Imagine a smooth Mediterranean-like breeze, looking out past the rows of sailboat masts and small pleasure craft. An orangey haze of summer mixing with the melodic sway of live music. Kids scrambling to stay on top of paddle boards, grandmas whisking about in little kayaks, through a pleasant maze of every sort of floatation device in existence.

A mountain range of insane guitar shredding went down under shadow of Loki Peak. Photo by Louis Bockner

It’s about as an idyllic a Kootenay weekend as one could possibly imagine. Especially if you enjoy an eclectic collection of live music, the company of a few hundred sun happy festival goers, craft beer and great food, all hosted by a quaint little mountain town on the shores of a crystal clear lake.

There was the lake party and the land party. The smart ones were the people who were commuting between the two. Photo by Louis Bockner

The Kaslo Jazz Festival has been a feature of the southern Interior music scene since 1991. In that time it has ebbed and flowed, much like the lake its main stage floats on, in attendance, interest, line-up and management. Over the last two years, however, under the leadership of executive director Paul Hinrichs, the festival has enjoyed a renaissance 0f relevance.

Argenta boys, Moontricks played an amazing set in front of their hometown crowd. Photo by Louis Bockner

With headliners like Canadian rockers, the Sheep Dogs, beat poet CR Avery, and legit jazz icons like the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and In Orbit, mixed with local talent like Laura Lansberg, Moontricks, and Red Eyed Soul, all wrapped up with an incredible performance featuring Vancouver’s Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra with dancing by Nelson’s own Circus Act Insomniacs, the festival was a music lovers dream come true. In fact, the quality of entertainment, for such a small festival (approximately 2000 attendees), was unrelenting. The good times thanks to the cool water and hot sun, amazing.

Look for a more in-depth piece on the Kaslo Jazz Fest, as well as many other festivals in the surrounding region in our Summer 2018 Issue of Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine, out on stands next May.

Congrats to all of those who made the 2017 Kaslo Jazz Festival such a resounding success.

Cool dips in the lake made for a spectacular weekend. Photo by Louis Bockner