At a 1995 Bay Springs
picnic in The Grove, Jazz Reflections, a local Bay Springs band, provided
the entertainment. The event was such a great success and so inspiring, that
Dr. Jerald Hughes, a long-time resident and local physician, who played
trombone for Jazz Reflections, and Jody Fail, President of TEC, decided to
organize a local outdoor jazz festival. Throughout the next year, Dr. Hughes
and Jody Fail worked with local schools and businesses to present the first
Jazz in the Grove on April 26, 1997. Although the first festival was
hampered by a rainy weekend, the show continued in the local high school
gymnasium with such support and enthusiasm that its founders eagerly began
planning for the next year.
Throughout the years, Mississippi’s only outdoor jazz festival has grown tremendously due to a fun-filled family adventure in downtown Bay Springs accompanied by great food, arts and crafts, and children’s activities. Jazz in the Grove has welcomed numerous fine jazz artists such as Mose Allison, Astral Project, Holly Shelton, Lisa Palmer, Jackson State University, University of Southern Mississippi, Meridian Community College, and Jones County Junior College jazz bands.
Jazz in the Grove is an annual, outdoor jazz festival founded to unite residents in rural Mississippi through music and to foster an appreciation and awareness of jazz music. Jazz In The Grove is held annually the last Saturday in April.