The River City Jazz Society was established in November 1985 by the Shasta Dixieland Festival steering committee to act as volunteers for various Jazz Festival committees. Its purpose was to preserve and perpetuate jazz music, to develop and organize special events, and to support and promote the annual Shasta Dixieland Festival.
Plans were already finalized for the first Jazz Festival to be held in April 1986. An organizational meeting was held in January 1986 to promote the festival and sign up memberships for the River City Jazz Society.
Dr Chet Moore who promoted and organized the first Shasta Dixieland Jazz Festival was quoted as saying, “Normally a jazz society exists and decides to put on a festival. We did it backwards”. During the festival, River City Jazz Society members participated in many ways and all of the volunteers were Jazz Society members.
Although the Society was actively involved in staging the Festival the two groups operated as separate organizations and each maintained a separate Board of Directors.
The first annual Jazz Festival held in April 1986 was a huge success and continued until April 2000.
In 1986 the River City Jazz Society was incorporated as a non-profit organization and the following year the Jazz Society received its exempt status from the IRS.
The official logo was designed using Dr. Chet’s slide trombone in silhouette. The logo was registered at that time and would be used by the Jazz Society and the Jazz Festival.
The first year 1986, the Jazz Society had only 4 Sunday concert/dances.
In 1987 there were 6 concert/dances and by 1988 there were 10.
In 1989 a special concert was held with the the Big Tiny Little Show Band and later in the year, in conjunction with the Elks Lodge the Jazz Society presented Jazz Band Ball from Poland.
Our Society was founded on our love of Dixieland New Orleans jazz and it will always be close to our hearts. But as jazz has evolved so has our society. We have expanded our music selection and areintroducing swing and classics from the American Songbook. So come and dance with us or just spend an afternoon listening to talented musicians playing the music they love.
At the present time, concert/dances are held once a month on the third Sunday of the month at the Elks Lodge in Redding except for July & August.