About Jessica Felix
Jessica Felix, Artistic Director of the Festival, has contributed a great deal to the world of jazz with the successful and thriving Healdsburg Jazz Festival. She began her musical activism years ago, with the nonprofit enterprise she and her former partner created in Oakland named “Jazz in Flight.” They bought and restored a Victorian house and within a month after moving in they held the first in a series of concerts that continued for ten years, including an annual New Year’s Eve concert featuring many world-famous musicians.
She also created and produced the first five Eddie Moore Jazz Festivals at Yoshi’s Nightspot, which turned into seven-day major jazz events with musicians from all over the country and even from abroad. Throughout, her house was always home to traveling musicians.
Dream into Reality
In Healdsburg, Jessica is devoted to educating the public about jazz and helping to keep the art form alive. She has produced several jazz evenings, first at the Flying Goat Cafe and then growing into the larger space of the Raven Performing Arts Center.
Her dream of helping to create a jazz festival in Healdsburg became a reality in June of 1999, with the success of the first annual Healdsburg Jazz Festival, which featured Cedar Walton, Billy Higgins and Bobby Hutcherson. Many more fantastic musicians have followed: Pharoah Sanders, Randy Weston, Charles Lloyd, Jackie McLean, Renee Rosnes and many others.
Art and All That Jazz
In 1995, Jessica decided to open her own showcase and shop, Art and All That Jazz. Most galleries were becoming more and more conservative. “I felt I had to open a gallery of my own or risk compromising the integrity of my work. I also wanted people to he able to see all my work in one space, as I have created so many different styles. I was scared people wouldn’t like my work enough to support a gallery; but I found a broad spectrum of people do like it – all ages and lifestyles. I’m very happy and surprised that my work has such broad appeal.
“The gallery has also enabled me to showcase my gold jewelry. I have been collecting unusual stones for years, but have not had a proper place to display my designs in precious metals. Like much of my work, my gold jewelry is another extension of my passion to create individual improvised art. I love to just sit down and see what comes out while I’m carving the wax. All my pieces are first carved in wax and then cast using the ancient technique of lost wax.”