Bix 7 Road Race and Memorial Jazz Festival

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Bix 7 Road Race
The starting line at the 2008 Bix 7 race
Date and location Late July
Davenport, Iowa
Race type road race
Distance 7 miles
Established 1975
Official site

The Bix 7 Road Race and Memorial Jazz Festival is held annually in Davenport, Iowa, as a commemoration to Davenport native and jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke.


The 7 mile road race is annually held during late July, in the streets of downtown Davenport, Iowa. The race was founded in 1975 by John Hudetz, a resident of Bettendorf, Iowa. After competing in the 1974 Boston Marathon, Hudetz was inspired to bring the excitement to the Quad-Cities with a race of his own. The inaugural race had a field consisting of eighty-four runners.[1] Today the race is often run by 12,000 to 18,000 runners.[2][3]

The United States’ boycott of the 1980 Olympics helped gain the Bix 7 exposure. Bill Rodgers, the world's top distance runner at the time, was unable to compete in Moscow, so he went to Davenport instead "History of Bix 7". The leadership of Race Director Ed Froehlich, promotion by the Quad-City Times newspaper, and generosity from several corporate sponsorships, has helped the Bix 7 develop into the largest non-marathon race in the Midwest,[4] The race consistently draws elite talent from all over the globe. Running legends Bill Rodgers and 1984 Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson also compete yearly.[5]

The run is sponsored by the Quad City Times and is a separate entity from the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, which is held the following weekend.

Jazz Festival[edit]

Bix Jazz Memorial Festival
Location(s) Davenport, Iowa
Years active 1971-present
Founded by Bill Donohue
Date(s) Last Full Weekend in July
Genre Jazz

The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival is an annual tribute to the famed jazz cornetist, pianist and composer, held in Davenport, Iowa, Bix's hometown. It is one of the largest jazz festival in the United States.

The Bix Fest is a four day music festival with many traditional jazz bands attracted from around the world. It is held the first weekend of August, to commemorate the anniversary of Bix's passing on August 6, 1931.

The musical performances are held in downtown Davenport. Additional events include a Saturday morning tribute at Oakdale Memorial Cemetery. Jazz is played over Bix's grave in the Beiderbecke family plot. This event draws huge crowds annually. Also, on Sunday morning, a jazz liturgy is held at the First Presbyterian Church in Davenport. The church was the Beiderbecke family's home church, where Bix's mother, Agatha, was the church organist. A band from the festival performs at this event. On the Sunday evening of the Bix weekend there is an 'Afterglow' event. Four bands are scheduled to perform at this event.

The festival began in 1971 when Bill Donahoe's Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Band traveled to Davenport, Iowa to play music at Bix's grave on the 40th anniversary of his death.[6] The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society was founded in 1972, to help keep the memory and musical accomplishments of Beiderbecke alive.[6]


  1. ^ "Q-C race has grown from a humble beginning into one of the nation's most spectacular events". Quad-City Times. 1994-07-31. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  2. ^ "Q-C area entries lagging Of the 10,000 signed up, 1/3 are from the area". Quad-City Times. 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  3. ^ "Viewpoint: Quality of Bix 7 isn't measured in size". Quad-City Times. 2008-07-27. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  4. ^ "Officials unveil new plans for road race". Quad-City Times. 2009-04-08. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  5. ^ "Costumes abound during Bix 7 race, festivities". Quad-City Times. 2009-07-25. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  6. ^ a b "Festival History". Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society. Retrieved 2009-09-23. [dead link]

External links[edit]