recruits, The Black Market Trust, who describe themselves as combining “the sounds of the legendary American crooners and vocal groups with the fire and energy of Gypsy Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.”

And if all that now has you into “can’t wait” mode for this year’s Pentastic, passes for this year are already on sale through valleyfirsttix.com.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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