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There’s a lot of work we’d like to do with our youth programs, to be in the schools more. We’ve done, off and on, some instrument workshops, where we bring in [music experts] from all around the country and have clinics for kids and teachers, but we’ve run into a little bit of trouble with housing – it’s kind of expensive sometimes for a schoolteacher to come spend five days in Sedona. But maybe as Sedona grows, there’ll be someplace with a little bit of housing to spare.
So as far as the weekend itself, you feel it’s pretty much the right size as it is?
Yes. We’ve really tried hard to give [a variety of events], from Thursday night where you have the opportunity to talk to the performer, to smaller settings like the brunch where there are only 300 of you, to Saturday, where it’s a full day with the “big event” aspect. We want varied experiences. A lot of jazz is intimate.
If you could book one performer you’d personally like to see in Sedona, who would it be?
Oh, I loved Grover Washington; he was one of my all-time favorites. But he died before we could have him here. I’d love to have Diana Krall back someday; she had a very good experience here – an hour after she got off the stage, she was out riding horses – but of course her career has just taken off. We’ve had a number of legends of jazz – Sonny Rollins, Gerry Mulligan. But Grover is one I wish we hadn’t missed.
What would you say to someone who’s reading this who might like to volunteer?
In a little organization like ours, and in a nonprofit where you’re trying to conserve your resources so you can give more to the kids, it’s amazing how much help the volunteers give us and how much they accomplish. Volunteers answer phones, greet people, process all our ticket orders, assign all the ticket numbers, input them into the computer, mail them out. Day of the event, volunteers work in the different booths, like the beer and wine booth, the T-shirt sales booth, they take tickets at the gate. They deserve a lot of credit.
If you’re interested, please call – sometimes things come up at the last minute, people drop out, though we’re pretty organized by two to three weeks out from the event. We work hard but we have a lot of fun too. There are perks at all different levels. If you show up and work three hours at the Festival, you can spend the other six having a good time!