Monday, October 2, 2023

Jive to the second annual Granbury JazzFest Feb. 25


The Granbury JazzFest is returning in full ‘swing’ for its second year, with more performances and a longer event.

Hosted by a nonprofit organization, Jazz Society of Hood County, the free 10-hour-long music festival is set from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25. The event will feature 15 regional and national jazz acts that will be performing across three stages: Granbury Square Plaza, Langdon Center, and Hewlett Park.

Acts will include local jazz bands like the Tarleton State University Jazz Ensemble I and II, Granbury High School, and the Granbury Jazz Orchestra.

“We wanted to be able to showcase some of the great jazz education in the area,” said Matt Deming, president of Jazz Society of Hood County. “Granbury High School has an excellent jazz band and Tarleton State University has a wonderful jazz program. We just want to showcase the local groups in the community. There's also a lot of good music and jazz musicians in the North Texas area with UNT (University of North Texas) in Denton. There's tons of bands that are out there playing good jazz music, so we wanted to have an event that could bring them all to Granbury — just a little bit different music than what Granbury is used to seeing.”

Well-known jazz acts like Retrophonics, Brave Combo, and Tatiana Mayfield are also scheduled in the lineup.

“Tatiana Mayfield is awesome,” Deming said. “She's from UTA (The University of Texas at Arlington) and she's a great vocalist. She's gonna be one of our headline bands on the mainstage. Seeing her perform again is gonna be great. Brave Combo is a Grammy Award-winning band that will be our headliner Saturday night. They do the Hokey Pokey too, so hopefully they'll play it and get everybody up dancing and doing stuff, so it should be fun.”

The lineup will feature staggered start and end times for each location, with the last performances ending between 6-9 p.m. depending on the stage.

“There's a very wide array of bands that we have playing, and I believe this is the only actual music festival in the area that's solely music-focused," Deming said. “Jazz is kind of the true American music form, and so it's cool to say this is something that's uniquely American. It's got lots of different styles and genres that we can play and listen to, so we're trying to showcase all of that.”

More than 50 vendors will be set up at the JazzFest, including Churro Kings, Messy Mama’s, Brick by Brick Pizza, Southern Reflections Kettle Korn, and Brew Drinkery.

"It's free and it's outside, so bring a chair, bring a jacket or blanket and plan on sitting and hanging out all day and moving from stage to stage,” Deming said. “It's gonna be a really good day just to hang out, listen to good music, and enjoy the day.”

Although the event will only last for one day, the Jazz Society of Hood County wanted to keep the fun going with nightcap sponsors.

"Nightcap sponsors starts Thursday night,” Deming said. “What that means is, we have picked one business on Thursday night that will have a jazz group come and play there and is one of our sponsors. For Thursday night, it'll be Restaurant Anise with JetBlacq. Baron’s Creek is our night cap sponsor for Friday night. They're still trying to nail down their artist for that evening, but then the official after party after the show's over will be at Brew Drinkery and they'll have Retrophonics on Saturday night. D'Vine Wine has agreed to do a Sunday brunch from 10 to noon, and they'll have a great saxophone player called David Carr Jr. come and play — which is the first time D’Vine’s ever done a Sunday brunch, so we're excited about that.”


A jazz lover himself, Deming was also instrumental in creating the Granbury JazzFest event last year.

"We were just a group of friends who kind of got together and said, ‘You know, Granbury kind of needs something like a music festival,’” he said. “Then we just kind of put together a team and a board that would host it and start it, so that's how last year went. Then this year, we've kind of grown and we filed to become a nonprofit. We became the Jazz Society of Hood County, and it kind of increased our scope beyond just the JazzFest to include possible scholarships and other philanthropic means and doing other music events in the area and in the future, just to kind of give back to the community and bring some more culture to the town.”

The Jazz Society of Hood County is comprised of 13 members including: Andrew Stonerock of the Tarleton Jazz Program as vice president; Janice Horak, executive director of development at Tarleton as secretary; John Dreyfuss, Luminant employee as treasurer, and Deming’s wife, Reagan, as marketing director.

“We wanted to make sure that we had enough people from different standpoints who wanted to be involved and help guide us to make good decisions, so all the decisions we make are board-decisions,” Deming said.

The Granbury JazzFest is funded by sponsorships from several local businesses like First National Bank, Magnolia Realty, and Visit Granbury, as well as sponsors from neighboring towns like Luminant, owner and operator of the Comanche Nuclear Power Plant in Glen Rose, and The Complete Backyard, Inc., from Aledo.

“It takes a community, and it's just been great seeing just the sponsors that are really stepping up and just willing to help make (this event) happen,” Deming said. “Hopefully as the event grows, so will the support too, but we've been really pleased with the level of support that we have received.”

Deming said he’s excited that the Granbury JazzFest is continuing to grow, and is thankful for the help he’s received from the Jazz Society of Hood County board.

"It's really daunting to start something from the ground up, so I guess I'm excited that it's actually continuing on and that we have a really great board that's helping make it what it is,” he said. “It couldn't be done just by one person. It's so much work to even make the event happen.”

He said he’s also looking forward to growing the Jazz Society of Hood County into something more, like assisting local students in achieving their music dreams.

"It's not just Granbury JazzFest, which is great, but it's also Granbury Jazz Society that's here to do good for the community; to give back and support local events with music; to support local students by sending them to jazz camp; and by giving them scholarships to go to school,” Deming said. “I'm excited about that side of the Jazz Society, being able to give back and become more charitable to the community in whatever way that means — whether it be through music performances that are free to the community or by monetary donations to students, I'm excited about those opportunities.”

For more information about the Granbury JazzFest, visit online or email Deming at


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