Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival
|Bix Jazz Memorial Festival|
|Dates||Late July and/or early August|
|Location(s)||Davenport, Iowa, United States|
|Founded by||Bill Donohue|
Davenport, Iowa's annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival commemorates Bix Beiderbecke, a famous jazz cornetist, pianist, and composer who was born in Davenport in 1903. It is one of the largest jazz festivals in the United States. It is held on the weekend after the Bix 7 Road Race, another local event named for Beiderbecke.
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. The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society was founded in 1972, to help keep the memory and musical accomplishments of Beiderbecke alive.