|Sally McKay, left, and her daughter Mary McGeorge are bringing the Mesquite Jazz Festival to the city situated about 80 miles north of Las Vegas July 15-17.
MESQUITE, Nev. -- In a city where first-time events continually generate fresh and successful promotions, the promoters of the inaugural Mesquite Jazz Festival Friday through Sunday at the CasaBlanca promise their event will be memorable.
“We have jazz enthusiasts coming from Denver, Arizona, Missouri, Virginia and even New Orleans,” said Sally McKay from her home in Oceanside, Calif. “In fact, I look for the Mesquite Jazz Festival to be the best first-time festival I have ever been involved in 20 years.”
McKay has concentrated her efforts on cruise ships in the past, but Mesquite and the CasaBlanca promises to create the ideal environment.
“This is going to be fun, and we’re really looking forward to it,” said McKay, who spearheads MG Travel for Jazz.
McKay has concentrated the majority of her events on cruise ships, but she has good feelings about heading for Mesquite.
“This is our first time out with a land festival – and it has been just great working with the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino,” she said. “We like being producers of a festival which enables us to enjoy the music we love. My husband, Bob, has been involved as a volunteer with Jazz Festivals for the past 30 years up and down the West Coast. In fact, we first met in 1994 at the San Diego Dixieland Jazz Festival.”
McKay has good feelings that the event at the CasaBlanca is going to replace other events. With Jazz including Big Band and Swing, Mesquite is expected to transcend into the Big Easy at the CasaBlanca.
“We are hoping this festival helps fill the void from losing the four Pacific Northwest festivals in the past year,” she said. “We enjoy being producers of a festival which enables us to enjoy the music we love. Bob has been involved as a volunteer with Jazz Festivals for the past 30 years up and down the West Coast of the US and Canada.
In fact, McKay’s daughter, Mary McGeorge, backs her mom’s prediction and is looking forward to the trip saying the Mesquite Jazz Festival is going to produce a level of fun not seen before in Southern Nevada, or at least in Mesquite.
“I’m from New Orleans and I’m a real jazz enthusiast,” McGeorge said stressing that the Louisiana city is pronounced “Nawlins.” “We hear that the good people of Mesquite already know how to party and we’re going to take them to the next level with the Mesquite Jazz Festival. New Orleans is a party town and we are planning to turn Mesquite into a party town, too.
“This is going to be one of those events that will not only be remembered forever, but also followed by even better Mesquite Jazz Festivals in the future.”
The schedule at the CasaBlanca will include 40-minute sets starting at 1:30 p.m. July 15 in the CasaBlanca Showroom. Sally’s Jazznuts Band will kick off festivities followed by the Titanic Jazz Band at 2:30 P.M.; the Barr’s Uptown Lowdown at 3:30; and the Reynolds Brothers Rhythm Rascals at 4:30.
Forty-five minute sets begin with the same bands starting at 7 p.m.
On Saturday, July 16, Bert and Rose Marie Barr explore the history of jazz beginning at 10 a.m. with music also presented by other groups throughout the day and ending at about 11 p.m.
The Grand Finale July 17 will include a Gospel Hour starting at 9 a.m. to be followed by Sally’s Jazznuts, Uptown Lowdown, Titanic Jazz Band and the Reynolds Brothers Rhythm Rascals.
Further information can be found by visiting www.mesquitejazz.com or www.jazznuts.com; by calling Sally McKay at 760-754-7081; or by calling the CasaBlanca at 877-438-2929.
Mesquite is situated about 80 miles north of Las Vegas off I-15.
One, two and three-day festival passes are available starting at $25 and may be purchased at www.mesquitejazz.com.