On November 29, 2011, the Ocean Shores Jazz Society met and voted not to continue presenting an annual jazz festival. Badge sales, sponsorship and donations have not kept pace with the rising festival costs. While the 2011 festival saw an increase in attendance over the numbers of the past few years, it was not enough to make up for previous losses.
In 1983 the city of Ocean Shores Convention Center had an idea to have a Dixieland Jazz Festival as a way to bring tourists into town during the winter months. The first festival, based on the dream of continuing success, was held October 28, 29 and 30, 1983 with three bands. The event was a success. In 1985 a non-profit group, the Ocean Shores Dixieland Jazz Society, was formed. In 2007, the group became the Ocean Shores Jazz Society, presenting “Jazz at the Beach”, a festival encompassing all jazz music.
This year the Jazz Society held its 29th annual festival with nine bands and a featured guest artist. The attendees included first time festival goers as well as long time participants. The consensus of opinions expressed appreciation for the wide variety of music available for listening and dancing.
Over the years, the Ocean Shores Jazz Society has raised money to support the music program in the North Beach School District. We have sent students to jazz music camps, on educational field trips and helped with equipment and supplies. The monies raised for that purpose will be set up in a fund to continue the support of our youth and their appreciation for jazz music.
Hundreds of hours of volunteer work go into putting on a festival. The Ocean Shores Jazz Society would like to express our gratitude to all of the people over the years who have worked tirelessly to present 29 wonderful festivals. We appreciate the support of the local businesses that have provided sponsorship for the festivals, including local hotels that have provided lodging for band members. Without the generous support of the community, we could not have continued for these 29 years.
Thank you to all, past and present, for creating and sustaining such a fun and fantastic event. It shall be missed like many others in the future.