Thin Man Watts Jazz Festival

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Connecting People

The "Thin Man" Watts Jazz Festival brings the community together over a shared heritage in
Jazz Music.

The festival began in 2004 at the South DeLand amphitheater, which was named in honor of Dr. Watts, who died later that year.

In it's revival year in 2011 the festival was expanded to downtown DeLand and was a huge success!

In the coming year, we plan to expand again, with a special event at Stetson University, which bestowed on Noble Watts an honorary doctorate in 2000.

Main Street DeLand Association recently honored Jeff Shepherd as its Volunteer of the Year.

Shepherd has been instrumental in organizing the committee that produces and promotes the Thin Man Watts Jazz Fest.

The committee consists of members of Main Street and members of the African American Museum of the Arts in DeLand, and other members of the community.

Shepherd is pictured receiving a plaque from out-going Main Street president Karen Puglisi and Main Street executive director Wayne Carter.

This is not just a festival.

The festival honors the lives and works of masters like Watts and Sam Rivers, by providing opportunities for young people to experience this artistic heritage, and to
find the artists within themselves.

This is our heritage in Central Florida. The "Thin Man" Watts Jazz Fest has it's place alongside ZoraFest in Eatonville, and Jazz & Heritage Fest in
New Orleans.

Please join us on October 17th 2015
in downtown DeLand and be part of
Jazz Music History.

Festival Location:
Downtown Deland, Florida

Noble Watts Performing In DeLand In 1994