Old Sac Businesses Like New Version of Jazz Fest

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, May 22, 2009

Take Evangeline’s, for instance.  It’s the famous Old Sac gift shop known for its practical jokes.  But manager Jen Kossmann says – no joke – she’s looking forward to the new Jazz Fest.
Kossmann: “We think it’ll be better for Old Sac, actually, because they have concentrated the venue in our area a little bit more.” 
Melissa Martinez echoes that.  She’s with the Old Sacramento Business Association.  She likes the new variety this year – not just old-style Jubilee jazz, but everything from R&B and funk to salsa and gospel.
Martinez: “I think everybody was ready for a change.  Whenever you have an event that’s gone one for as many years as Jazz has, this is 36 years, it sometimes needs a refresh – and I think this was a great time to do that refresh.” 
That’s good for business, Martinez says, because the variety will appeal to more people – which could mean large and diverse crowds.  Even businesses outside Old Sacramento are gearing up.  The Downtown Plaza’s Hard Rock Café was one of last year’s venues, but was left out this year.  Still, Sales and Marketing Manager Kimberly Templeton says they’ve scheduled several shows aimed at luring the crowds.
Templeton: “We enjoyed being part of the Jazz Fest.  It was a lot of fun last year, and we enjoyed having the rotation of the jazz artists.  But I’m very happy with what we have going on in lieu of that.” 
The Jazz Fest is offering 23 venues this year, most in Old Sac.  That’s down from 33 last year.  It’s raising admission prices, though, by 10 percent.