LETHBRIDGE – It was 14 years ago that Jerry Rogers and his friends started their very own jazz ensemble, the Rocky Mountain Dixieland Band.
Rogers, who plays the Trombone, says the band’s name and sound is representative of New Orleans jazz music.
“You can’t be sad and listen to Jazz at the same time. It’s a joyful music,” Rogers says.
This is the fourth year the band is playing the Lethbridge Jazz Festival. Rogers says even those who aren’t familiar with Jazz will have a good time.
“It doesn’t have to be stuffy. We do sometimes sit in a room quietly and listen. But what you’re listening to is an artist just pour out right from their soul.”
Festival organizer Don Robb, who joined the band last year, says with 14 venues and 73 artists, this year’s jazz fest is 100% Canadian.
“Everything that we have on the schedule is top drawer. The local folks we have playing are the best we have and that’s darn good,” says Robb
“We have people from across Alberta and across Canada who are winning awards and are considered world class musicians.”
For Rogers, who’s lived in Lethbridge for the last 40 years, it’s special to have his band’s music recognized in his hometown.
“We know we’re essentially background music. But to see someone stop and listen, and a little applause and come up and say thank you afterwards, that really means a lot to us.”
Jazz Festival goes until this Saturday, June 14. For more information, visit lethbridgejazz.com.