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Women in Jazz Jam Festival (WJJF) returns
March 15-16

Kelle Jolly’s Women in Jazz Jam Festival returns for its fourth year in Knoxville. The festival kicks off on Friday, March 15. On Friday evening, the festival officially opens when the Women in Jazz Jam Festival Band returns to the Knoxville Museum of Art’s Alive After Five Concert Series with a performance at 6 p.m. Admission for the show is $15 for adults, $10 for students or members and children under 17 are free. All tickets are sold at the door.

women in jazz festival
Kelle Jolly; image courtesy of

On Saturday, the Women in Jazz Jam Festival will be held at the Knoxville Center Mall, in a ground floor suite, across from the mall security office. Student performances by the Desperate Times Clarinet Jazz Combo and Flutopia (A Very Jazzy Flute Ensemble) will begin at 12:00 p.m. Led by Lynn Gorbski, these two groups consist of students from West View and Lincoln Heights Middle Schools in Hamblen County. At 1:00pm, UT student, Anna Helms will perform with her ensemble and then lead a jam session. The invitation to play at the jam session is open to all musicians. A “Women in Music Gathering" networking event will begin at 2:00 p.m. Women who perform or work in any genre of music are encouraged to attend. Bring promotional material to share. Discussions will be led by organizers of the festival. Bring your instrument for a jam session.

Performances will start back at 4:00pm with local songstress, Jeanine Fuller. At 5:00pm, pianist, vocalist and composer Amy K. Bormet will perform. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Washington Women in Jazz Festival. Ms. Bormet just released her new album, AmyAna.

The headlining artist Beverly “Guitar” Watkins will perform at 6:00pm. Ms. Watkins has over 60 years’ experience as a blues musician. She toured with the Music Maker Relief Foundation all-star Women of the Blues “Hot Mamas” in 1998. Ms. Beverly received a W.C. Handy Blues Award nomination in 2000 for her first CD, Back in Business. She says, “When I get on stage, it’s electrifying. I light up and get into the crowd. That’s what I call ministering to the public.”

All events on Saturday are free. Donations are welcomed.

Festival t-shirts will also be available at all events. Festival Sponsors include Visit Knoxville, Nolpix Media, and the Appalachian Community Fund. Sound for Saturday’s event will be provided by the Audio Production Engineering Program at PSTCC. Sponsorships are available.

For more information, you may visit

Published March 11, 2019 USA, LLC

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