Packed Weekend Features Fitness, Festivals, and Jazz Print
News/Features - Arts News
Tuesday, 17 July 2001 18:00
Three major events converge in the Quad Cities this weekend, as they do every year about this time, but if you’re a fan of jazz, some less-well-known events might also be worth your attention. Of course, this weekend features the annual Bix 7 race, the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, and the Wells Fargo Street Festival.

The Bix 7 race starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, with thousands of runners from around the world on one of the tougher seven-mile courses around. You can find more information at (http://www.bix7.com).

Related to the race is Genesis Health & Fitness Expo, July 19 through 21 at the RiverCenter. (The exposition runs from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, and 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday.) Highlights of the show include a body-fat contest, physical-conditioning checkup, low-impact-workout demonstrations, samples of soy products, blood-pressure checks, and a discussion of foot care for athletes. For more information and hours, visit (http://www.genesishealth.com).

The Wells Fargo Street Fest offers an entertainment alternative to people who don’t fancy jazz, featuring craft, commercial, and food vendors, children’s activities, a family stage of entertainment, and live music Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to midnight. The festival has no admission charge. (For the band schedule, check out the Reader’s live-music listings.)

But jazz is largely the order of the weekend, with the Bix festival its centerpiece.

The 30th Annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival kicks off Thursday night, July 19, at the Col Ballroom, with music from 6 p.m. to midnight. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will feature the festival’s 11 bands at the ballroom, LeClaire Park, the Davenport Holiday Inn, and Danceland (as well as a few other venues) throughout the day and night. Bill Donahoe’s Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Band and Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band close out the festivities with performances Sunday from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the Davenport Holiday Inn. For a current schedule, visit (http://www.bixsociety.org). Some of this year’s bands will also provide jazz accompaniment to figure skaters at the Quad City Sports Center in Bix on Ice. (The show will be performed from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday and 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Saturday.) Wednesday, July 18, also features a special Evening of Jazz event with Sweden’s Peoria Jazz Band and the Askersund Jazz Choir at First Presbyterian Church.

Those two bands will also be performing on Celebration River Cruises’ Bix on the Boat on Thursday, July 19, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. For more information or reservations, call (309)764-1952.

St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport is holding Chicago Jazz Mass at 8:30 and 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 22, featuring seven acclaimed Chicago jazz musicians and the up-tempo sounds of the saxophone and clarinet. (The Bix festival also includes a worship component, with jazz liturgy at First Presbyterian Church.)