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Even if Ketchum still has social distancing requirements in place this summer, Jazz in the Park is set up perfectly to accommodate that.

After a year’s absence in 2020, Ketchum’s popular Jazz in the Park summer music series will return in July, producer Will Caldwell announced this week. The free concert series will span five Sundays in Ketchum’s Rotary Park on Warm Springs Road, concluding Aug. 1.

“We’re all hoping our lives will return to some sort of normal, and part of that is having music,” Caldwell said. “We’re looking forward to being able to bring a picnic to the park and listen to some music while being conscious and distancing.”

Jazz in the Park is the latest in a long line of summer standards to be confirmed for 2021 since the Sun Valley Music Festival announced its plans to return a couple of weeks ago. The announcement by the summer symphony was soon followed by similar updates from the Sun Valley Wellness Festival, Tour de Force, Arts and Crafts Festival, and others. With Blaine County leading the state in vaccination rates, locals and visitors alike are looking forward to what could be a near-normal summer calendar of events.

“With the symphony starting up and other events getting the go-ahead, Ketchum made the decision that we should have a series this summer,” Caldwell said. “I’ve been doing it for a lot of years, it’s something I volunteer my time to do and I’m looking forward to being there. We’ve got bands lined up already.”

The local Latin Jazz Ensemble will kick off proceedings on the Fourth of July. Boise-based musicians the Frim Fram Four, Kevin Kirk and Sally Tibbs, and Nicole Christensen will follow up on July 11, 18 and 25, respectively. Alan Pennay—a “Sun Valley institution,” in Caldwell’s words—will close out the season Aug. 1 with Susan Christensen.

Caldwell noted that there could easily still be COVID-19 mitigation measures in place this summer, but Jazz in the Park is perfectly set up to accommodate social distancing—it’s outside and people typically space out anyway with picnic blankets.

As usual, each concert will be held from 6-8 p.m. in Rotary Park on Sundays.

Thanks to various sponsors and donors, the entire series is presented free of charge to the public.

“We’ve got the city of Ketchum to thank for being the lead sponsor,” Caldwell said, though there’s still plenty of fundraising left to do to ensure Jazz in the Park’s return series is the best it can be. Prospective donors and sponsors can reach out to Caldwell via email at

Otherwise, music lovers can mark their calendars as another beloved fixture plans its comeback, and summer 2021 continues to shape up.

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