February 21, 2018  

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Southern Miss Gulf Coast to Host 4th Annual Jazz and Blues Festival April 7

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The University of Southern Mississippi’s Jazz and Blues Festival has teamed up with local artist Elizabeth Huffmaster once again to commission a one-of-a-kind painting representing this year’s festival. (Submitted photo)

Musicians, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and the Easter Bunny are coming together once again for The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast’s 4th annual Jazz and Blues Festival to be held Saturday, April 7.

This year’s festival, headlined by the Rochelle Harper Band, will also feature the Jerry Ball Jazz and Blues Quintet, the Larry Panella Jazz Quartet and the Oak St. Boys. The festival is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Local artist Elizabeth Huffmaster has been commissioned for a second year to provide a one-of-a-kind painting representing this year’s festival. Huffmaster, using her signature watercolor technique, created the colorful jazz and blues theme featuring musical instruments with the university’s famed Gulf Park campus landmark, the Friendship Oak. T-shirts, along with signed and numbered poster prints, featuring Huffmaster’s painting will be available for purchase at the festival.

An Easter egg hunt, for children ages 12 and under, will begin promptly at 11 a.m. in front of the library. Parents can also photograph their children with the Easter Bunny from 11 a.m. – noon in front of the library.

In addition to the Easter egg hunt, other children’s activities will be available. These activities are sponsored by various student organizations at Southern Miss Gulf Coast. The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint on Highway 53, Port City Café and Ziggy’s are among a variety of food and drink vendors to take part at the festival. Arts and crafts vendors will be set up on the festival grounds from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The festival is sponsored by Lamar Advertising, Magic 93.7 FM, Sun Herald Multimedia and WLOX-TV. Proceeds received from the festival will be used to further develop the Southern Miss Gulf Coast student organizations.

The Southern Miss Gulf Park campus is located at 730 East Beach Boulevard in Long Beach. For more information on the festival, please visit www.usm.edu/gulfcoast/jazz-blues.