DFW Music News

Meat Puppets, Dawes and Lucero To Play Freshly Rebranded Fort Worth Music Festival

Our pal Preston Jones of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram broke the news yesterday: After eight years of operation under the Jazz by the Boulevard banner, the annual jazz-centric, Fort Worth-based fall music festival now has a new name.

The festival, which will still carry a heavy jazz bent, will now be known moving forward, rather simply, as the Fort Worth Music Festival.

The two-day event, which will take place this year on Friday, September 30, and Saturday, October 1, will feature headlining jazz performers Kirk Whalum and Kermit, regional touring favorites Meat Puppets, Dawes and Lucero, and a bevy of performances from rising area indie rock outfits, including Seryn, The Orbans, Telegraph Canyon, Calhoun, Whiskey Folk Ramblers, Quaker City Night Hawks and others. See the full lineup here.

In addition to taking place on two stages located on the lawn of Will Rogers Memorial Park, some later-in-the-evening, festival-incorporated shows, booked by Fort Worth talent-buying mainstays Spune and Overtone, will take place in indoor venues.

Check out the press release announcing the name and direction change in full after the jump.


FORT WORTH--A city with deep roots in Texas music deserves its own unique festival. That is the idea behind the new Fort Worth Music Festival, which will be held at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth's historic Museum District Sept. 30-Oct. 1.

The event, which has been known for the past eight years as "Jazz By the Boulevard," is changing its name to reflect Fort Worth's growth and evolving musical personality, according to the festival's producer.

The festival is also changing its nature. For the first time, the Fort Worth Music Festival will integrate its bookings with shows at nearby live music venues, ensuring the music continues even after the day's events conclude. "We want to be inclusive of those that put on live music 365 days a year, the ones who really support the music scene in Ft. Worth," said festival producer Marsha Milam, of Marsha Milam Music.

"Fort Worth has a rich and varied musical history spanning decades," said Milam. "From country and Western Swing (Bob Wills and Milton Brown) to jazz (Ornette Coleman, Tex Beneke) to rock (Delbert McCLinton, King Curtis), Fort Worth has been the breeding ground for great musicians and great music."

According to Lisa Powers, President of Camp Bowie District which presents the Festival, the growth of Fort Worth, the city's diverse musical history and the vibrant local music scene were all factors in transforming Jazz by the Boulevard into the Fort Worth Music Festival."By doing so, we expect to appeal to a broader audience, represent a more diverse range of musical talent and produce an event which is truly a reflection of Ft. Worth," Powers said.

"While the title 'Jazz by the Boulevard' will no longer be used, there is no intention of removing Jazz artists as part of the festival," Powers said. "Jazz will continue to play an important role, and the festival will proceed to pay tribute to Ft Worth's rich Jazz heritage."

By way of illustration, Grammy-award winner and jazz stalwart Kirk Whalum will head the festival's all-star lineup. The two-day event will feature 20 local and national bands, including Kermit Ruffins, Dawes, the Meat Puppets, Telegraph Canyon, the Orbans and many others.

The complete Fort Worth Music Festival lineup is attached though. Details will be available on the new festival website, www.FWFest.com.

An 11-time Grammy nominee, Whalum won his first Grammy Award in 2011 for Best Gospel Song with his hit "It's What I Do". Whalum has played with several musical icons including Luther Vandross, Quincy Jones and Whitney Houston.

Also featured in the festival is Kermit Ruffins, the self-proclaimed "New Orleans Ambassador of Good Times." A recurring character in HBO's acclaimed Treme series, Ruffins is an award-winning trumpet player famous for his traditional Louisiana sound.

In the spirit of celebrating Fort Worth's rich and diverse musical heritage, the festival also features several of Cowtown's hottest groups, including Josh Weathers, The Orbans, Telegraph Canyon and Tatiana Mayfield.

Proceeds from the show will raise funds to restore and beautify Camp Bowie, the city's oldest boulevard.

The festival will feature non-stop music in a family-friendly atmosphere, as well as the popular Culinary Tent with cooking lessons, several popular local food trucks, including Big Dogs of Cowtown, Salsa Limon and the Yum-Yum Truck, a festival record/CD store and up close and personal interviews with bands conducted in front of a live audience.

As in the past, visual artists will display their works in booths lining the square as part of a juried exhibition.For the first time this year festival attendees will be able to vote for their favorite visual artist.That artist will receive the "People's Choice Award" which will be presented on the Main Stage on Saturday night.

Organizers have pulled in local music promoters Spune and Overtone to assist with the event.According to Spune's Lance Yocom, "This is good for all the bands in the DFW area as it will only bring more attention to the music scene up here."Overtone's Ryan Duncan comments "This truly is a festival that represents what Fort Worth is all about, an unyielding passion for the arts, sharing that passion with everyone, and doing it together."

The festival's sponsors include Coors, Cadillac, Towne Place Suites Marriott and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

This year's event is produced by Marsha Milam Music, an Austin-based producer of live music events in Texas cities from El Paso to Fort Worth. She is the co-founder of the Austin Film Festival, the first festival to recognize the writer's contribution to the film and television industry.

In addition to her other endeavors, Ms. Milam has produced the 95.9 The Ranch's Ranch Bash festival in Fort Worth for the past seven years, as well as the seasonal 95.9 The Ranch Texas Music Series at the 8.0 Bar.