Jazz Fest still going strong after 27 years

Delta Rae performed at Friday night’s Jazz Fest at Strand Park. For more photos from Jazz Fest weekend, pickup a Tuesday Outlook.(Kenneth Boone / The Outlook)

Many music festivals have gone by the wayside but to look out over the estimated 5,000 in Strand Park Friday night and it’s obvious that Alexander City’s Jazz Fest is still going strong after 27 years.

“It was the largest crowd I have ever seen in Strand Park,” Alex City Jazz Fest’s Robert Gunn said. “I think it went great.”

Jazz Fest’s founder Ralph Froshin was pleased.

“It was as large as I have ever seen it,” Froshin said. “It was terrific. It had great variety.”

Gunn stated that Saturday at The Amp was good as well.

“We had a pretty good crowd Saturday as well,” Gunn said.

Gunn attributes the success to everyone working together.

“Top to bottom, it was some of the easiest groups to work with,” Gunn said. “Superb people to work with.”

Gunn and Froshin also think weather played a hand also.

“Overall it was great weather,” Gunn said.

“It seems a lot of times a that cloud is always hanging out at Jazz Fest,” Froshin said. “We don’t have the best of luck with weather.”

Froshin thinks Jazz Fest is great for the community despite thinking it was a one-time thing when he did it 1991.

“I thought it was going to be one and done,” Froshin said. “We did it in 1991 to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of our family business.”

That is when others saw the potential in it and ought to be applauded according to Froshin.

“Other businesses and the city said let’s do this,” Froshin said. “Alexander City deserves a pat on the back. It is great that the community and businesses step up to sponsor it.

“It is one of the most positive things we have in our community. It brings together people from all walks of life to enjoy music free of charge.”