Spenard Jazz Fest: What Exactly IS Jazz?

JAZZ signFriday marks the opening of year six for the grassroots-organized Spenard Jazz Fest. What started as a discussion among eight local music composers around a dinner table at Organic Oasis six years ago has grown into a festival that spans three weeks and includes more than a dozen talents, from the well-known to the new.

This year’s festivities include a ‘song of the year’ competition, dancers, poets, and lots and lots of music. Some events are free, most require a reservation, and promise to cook and steam all night.

Spenard Jazz Fest logo
Spenard Jazz Fest runs June 7-23

Join me, host Kathleen McCoy, when festival founder Yngvil Vatn Guttu and keyboardist Dan McElrath explain ‘what, exactly, IS jazz.’ They’ll demonstrate, and play some live music in the studio.

We especially invite local musicians to join the discussion on ‘what jazz is,’ and whether Alaska makes a special place for it.



In the studio

  • Yngvil Vatn Guttu, musician and Spenard Jazz Fest founder
  • Dan McElrath, keyboardist



  • Spenard Jazz Fest, June 7-23
  • KSKA Summer Party, June 8, Alaska Public Media
  • John Damberg Latin Jazz Ensemble, Bean’s Cafe Benefit June 14, 7 p.m.


  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, June 5, 2013. 2:00 – 3:00 pm (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, June 5, 2013. 7:00 – 8:00 pm (Alaska time)

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