Dixieland Thanksgiving: San Diego Jazz Fest

Happy 35th year to one of the country's brassiest bashes.

Red Skunk Band

WHAT ARE THE PERIMETERS... of a famous holiday many people pause to celebrate, or at least acknowledge in a festive, friends-come-together way? Especially a holiday that has some fairly defined edges as to what foods we typically eat -- turkey, yams, cranberry -- and what foods we do not -- everything that isn't turkey, yams, and cranberry? It can be difficult to break out of what one does, year after year, because tradition has a strong and fast hold. But what if a tradition surrounding Thanksgiving also dealt with some of the themes of the day, including joy, gathering, fun, and good tunes? Nope, we're not talking about throwing some vinyl down to accompany dinner, we're talking about the live, foot-stomping, put on your twirliest skirt and dance sounds of the San Diego Jazz Fest. As for the tradition end of things? This sound do-it-up has been doing it up for 35 years, so, for sure, that's well into the tradition zone. As for the Thanksgiving end of things? It's unusual to find a multi-day music happening over this particular holiday weekend -- Memorial and Labor Day Weekends are the more apt candidates -- but participants, and fans, are clearly all about the festive, heading-into-the-holidays mood.

NOV. 26 THROUGH 30: We weren't pulling your (turkey) leg about Thanksgiving being smack dab in the middle of this brassy party. Centered around San Diego's Town & Country Hotel and Convention Center, the fest'll feature the likes of the Red Skunk Band, Cornet Chop Suey, Yerba Buena Stompers, and Corey's Rolling Figs (and so many more, caboodles more). A Swing Dance Extravaganza on Saturday, Nov. 29 is a sparkly centerpiece, so, you betcha, we were being fully serious about your twirliest skirt.

AS FOR CELEBRATING THANKSGIVING... like Thanksgiving? You could find some yams, we bet, in the vicinity of the tunes. But tunes are happy-makers, and the holiday is about gratitude, so if music means much in your life, why not spend the gratefullest of days with some jump-and-jive joy?

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