The 39th annual Jazz’SAlive Festival

Jazz proves itself to be alive and well in the city of San Antonio and Trinity itself

The San Antonio Parks Foundation presents the 39th annual Jazz’SAlive Festival this fall in downtown San Antonio. Jazz’SAlive is a two-day event that aims to bring art and culture to San Antonio in the form of music, free and open to the public. Local artists and national touring artists alike are given the chance to perform and share their talent on three stages located across Travis and Legacy Park.

The tradition of this event began in 1984 and is best known for featuring various artists performing a diverse collection of music. The festival has exposed the South Texas community to the jazz genre and has ensured that the jazz scene continues to thrive in San Antonio. Not only does Jazz’SAlive preserve the vibrant art that is jazz music, but proceeds from this festival benefit the San Antonio Parks Foundation. This organization aims to enhance the parks of San Antonio and Bexar County. The festival’s partnership with this organization proves that it is centered around bringing people together.

Trinity’s own radio station, KRTU, aims to cultivate an appreciation of jazz that is accessible and diverse. Monica Reina, KRTU’s station manager, is responsible for arranging sponsorship agreements and promotion plans for events such as Jazz’SAlive, as well as working with KRTU interns.

Reina said that Jazz’SAlive is a long-standing event that is great for the community. She explained how they’ve even expanded the number of stages to include more performers of varying genres. Not only does this provide exposure to jazz music, but the event doesn’t limit its visitors to a single category of music. The event encourages the appreciation of live music, outside of the conformities of genres.

“They have expanded the genre a little bit,” Reina said. “More soul groups and pop groups but it is mainly focused with jazz.”

The event is consistently evolving and looking for new ways to immerse the community in art that will appeal to everyone. This year, they’ll implement the concept of “busking” to the event. Busking is defined as the act or practice of performing entertainment in public spaces.

“They’re looking to set up musicians all around downtown on the street corners playing jazz music … as people are walking,” Reina said.

Reina assures that the environment is light-hearted and welcoming, even for individuals who are not familiar with the jazz scene.

“It’s very laid back,” Reina said. “Everyone is there to enjoy the music.”

Lawn chairs and blankets are a staple for those attending Jazz’SAlive. Attendees can gather outdoors to enjoy the food and drinks being offered for sale, all while being surrounded by the colorful jazz scene.

There are VIP and patron experiences available for those who wish to be closer to the stage and want to purchase a ticket online, but general admission is free and open to people of all ages.

KRTU has been promoting this event digitally via social media, through newsletters and on air. The station will also be participating in this event. KRTU, as a noncommercial, listener-supported radio station, will be promoting their membership and upcoming events throughout the rest of year. This will be KRTU’s first time back at the Jazz’SAlive event since the pandemic hit, making this an exciting opportunity for publicity and a chance for the San Antonio community to offer their support. The KRTU Tiger Stage will be hosting a variety of bands, with the hopes of our mascot, LeeRoy, possibly attending.

Not only does this event aid in promoting the KRTU radio station, but the Trinity contemporary jazz community as a whole. The Trinity University Jazz Ensemble is a band that performs traditional and modern jazz music styles, playing at events in and around San Antonio. Josh Cooper, a sophomore Jazz Ensemble trumpet player, said that events such as Jazz’SAlive make modern jazz music more accessible.

“There is still so much amazing jazz music being created and performed,” Cooper said. “And festivals like this help bring publicity and accessibility to it.”

In addition to this, Cooper also expressed how live music events allow individuals to experience a more contemporary approach to jazz music.

“I really like how these live performances showcase modern jazz musicians, which often get overlooked in favor of the musicians of jazz’s ‘golden eras,’” said Cooper.

Overall, he believes that the event as a whole has much to offer to the jazz community and will hopefully draw interest to the Trinity University Jazz Ensemble’s future performances.

The event will take place Sept. 23 from 5-10:30 p.m. and on Sept. 24 from 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. at Travis Park, located on 301 E Travis Street. More information about this event is available on the San Antonio Parks Foundation website, including the lineup of artists and performers for each day of the event, along with specifics of ticket upgrades and information about various event sponsors.