“Lazy Sunday” is a term you’ll hardly ever hear in Ketchum.  

The beckon of the couch and television is out-shouted by the calls of the trails, peaks, and rivers of our valley, even on the day of rest.  While this constant summons for summertime adventure is rarely ignored by locals and visitors alike, even the people of the mountains need time to sit back, smell the roses, and listen to the music now and then.  

Fortunately, we’ve got all of those bases covered right here in town, with Ketchum’s “Jazz in the Park”, every Sunday evening.

The Inside Scoop

Originally hosted in the community of Elk Horn out in Sun Valley, the admission-free event moved to Ketchum’s Rotary Park on Warm Springs road about a decade ago and has become far more accessible to a greater diversity of concert-goers in the valley. Dirty mountain bikes stack up next to pristine classic cars in the parking lot, and for a couple of hours, the gentle babble of the immediately adjacent Bigwood River reaches harmony with pianos, drums, guitars, horns, and vocals.

Jazz in the park Ketchum

Image courtesy of Visit Sun Valley

The schedule of performers varies each week, offering a spectrum of talents within the seemingly oft-neglected art of Jazz music.  Most acts are Idaho-based, usually hailing either from Boise or the Wood River Valley itself.  The tunes typically vary from cool finger-snappers to sultry hip-swingers, and are often speckled with a good foot-stomper now and then.  The mellow mood and casual atmosphere are inviting to anyone seeking a relaxing close to an action-packed weekend.

Jazz 2016

Image courtesy of Visit Sun Valley

On-site seating is limited, so the audience is encouraged to bring their own.  Blankets and low-seated lawn chairs are the typical means of comfort, and many people pack a picnic dinner along.  

Bring a bottle of wine to help unwind, and feel free to slip out of your shoes and enjoy a barefoot twirl in the grass with your loved one.  The modest park has a small pavilion under which the performers usually set their stage, and the surrounding cottonwood trees offer a natural amphitheater-like atmosphere as their leaves gently rustle in the breeze.

The pleasant scent of the park’s flowers mixes with the music, gently stimulating the spectator into a euphoric trance of relaxation.  

If you’re looking to wrap up your weekend with something far more rewarding than prime time TV, Jazz in the Park is your scene.  

Every Sunday through summer, from 6 o’clock to 8.  Wear what you want, and as Rotary Park is located right off the Wood River Trail bike path, feel free to coast on into the show on your pedals.  Just don’t get your gown caught in your gears.

Planning a visit to Ketchum? Stay at the Limelight and experience events, food, and dining the right way.

About Brett Wilson