Salt Lake Series Canceled

The 10-year-old Jazz in Salt Lake City concert series will host its last jam at the end of May because the foundation that runs the series is broke.

“It breaks our hearts to have to stop,” Amanda Lufkin, executive director of concert organizer GAM Foundation, told the Salt Lake Tribune. “We don’t want to, but the money’s run out.”

Lufkin explained that GAM Foundation founders Gordon Hanks and Michael Mackay have pitched in more than $400,000 in the past 10 years to keep the series going, but both are nearing retirement and can’t afford to lose any more money.

The series will wrap up with the Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band April 18th and the Michel Camilo Trio May 23rd.

The jazz series started in 1995 as Jazz at the Hilton, then was renamed Jazz at the Sheraton in 2000 when hotel ownership changed, according to the paper.

Lufkin said that despite drawing artists over the years including Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, Diana Krall, Wynton Marsalis, Pat Metheny, Chick Corea and Sergio Mendes, attempts to lure sponsors have fallen flat.

It’s not that fans aren’t coming to shows, she told the Tribune. It’s just that performers’ fees and venue rent have gone up so much.

“When people hear ‘foundation,’ they think we’re [a large organization] like the Eccles Foundation,” Lufkin said. “We’re three people that do this in our spare time.”

But there’s still hope the foundation will find a way to carry on.

“If the magic fairy drops money on us, we’d be happy to do something again,” she told the Tribune.