The music festival known as Jazz by the Boulevard is back in Fort Worth this weekend with a new name and a new identity. KERA’s Stephen Becker reports:
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It’s now called the Fort Worth Music Festival. If that sounds like a generic, catch-all name, it’s by design.
“When you look at Fort Worth, or DFW or Texas in general, the rich music history in this state is unlike any place else,” says Marsha Milam, who programmed this year’s event. “It was like, why don’t we keep jazz, but why don’t we go broader? Why don’t we go more inclusive and try to represent a broader range of talent that has sprung up from this area. So that’s really behind the name change.”
The festival benefits Camp Bowie District. The not-for-profit organization coordinates beautification and conservation projects along a nine-mile stretch of Camp Bowie Blvd. in Fort Worth.
Milam and Camp Bowie District president Lisa Powers say they’ve received a handful of complaints about the festival’s move beyond jazz. This year’s lineup includes everyone from alt-rock veterans the Meat Puppets to local bands, including Seryn, the Orbans and Telegraph Canyon. But there are still a handful of jazz artists on the bill. And Milam says that they could benefit from sharing a stage with non-jazz performers.
MILAM: “This will be good for jazz as well. Because if we bring new people to this festival who maybe wouldn’t go to a jazz festival, and they hear Kirk Whalum or they hear Kermit Ruffins … if they hear those guys and discover jazz, that’s a good thing for jazz.”