Starting on the right note — 50th year limited edition Jazz Fest poster revealed at reception

The sound of jazz rang through Moscow as the 50th annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival limited edition poster was unveiled.

The Lionel Hampton School of Music and the City of Moscow Arts Council collaborated on the unveiling of this year’s Jazz Fest poster Thursday at the Third Street Art Gallery.

The Moscow Alehouse served beer and wine at the event, while a group of musicians, some of whom were University of Idaho graduates, played jazz.

A dress that was once worn by Ella Fitzgerald sat at the entryway of the event, and the third floor of the gallery featured other dresses from the Leila Old Historic Costume Collection.

The main event of the evening was the unveiling of the 50th anniversary limited edition poster by Vern Sielert, Jazz Fest artistic adviser, and Aaron Mayhugh, Jazz Fest manager.

The public was free to walk about the gallery and look at the 85 posters for the Jazz Fest that were collected on the walls, some of which were part of the limited edition collection.

Mayhugh said that only 150 copies of the poster are available and they would be sold at the VandalStore during the Jazz Fest.

Mayhugh has been involved with the festival since 1991.

“It’s a beacon of culture and diversity in the region,” Mayhugh said.

The City of Moscow and the School of Music working together on the Jazz Fest connects the event to the town and allows the community to interact with the festival, Mayhugh said.

“It’s a nice event too, because it’s important that we collaborate, the university and the town, not that we remain separate of culture and diversity in the region,” Mayhugh said.

Mayhugh said the festival takes roughly 18 months of planning and almost 42,000 students will attend the event.

“I’m very emotionally attached to this festival. It impacts so many people in a positive way,” Mayhugh said. “This community has an opportunity to bring in visitors and show them a great time. Youth have really pivotal experiences at this festival, and they can take that away with them for the rest of their lives.”

Nicole Etchemendy can be reached at

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