Trains, Jazz, Blues: Old Webster Festival Has It All
One of the more unusual aspects of the Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival has got to be the trains.
Amtrak passenger trains—and freight trains—chug through Webster Groves with some regularity. The tracks are mere feet from the back of the stages, but neither the performers nor the audience seem to mind. It’s just another quirk of this longstanding late summer music festival.
On Saturday, September 16, Old Webster Groves will be hosting the festival for the 18th year. The line-up features some of the best local jazz, blues, funk, rock, and soul musicians.
Perennial favorite Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers will play at 1:20 p.m. on the Webster University Stage on Gore Avenue. The Grooveliners, Marquise Knox and the Webster University Faculty Band follow.
“Our fans have been vocal about their favorite performers from previous years,” said Brian Ward, musical director for the festival.“We’re bringing a few back, showcasing some new acts, and giving an authentic sample of our region’s original musical artform.
“We’ll finish with one of our favorite party bands: The Funky Butt Brass Band,” Ward said.
The festival offers two stages, just a block apart. That’s enough separation to avoid noise bleed. It also gives the audience a chance to choose the acts that appeal most to them.
Another feature of this year’s festival is unique: There will be a free music workshop from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at the Webster Groves Concert Hall, 103 E. Lockwood Ave. Students of all ages will receive instruction and musical inspiration from three Webster Groves music scholars: Willem von Hombracht, CarolBeth True and Debbie Lennon.