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3 Artists That Would Make the Next Jazzfest Legendary

Musician ZZ Ward performs onstage
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Coachella

JazzFest is in the books and it looks like it was another successful weekend for one of Sioux Falls’ marquee events.

Now it’s time to start thinking about the next Jazzfest. I have three recommendations for next year. There’s two phenomenal singers with unique Blues influenced sounds and one group that beautifully blends modern and vintage music.

Before I get to the list, let me say that I have no idea how JazzFest goes about booking acts: the process, price or procedure. And I have only a vague understanding of the concert business in general. I just know good music that I think everyone would enjoy. But, mom always said that if you want something, just ask. Or in this case write a post on the internet.

ZZ Ward

ZZ Ward performs onstage
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch

The first artist I want to lobby for is a rising powerhouse of modern blues, ZZ Ward. I first heard her on a quick clip on VH1 in late 2012. It was a bit of her first single “Put the Gun Down.” I immediately went online and got everything I could find by her.  Her style is a mixture of classic blues and 21st century sounds. Ward describes it as “back-porch blues meets hip hop.” I saw her put on an awesome show at The Waiting Room in Omaha. She would fit in perfectly in Yankton Trail Park.

ZZ Ward booking info.

You have to hear her sing this song, “Grinnin’ in Your Face.”

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And check out this sweet song from her new album The Storm

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Gin Wigmore

Gin Wigmore performs on stage
Sandra Mu/Getty Images

Next is another amazing, singer-songwriter, Gin Wigmore. Gin’s sound is hard and dirty rocking blues that you can’t resist blasting from your speakers. Her album Gravel and Wine (great title by the way) is so good, it’s been on consent rotation in my house for years, along with her album Blood to Bone (another great album title).

Gin Wigmore booking info.

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Postmodern Jukebox

Postmodern Jukebox performs
Mark Davis/Getty Images for Bud Light

Third on my wish list is a group you’ve probably come across online. Their videos get a lot of attention, in fact that’s really how they broke big; Postmodern Jukebox. Led by musician, pianist, composer and arranger Scott Bradlee and a rotating cast of performers, PMJ performs arrangements of current pop songs in various, often vintage, musical styles. You could get lost for days in their YouTube channel.

Postmodern Jukebox booking info.

Here, they put together a great explanation video of what they do:

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They would be so much fun to see on a warm July evening in the 605. Here’s a great live melody by PMJ.

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And, fall in love with is version of “Livin’ on a Prayer.”

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That’s my three recommendations. Any or all of them would blow the roof off the next Jazzfest. That’s how good they would be. They would build a roof over Yankton Trail Park and blow it off (figuratively of course. I don’t know if any of them are carpenters).

Keep up with Ben’s goofiness by bookmarking Ben’s blog and connecting on Twitter email at

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