North Texas Daily

Community celebrates Denton Arts and Jazz Festival’s 42nd run

Community celebrates Denton Arts and Jazz Festival’s 42nd run

Community celebrates Denton Arts and Jazz Festival’s 42nd run
October 13
10:00 2022

For three days this weekend, parking lots were packed and downtown Denton was filled with the sound of jazz.

The 42nd annual Denton Arts and Jazz Festival took place Oct. 7-9, in Quakertown Park. The festival featured family-friendly attractions, such as live music acts spread out across six stages in the park, as well as art exhibits, vendors and a children’s art area.

People of different backgrounds, from college students to families with young children, come from all over the DFW area to attend the event each year.

The University of North Texas Faculty Jazz group performs at the 42nd annual Denton Arts and Jazz Festival on Oct. 9, 2022. Photo by Matt Iaia

New media arts junior Gran Bee and University of Texas at Dallas psychology student Kenoya Musa attended the festival for the first time on Friday night with a group of friends.

“I came for the Pan-Tones, baby,” Bee said. “I love them. I saw them at an event once and I’m a big fan.”

The group sat on a blanket in front of the Courtyard Stage, playing a board game as they waited for the next performance to begin.

“I love live music and I love the Denton area,” Musa said. “[The festival] is a lot of fun and a great experience.”

Denton resident John Mallon brought his children, Wren Mallon, 9, and Jack Mallon, 7, to the festival Friday night. Wren and Jack got airbrush tattoos from a vendor booth and Jack excitedly showed off the green dinosaur painted on his arm.

John said he has brought his children to the festival since they were babies and the family looks forward to it every year.

“It’s kind of a family tradition at this point,” John said.

Over 80 food and merchandise vendors were at the festival this year, selling everything from corn dogs to handmade jewelry.

Among these vendors was Dallas-based Kindheart Designs owner Corin Wilke. Kindheart Designs specializes in “mental health art for the hippie-at-heart.” The artwork features positive, inspirational quotes influenced by psychedelic rock posters. Along with art prints, the business sells upcycled t-shirts.

Jack Mallon, 7, receives an airbrush tattoo at the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival on Oct. 7, 2022. Photo by Kaitlynn Hutchins

It was Wilke’s first time appearing at the festival, but she regularly appears in smaller pop-up markets around the Dallas area. She plans on appearing at the festival as a vendor next year as well.

“We’ve done great so far,” Wilke said. “I love coming to Denton and I have always felt like the community is super supportive of art things.”

University psychology senior Christina Laskaris purchased an art print featuring a butterfly surrounded by a positive quote from Wilke.

“Mental health has always been something I’ve been an advocate for, and I love local vendors,” Laskaris said. “My roommates and I saw her shop and my attention immediately went to this piece, which was the perfect blend of nature but also had a message that I needed a reminder of, so I decided to buy it.”

Laskaris plans on becoming a therapist and hopes to use the piece to decorate her future office.

In front of each of the six stages, people spread out on blankets, sat in lawn chairs, danced and ran around with their children as musicians performed.

The University of North Texas Faculty Jazz group performs at the 42nd annual Denton Arts and Jazz Festival on Oct. 9, 2022. Photo by Matt Iaia

Denton resident and first-time festival attendee Zack Smith proposed to his partner, Denton resident Jennifer Radcliff, in front of the Jazz stage Saturday afternoon. The couple danced together to the music coming from the stage as Smith got down on one knee.

“It just felt like the right time, to be honest,” Smith said. “[Radcliff] didn’t want [the proposal] to be super big or crazy or anything, she just wanted it to be intimate.”

Nearby, a group of college students sat on a blanket, listening to the tunes. The members of the group, Texas Woman’s University students Abby Townsend, Hollyn Grizzaffi, Xurong Watson, Kendrick McAdams and UT-Dallas student Susannah Zeidi, said the vendor stands and fair food were their favorite parts of the festival, but they enjoyed the live music as well.

“I like the music, because you don’t hear jazz very often,” McAdams said. “It’s fun to hear it, and it’s free.”

Lab bands from the College of Music performed Saturday at the university Jazz stage, occupying seven performance blocks. Other groups from the College of music performed throughout the festival as well, including the African Percussion Ensemble, Steel Drum Band, Jazz Strings Lab and vocal ensembles.

The festival concluded Sunday night with Mariachi Aguilas on the university Jazz stage and AHYONZ & Kenya C on the Celebration stage.

Featured Image: The University of North Texas Faculty Jazz group performs at the 42nd annual Denton Arts and Jazz Festival on Oct. 9, 2022. Photo by Matt Iaia

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Kaitlynn Hutchins

Kaitlynn Hutchins

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