ST. GEORGE — The Main Stage at “George, Streetfest on Main” will reverberate with the sounds of Glen Miller, Tommy Dorsey and other swing music legends on April Fool’s Day, thanks to the late-breaking addition of the Dixie Rebel Jazz Band.
Kicking off the April Fool’s edition of George Streetfest at 6 p.m., the 18-piece big band —the only full-sized swing band in Southern Utah — will perform a high-powered set guaranteed to have attendees swingin’ until 7 p.m.
Following the big band performance at the Main Street Free Concert will be former southern Utah residents Sala & Edgar at 7 p.m., and local band The Whiskey Tooth Revival headlining at 8 p.m.
Glenn Webb, Ph.D., music department chair at Dixie State University, heads up the Dixie Rebel Jazz Band, which features an all-star lineup of music educators. The group also includes Thomas Herb, Ph.D., director of Southern Utah University’s Jazz Band, and co-founder of Kind of Blue, the SUU Faculty Jazz Combo, along with DSU music professor Rhonda Rhodes. Numerous music teachers from schools in St. George and Cedar City round out the troupe, which also includes popular local musician — and member of the St. George Arts Commission — Jim Sevy.
Swing dancers will be invited to show off their best moves in front of the stage, said Gary Sanders, Community Arts and Exhibits Administrator for the City of St. George.
“The St. George Arts Commission is delighted to partner with the organizers of George Streetfest in presenting this outstanding group of musicians, who represent the very best of the performing arts,” Sanders said.
Dixie Rebel Jazz Band member Ross Hart added:
We are excited to be a part of George Streetfest, and to bring swing music to the local community and the many visitors who come to St. George during this season. Our group is made up of the very best swing and jazz musicians from this part of the state, and as the area’s only full-sized swing band, we look forward to getting Streetfest off to a great start on April Fool’s Day.
The addition of the Dixie Rebel Jazz Band marks a seminal point in the evolution of George Streetfest on Main, which will celebrate its first anniversary in June. Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of the Desert Pulse Jazz Garden, located in historic Ancestor Square, the appreciation of jazz, swing, Dixieland and related musical genres is burgeoning in the Greater St. George area, said Jazz Garden Manager Carlyle Potter, who heads up the Jazz Garden’s house band, the West Coast Jazz Players
“Since the advent of the Jazz Garden nearly a year ago, we’ve seen a huge resurgence in the demand for jazz throughout Southern Utah,” Potter said. “Thanks to this monthly musical celebration, audiences are growing and are extremely enthusiastic. We’re thrilled to welcome such high-caliber swing and jazz musicians as the Dixie Rebel Jazz Band to George Streetfest April 1.”
Friday’s temperatures are predicted to be mild, so all attendees are urged to bring their dancing shoes and get in on the fun. As always, George Streetfest will offer an eclectic array of entertainment options on both the Main Stage and in the Desert Pulse Jazz Garden, as well as street vendors, buskers, a food truck village, a farmers market, and much, much more.
- What: “George, Streetfest on Main”
- When: Friday, April 1, 6-11 p.m. with the jazz garden open until midnight
- Where: Downtown Historic District, St. George