The Bellevue Jazz Festival was born in 1982. Ronald Reagan was President of the United States . The Washington Huskies beat the Iowa Hawkeyes 28-0 in the Rose Bowl. And the Kennedy Center honored jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman with a lifetime achievement award.
Musicians competing in this year’s Festival no doubt weren’t even born in 1982. But they’re taking part in an event with a rich tradition.
That first festival was held in conjunction with “The Buddy Rich Show” and included a performance by the man many called the world’s greatest drummer. Rich and his band drew an audience of nearly 1,000 people that first year. Thousands more have had the pleasure of hearing fine music from up-and-coming jazz musicians in the ensuing years.