Elkhart prepares to host Elkhart Jazz Festival this weekend

NOW: Elkhart prepares to host Elkhart Jazz Festival this weekend

ELKHART, Ind. -- The Elkhart Jazz Music Festival has been a staple of the Elkhart community for the last 31 years, and some young musicians took the stage ahead of the headliners to get crowds ready for the weekend.

High school students like Caleb Womack and Delilah Gomez attended a 2-day jazz workshop at Elkhart Central High School.

They tell ABC 57 News they could hardly wait to perform.

“I’m pretty excited,” said Womack, who likes to play the trumpet.

Gomez has been playing the saxophone for the last 5 years and she’s looking forward to “being in Jazz One next year,” that is, the Concord High School Band.

Womack and Gomez are hoping that excitement spreads to festival-goers.

The Elkhart Jazz Festival starts Friday evening at 5 p.m., with performers on indoor and outdoor stages.

Kurt Janowsky, the Co-Chair for the Elkhart Jazz Festival, tells ABC 57 News that the festival is a volunteer-driven festival.

"We have over 100 volunteers that work all year long preparing for the festival and then executing this weekend," Janowsky. "We’re really fortunate; without our volunteers we couldn’t put it on.”

Janowsky adds that sponsors also help keep the festival going and that the festival is “really blessed to have great sponsors.”

Festival organizers tell ABC 57 News that they expect anywhere from 15 to 20 thousand people this year, and the volunteers are ready for the crowds.

They encourage the community to come down on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and “join in on the fun.”

Headliners at the Elkhart Jazz Festival include Lee Ritenour on Friday, Preservation Hall Jazz Band on Saturday, and the US Air Force Shades of Blue Jazz Band on Sunday.

For more information on how to purchase tickets, please click here.

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