Founded in 2006, the intent of the Roswell Jazz Festival is to provide the people of Southeastern New Mexico and beyond with annual festivals and intervening events that display the artistry of jazz musicians from across the country and which are intended to increase the sense of community by providing all who participate with the opportunity to share and enjoy our own artistic endeavors, to celebrate our jazz roots, and to educate both young and old alike in the jazz traditions of America.
RJF Board of Directors:
Charles Gordon, President; Anne Baker, Vice President; Dee Redd, Secretary; Bonnie Brainerd, Treasurer; Kristin Higginbotham, Director; Michael Francis, Artistic Director; Kay Jenkins, Director
Jon Amastae, Cecelia Francis, Paula Grieves, Juliana Halvorson, Russell Hughes, Chris LeClere, Desiree Markham, Jessica Merritt, Zandra Orr, Carole Schlatter, Richard Sidd, Larry Sydow, Susan Voigt, Zelma Wilcox, Robert Willis, Honorary Member-Roger Dickerson
A Brief History: Supporting America’s Artform
Roswell’s jazz festival has an interesting connection to New Orleans. In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina forced many residents of New Orleans to evacuate the city. One such resident was the esteemed Pulitzer nominated composer and jazz pianist Dr. Roger Dickerson. During the wrath of Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Dickerson escaped from the roof of his flooded New Orleans home and joined the masses of evacuees in Houston’s Superdome, where he placed a phone call to his dear friend in Roswell, Frank Schlatter. Schlatter and Dickerson had been long-time friends, having served together in the 33rd U.S. Army European Band in Heidelberg, Germany. Schlatter invited Dickerson to take refuge in his home in Roswell and he accepted. The spiritual and musical energy Dickerson brought with him to Roswell, along with the tireless efforts of Schlatter and the all-volunteer staff ultimately brought about Roswell’s first annual jazz festival, held in October, 2006. Today, after twelve consecutive festivals, the Roswell Jazz Festival has evolved into a highly respected, nationally acclaimed, world-class event! It is held annually in multiple venues Wednesday through Sunday during the third week of October.
The Pecos Valley Jazz and Arts Festival Inc., DBA Roswell Jazz Festival is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
Paid in part by the City of Roswell lodgers tax.
RJF Guests of Honor
2008 Houston Person 2009 Randy Sandke 2010 Dan Barrett 2011 Nicki Parrott
2012 Eddie Erickson 2013 Rebecca Kilgore 2014 Chuck Redd 2015 Ricky Malichi
2016 Harry Allen 2017 Allan Vache 2018 John Allred 2019 Richard Simon
2021 Johnny Varro