WATAUGA — The first High Country Jazz Festival was a great success with performances at seven locations in Boone and Blowing Rock.

“It was a great success by any measure,” said Todd Wright, the creative force behind the first High Country Jazz Festival, which took place from June 8 – 12.

An estimated 1,953 people attended the 11 events, ranging from an intimate lecture at BRAHM to outdoor concerts at both Chetola and the Jones House to a jazz lunch and jazz dinner at local restaurants, and to a classic film and headline entertainment onstage at the Appalachian Theatre.

The event was a first-ever collaboration between the App Theatre, Boone Sunrise Rotary Club and Todd Wright’s Jazz Studies program, with funding from Explore Boone and Mast General Store.

Event organizers are already making plans to make the Jazz Festival an annual event, said App Theatre board chair Keith Martin, who noted that numerous sponsorships enabled more than half the events to be offered free of charge, with heavily-subsidized admission prices for the ticketed performances.

“We’re grateful to the many businesses, individuals, and organizations who supported the inaugural festival,” Martin said. “We simply couldn’t have done it without their extraordinary generosity, civic pride and enthusiastic volunteers.”

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