A quartet led by Max Wagner headlines the Sunday lineup during the 2017 Boulder Art and Jazz Festival.
A quartet led by Max Wagner headlines the Sunday lineup during the 2017 Boulder Art and Jazz Festival. (Karen Parry-Wagner / Courtesy photo)

Boulder is going to get down on Saturday as the Boulder Art and Jazz Festival begins its 11th annual celebration at Central Park, next to the farmers' market. The highlight of the event will be performances by about a dozen artists.

Vendor booths will present "just about everything you can imagine," says event organizer Tim Newberg with State of the Arts Promotions. "Most of it is handmade arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, photography, painting, ceramics, sculpture, really really unique and eclectic items." The event will also feature street food, local restaurants and craft beer. "The beer garden is going to be taken up a few notches," says Newberg.

The free, three-day event will run from morning till night: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sunday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday.

Two years ago, the event moved from the Pearl Street Mall to the park. The change, according to Newberg, has been successful. "For nine years we did it on Pearl Street Mall, and then we outgrew that venue," he said. "With optimistic trepidation we moved, and last year was our first year at the park. (It) ended up being a tremendous move for us — it gave us a lot more flexibility."

If you go

What: Boulder Art and Jazz Fest

When: Saturday-Monday

Where: Glen Huntington Bandshell, Central Park, Boulder

Cost: Free

More info: facebook.com/BoulderJazzfest

This flexibility translates to more vendors, an expanded kids' area with a bouncy castle, and space to accommodate larger bands. "This year, two 17- or 20-piece big bands are playing both on Saturday and Monday," said Newberg.

Although the event emphasizes jazz, the festival will showcase a diverse spectrum of music. "A lot of people think a jazz festival has to be strictly jazz," Newberg says, "but the event has music for all types of people — from the most amazing jazz to the most amazing spiritual, to straight rock 'n' roll." Most of the musicians are from Boulder and the surrounding area, he said.

Headlining on Sunday night is Max Wagner, a jazz quartet that played at the festival last year. Wagner, saxophonist for the group, said the festival was "beautiful, cool, historical." He added that there was, "a great crowd" in a "really inspiring location."

Five percent of sales go toward the event's nonprofit sponsor, Olive Branch Ministry. The organization "saves orphaned children's lives in Uganda and Rwanda," said Newberg. "Every $100 raised takes a child off the street."

Happy hour is from 4-5 p.m. each day of the event.