Crunch time

Crunch time

MOSCOW - Before the music begins, it just seems a bit like controlled chaos.

Organizers of the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival are putting on the finishing touches before the town is taken over by musicians and fans.

"We have volunteers coming in to sign up," said festival marketing coordinator Morgan Wilson Friday. "We have equipment sponsors that are delivering equipment.  We're expecting our programs today. We're really just getting all of those nitty-gritty things done so that we can get ready to set up the Dome and have a great time."

Events for the festival, which will celebrate what would have been Lionel Hampton's 100th birthday, begin Tuesday. A community kick-off at the Palouse Mall at 5:30 p.m. gets things started. Then, it's a week-long lineup to satisfy any jazz lover's appetite.

"Saturday night's going to be off the hook," said Wilson . "It's Hamp's Big Band birthday bash and dance party. We're going to lay down a dance floor. People can come in, swing, plus enjoy a great old fashioned battle of the bands."

Wilson said around 350 schools are expected to take part in either competitions or concerts.

"After the evening concerts, if you still need a little more jazz, we have an awesome new program called Hamp's Club," she said. "That's for our outstanding soloists from the day's student performances. It's going to be wonderful. You're going to be able to see tomorrow's stars performing there."

Hamp’s Club will take place in the Dome after the main concert is over.

For ticket information, you can go to or call (208) 885-7212.