Jazz and Art take Center Stage

Denton festival kicks off

By Sara Story
|  Monday, May 2, 2011  |  Updated 12:09 PM CDT
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The Denton Arts and Jazz Festival is expecte to draw more than 200,000 people to Denton April 29-May 1.

Sara Story, NBCDFW.com

The Denton Arts and Jazz Festival is expecte to draw more than 200,000 people to Denton April 29-May 1.

The Denton Arts and Jazz Festival kicks off Friday, and the free event may draw more than 200,000 people to Denton.

"It's the spring coming out party," Ray Hair, the festival's music director, said.

This year, there will  be seven stages at the festival, which is a long way from where it all started.

 "[It was]a Sunday afternoon jazz concert that we first put together on a flat-bed trailer at the Senior Center," Hair said.

Hair said he's watched it grow from a one day event to this three day festival, featuring bands like Brave Combo and the Texas Tornadoes.

"Everybody contributed to the lives and careers of these bands," Hair said.   "What we bring to you is what Denton has produced."

It's a community that puts music and art in the center, and that is what keeps the musicians and vendors coming back year after year.

"You just can't beat the music. Out of all the festivals I've been to, it's the best. Absolute best," art vendor Karen May said.

"I think that it is a great testament to Denton," Denton Festival Foundation Assistant Director Kevin Lechler said.

Denton Arts and Jazz Festival
April 29-May 1, 2011
More info: http://www.dentonjazzfest.com/

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