The 5th Annual Highline Classic Jazz Festival at the Landmark Event Center in Des Moines last Saturday gave festival-goers a chance to kick up their heels on two dance floors. Fifteen bands performed on three different stages. Proceeds benefit Burien Arts. CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE OR SCROLL DOWN TO VIEW MORE
SLIDESHOW: Festival-goers have swingin’ time at Classic jazz Festival
Burien Arts’ Fifth Annual Highline Classic Jazz Festival took place at the Landmark Event Center in Des Moines, Saturday March 9th.
Featured were 15 bands in three music venues playing Straight Ahead Jazz classics, and early to mid -20th Century jazz styles, Dixieland, Gypsy Jazz, Blues, Ragtime and Big Band Swing.
The fest provided plenty of dancing, food and drink, and schmoozing with the jazzbos.
Burien musician and festival director Lance Haslund started the festival. His wife, Laurie Haslund, the volunteer coordinator, said he puts in four months of full-time work to prepare each year's event.
"We started it as a program and project for Burien Arts," said Lance. "We're board members. Burien Arts used to have an art gallery and are working on getting one opened again. We present Shakespeare in the Park and we started the Strawberry Festival.
"The Highline Classic Jazz Festival is one of our signature events," he said.
This year's featured group was Casey MacGill's Orchestra, a 14-piece band playing swing and jump music reminiscent of Cab Calloway, Louis Prima, and others.
“Casey is known around town as one of the original classic jazz guys,” Lance Haslund said. “He lives the part. He's got a little pencil-thin mustache, wears clothes from the era, plays ukulele and coronet and sings.”
The Haslunds are also proud of the annual participation of a local high school band. This year it was the Highline/Aviation High School Jazz Band, a combination of students from both schools.
Said Laurie, "One of the most exciting things for all the performers is getting to hang out with each other because (generally) they're so busy gigging they don't necessarily get a chance to go out and hear each other perform. At this event they are all in the same place. And the students will get the same opportunity, to hang with all those professional musicians."
Photo gallery for this story