Offering an alternate location for at least this year, Webster Groves will act as a “sanctuary city” for the University City Jazz Festival.
At a May 7 city council work session, Mayor Gerry Welch said that Webster Groves resident Michael Silverman, whose company Silverman Music produces the festival, will be covering the costs of the first-ever “Old Orchard Jazz Festival.”
The festival is set for Saturday, June 8, 1 to 9 p.m., at Gazebo Park in Old Orchard.
“We’re calling it the smallest and most hastily-organized jazz festival ever,” said Silverman, who operates Silverman Music with his brother, Rob.
Held since 2011 and always produced by Silverman Music, the festival was to have been held June 8 at its traditional location at University City’s Heman Park. The music festival was to be part that city’s annual Fair U City event. However, the event was canceled recently when organizers said the city wanted them to pay about $28,000 for police and other services.
Silverman said his company is covering the cost of the festival performances in Webster Groves, running him about $10,000.
“We are so appreciative that, this year, Webster Groves came to the rescue for the festival,” he said.
He praised Patrick Murphy of the Webster Groves Arts Commission as instrumental in helping make the festival happen on such short notice.
The music festival will take place near the Webster Arts Fair, being held June 7 through 9 at the intersection of Lockwood and Bompart avenues.
“The jazz festival and Arts Fair together will be a boon for the local restaurants and for the entire community, with so much life and activities going on,” Mayor Gerry Welch said.
Silverman praised the Arts Commission for its support of live music performances in Webster Groves. Last year Silverman Music hosted a concert series on the front lawn of Webster Groves Masonic Lodge No. 84, just east of Webster Groves City Hall on East Lockwood Avenue. Another concert event is planned there for Aug. 24.
“We also did another concert last year at the city’s Glen Park,” Silverman said. “The Old Orchard Jazz Festival may be a temporary solution for just this year, or we may end up doing something every year in conjunction with the Arts Fair.”