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A Weekend of Jazz in the Quad Cities Honors Bix Beiderbecke

Bix Jazz Society

Over the weekend, a 52-year old festival brought a 100-year old sound to the Quad Cities.

The first day of the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Festival, named after the jazz legend from Davenport, was Thursday.

On Friday and Saturday, six bands from around the country, plus the Bix Youth Jazz Band, performed all day at the Rhythm City Casino event center.

Steve Trainor is the former president of the Bix Jazz Society and a member of its board. He says a new addition to this year's celebration is a river cruise.

"Bix first heard the music floating up from the river, it drew him to the river, so we're bringing Bix back to the river."

On the last day of the festival, there was a free morning service at Bix Beiderbecke's grave.

"That's how it all started, a band came from New Jersey, the Bix Beiderbecke Jazz Band, and they decided they would drive out and they would play at Bix's grave," Trainor said. "It just got everybody enthused in 1971 and they said, 'we ought to have a party here, let's jam with these guys.'"

The festival typically brings in several thousand people.

The bands that played this year are: Hal Smith's New Orleans Night Owls, Banu Gibson & Hot Jazz, Andy Schumm's Chicago Cellar Boys, T.J. Muller's Arcadia Dance Orchestra, Dan Levinson's Roof Garden Jass Band, and the Graystone Monarchs.

Rachel graduated from Michigan State University's J-School and has a background in broadcast and environmental journalism. Before WVIK, she worked for WKAR Public Media, Great Lakes Now, and more. In her free time, she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with her cat.