There were two events in Davenport recently. The first was the Bix Beiderbecke museum grand opening in the River Music Experience building. It’s a wonderful museum that tells the story of Bix through letters from those who knew him, and his letters to others and to his parents.
Many interesting items belonging to Bix and some of his bandmates are there, including one of Bix’s horns. It’s certainly worth the time to visit and to find out why band leader Paul Whiteman said of Bix, “Not only was he the greatest musician I ever knew, he was also the greatest gentleman.”
At the same time as the museum opening, the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society held its 46th Bix music festival. Last year, nine countries and some 40-plus states were represented by fans of Bix and his music. I didn’t think it was possible, but this year the bands were better than last year.
You may think you don’t like jazz, but much of the music is actually pop music of the 1920s. I also heard music by the Beatles and Jerry Lee Lewis. Dance music and swing were also represented. It was one glorious weekend and I urge you to take in a session next year, you’ll enjoy yourself.
Find out why people from all over the globe come to Davenport to hear and see these outstanding bands in a beautiful and comfortable venue, the Rhythm City Casino.
Thanks to all who make the museum and the festival possible; through his music, Bix lives. Jim Petersen - Davenport