Edgefest 2020 IS cancelled!


Edgefest 2020 was well on its way to becoming a landmark festival in October when the now ongoing national health crisis hit the nation, shutting down businesses and necessitating the practice of social distancing for months, creating much uncertainty about the near future. After much deliberation and consultation, we have had to take the difficult and painful decision to cancel the 4-day Edgefest 2020 (24th edition) that was planned for October to protect the health of our artists and audience.

We have been hard at work exploring alternate platforms/stages to keep the creative spirit of Edgefest alive and active; encouraged by the fact that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), one our major funding sources, has been generously flexible and has encouraged our search for new ways to present this music. NEA has approved a restructuring of our proposal that had been approved last November. As a result, the scope and nature of Edgefest 2020 events will be transformed but the impact on the artist community and the community at large will be maintained as presentations will be primarily live-streamed. We are expecting that the reach of the music and artist/composers that Edgefest champions will be expanded nationally and even worldwide.

While some details may change, we plan to present 6 online/live-streaming events. Each event will have 2 sets: the first by area artists streaming from KCH, the second by national artists (solo or duo) from their homes, with a few who will travel to appear in person at KCH.

Additionally, Edgefest is committed to its educational ideals. This will result in 2 master class/lectures online focusing on the history of avant jazz and the process of composition and the role that improvisation plays in that process. Moreover, there will be 2 Zoom activities (or in-school if feasible) at Scarlett Middle School (instead of the proposed 2-day residency by Edgefest artists).

Many details still need to be worked out, but as matters now stand, the online events will begin in October and run through March 31, 2021, maintaining as much as possible the announced theme, “Partial to Brass.” We will be presenting many of our wonderful area artists alongside this country’s distinguished artists.

Because of the fluid nature of the epidemic and of resultant state regulations, we cannot yet determine if and how to assure some form of audience participation but are exploring use of outdoor venues and smaller audiences at KCH itself.

As KCH currently presents a variety of online concerts featuring our favorite artists, Executive/Artistic Director Monica Swartout-Bebow is working with Edgefest Artistic Director Deanna Relyea to plan for when our doors will re-open for live events. We know that this series will lead us happily forward to our 25th anniversary Edgefest 2021!

Edgefest 2020: Partial to the Edge

OCTOBER 14 - 17

The focus of this year’s festival will be on brass instruments. The sheer power of the cornet or trumpet dominated many early jazz bands and made heroes of players such as Buddy Bolden, King Oliver and Louis Armstrong; but, in modern times, players of brass instruments, not just of trumpets, but also of the trombone, tuba, euphonium and French horn have made their mark on the music and provided a broader sound palate for ensembles. Brass players are creating new paths of sound and direction within their ensembles, developing extended technics and compositional methods that move the music forward.

Among the featured ensembles that include brass is Anthony Braxton’s ZIM Sextet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn7AwLLRPqs; celebrating Braxton’s 75th birthday!

Stay tuned, more info coming soon!

Last year – Edgefest 2020: OUT West

Current Lineup

• Ray Anderson
• Jen Baker
• Andrew Bishop
• Bobby Bradford
• Jaimie Branch
• Anthony Braxton
• Joe Daley
• Dave Douglas
• Andrew Drury
• Jennifer Ellis
• Ken Filiano
• Jason Hwang
• Frank Lacy
• Ingrid Laubrock
• Dan Peck
• William Roper
• Steve Swell
• And More!