Southern Oregon Music Festival will perform a total of 95 sets of dance-able music at five distinct venues, all within seven blocks in downtown Medford. More than 100 hours of musical entertainment, from jump jive, blues, doo wop, rockabilly, swing, zydeco, R&B, funk, and rock ‘n’ roll to jazz of all styles, are performed by the nation’s top festival bands from the east coast to the west. SOMF has attracted bands from 27 states, almost as many years as it’s been staging festivals. Its intimate venues and the appreciation of our audiences are credited for enticing talented festival musicians, most of whom perform at many of the 130 other festivals around the country. An All-Event ticket will allow you to enjoy any venue and band for all three days of the Festival. For more information, call 866-448-1948.
Larry Bernard, leader and trombone player of Journeys End Jazz Band, returned home from the 1988 Sacramento Jazz Jubilee with a vision: to start a Jazz Jubilee in Medford, Oregon. After hearing Larry’s enthusiasm and the benefit to the Medford community, the then Mayor Jerry Lausmann and Visitor and Convention Bureau Director Patti Bills, couldn’t resist jumping on board. The first Medford Jazz Jubilee was held in October 1989. Just eight bands performed that year to overwhelming community jubilation. The Festival has evolved over the last 28 years to include a broader variety of music styles and up to as many as 18 bands. The name has evolved, too from the Jubilee to the Medford Jazz Festival in 2009 and, more recently, renamed the Southern Oregon Music Festival in 2014 to better represent the array of musical styles.
SOMF is a musical event intended for all ages. Over the years we have honored our Dixieland roots while broadening our variety of musical entertainment to include jump jive, blues, doo wop, rockabilly, swing, zydeco, R&B, funk, and rock ‘n’ roll to jazz of all styles. SOMF’s ongoing success is due to community support, growing attendance, loyal volunteers and the many talented musicians who choose to perform at our Festival because of its intimate venues and appreciative audience.
A commitment to our Youth and Music Education
A Youth Program was launched in 1990, which has become the underlying focus of the Festival. Two frontline Festival bands arrive a week early to tour 30 public elementary and middle schools, providing music education assemblies attended by more than 15,000 students. Complementary to the in-school assembly program, a select group of 150 students from ages 10-21 make up the Oregon Coast Lab Band and perform each year at the Festival. The Youth Program is a tireless commitment of the Southern Oregon Music Festival (SOMF), making contributions to Jackson and Josephine County School Districts by providing music instruction, instruments and scholarships. In 2007, a Festival Membership model was initiated to perpetuate these endeavors. In 2011, the Youth Program expanded to include the Music Education and Instrument Donation Program.