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Thousands Expected For Jazz And Blues Festival

Courtesy Old Webster Jazz and Blues Festival

Webster Groves’ largest music festival returns for a 14th year Saturday.

“Great musicians continue to develop here, and it’s really wonderful to give them a chance to get exposure on a big stage in front of up to about 12-, 13,000 people every year,” said Terry Perkins, the festival’s music director.

Streets will be closed and performances will take place on two stages at Allen and South Gore avenues, just north of Lockwood Avenue. The festival starts at noon.

“This is The 442s first appearance,” cellist Bjorn Ranheim said. “We are used to playing in more indoor venues, but I think performing for an event such as this is great ’cause you do have this closed-off environment with kind of an almost natural amphitheater. I think it’s going to be a perfect place for us to play, and nice to get outdoors on a beautiful sunny late-summer afternoon.”

In addition to established local groups, like Marquise Knox and Jim Manley & Wild, Cool and Swingin’ Orchestra, the festival also gives an up-and-comer the chance to hit the stage through a competition. This year’s winner: The Spys, which Perkins called “kind of classic R&B, very old-school — a lot of fun.”

“It’s worked out well,” Perkins said. “We’ve had three competitions … For three years, we’ve gotten a really good group and gotten them some exposure.”

Related Event

Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival

  • When: Noon to 10 p.m. Sept. 20, 2014
  • Where: The Webster University stage is at North Gore south of the railroad tracks; the second stage is at Allen south of the railroad tracks
  • More information

“Cityscape” is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.