Hot Springs Village’s own Village Big Band will be one of several music groups featured in the 31st annual Hot Springs JazzFest on Saturday, September 2. This special event provides an excellent venue for some of our region’s best bands, jazz groups, and soloists to display their talent to please music lovers of all ages. 

Currently, the Village Big Band is in preparation for the JazzFest and will play up to ten songs which will include some great solos as well as vocal numbers from Village Big Band lady vocalist Maureen Morgan and special guest vocalist Jamie Stewart. Jazz Hall-of-Famer saxophonist Earl Hesse will also be featured. Songs will include “The Way You Look Tonight, “ “Make Me Smile,” “The Pink Panther,” “Summertime,” “Luck Be a Lady,” and more. 

Village Big Band to be Featured in the Arkansas Jazz Festival 2023
The Village Big Band trumpet section rehearses for the upcoming JazzFest. (L-R) Jeff Olson, Mark Tenney, Jerry Jamrich, David Dougherty, and Janet Jenkins.

Bands and vocalists currently scheduled to perform in this year’s JazzFest include Curtis Adams and the Modern Jazz Collective, the Village Big Band, the Arthur Duncan Combo, the Arkansas Jazz Orchestra, St. Jukes Revival, and Jubilation Jazz.

The first group is scheduled to take the stage at noon and the last at 5:00 p.m. There will be two stages used at the JazzFest. The Austin Murberger and Krystyna Valdivia Duo will perform with their electric violin and guitar between each band as the bands set up on stage.

The Village Big Band is slated to perform at 1:00 p.m.

The Jazz Fest will be held under the Regions’ Bank Sky Bridge at 200 Broadway in Hot Springs. Food vendors will be available. This is shaping up to be a tremendous opportunity for the public to enjoy some fantastic music from musicians who rarely, if ever, play together at a single venue. There will be no admission cost. For more information, contact the Hot Springs Jazz Society at

The Village Big Band has a rich history of more than 20 years of entertaining Villagers and others in our area of the state. Currently, it comprises musicians from Hot Springs Village, Hot Springs, Russellville, and the Little Rock area. The band presents a repertoire that includes classic big band standards, rock, jazz, and pop, which appeal to multi-generational audiences and connect those generations through its music artistry. And band vocalist Maureen Morgan always weaves her own special touch into this tapestry. Band personnel sometimes change from performance to performance due to availability, but no matter which faces you see on the bandstand, every one of these men and women loves making music together, and it shows through the joy and passion they put into every performance. This is especially true of band leader Jim Kelly. 

Looking ahead, the Village Big Band will host a concert/block party at Balboa Pavilion in Hot Springs Village on Friday, October 6, at 5:00 p.m. For those who wish to dance, a dance floor will be provided. More details on this will be forthcoming, but for now just be sure to place this on your calendar and look forward to enjoying some cooler weather and great music. 

Village Big Band to be Featured in AR Jazz Festival 2023
The Village Big Band performing at the Woodlands Auditorium in October 2022.


Author Jeff Olson Hot Springs Village

Jeff Olson, Author