The origin of the SFCC Jazz Festival dates back to 1981 when it was an event co-produced
with the Spokane Jazz Society. We owe a great deal of thanks to the SJS and then
executive director, Craig Volosing, for the inspiration and energy to offer a unique,
non-competitive educational experience for high school jazz musicians. For several
years, the Spokane Jazz Orchestra played an integral part, with performances and
sectional work with students.
Our guest artists that first year were Mike Vax and his Southern Comfort Dixieland
All Stars. As we grew and won our wings of independence, we brought in many of the
world’s top jazz artists: Rich Matteson, Jack Peterson, Clark Terry (two years),
Frank Foster, Frank Wess, Phil Woods Quartet, Eddie Daniels, Carl Fontana, Ed Shaughnessy,
Ernie Watts, Steve Smith, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Eliane Elias, Pete Christlieb,
Peter Erskine, Jon Faddis, Lew Tabackin, Dave Weckl, Bob Berg, Louis Bellson, George
Robert, Stephon Harris, Boko Maru, David Sanchez, Paquito D’Rivera, the Sons of
Brasil, Terence Blanchard, Eddie Palmieri, Poncho Sanchez, John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton,
Conrad Herwig, Wayne Bergeron, The Brubeck Brothers, Ellen Rowe, Dave Glenn and
our many regional friends.
As these world-class artists have performed for us and shared their expertise in clinics and workshops, we are
happy to be achieving our original goals. Thanks to all of you who have been part of our history! We invite you
to be part of our future!