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Jazz it Up a Little at the San Antonio Summer Art and Jazz Festival

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Back in 2002, a run of personal tragedies befell Anthony Tobias, including the loss of his brother, Jesse, as a result of brain cancer. At the time, Tobias was a medical lab technician who, in his spare time, ran Anthony’s School of Floral Designs. He had a lot on his plate. So, to cope with the grief, the idea came to him, while sitting in a club one evening, that he would bring jazz music to more people. This was the beginning of the San Antonio Summer Art and Jazz Festival.

Jazz it Up a Little at the San Antonio Summer Art and Jazz Festival

Photo: Facebook/San Antonio Summer Art & Jazz Festival

In a 2014 interview with My San Antonio, Tobias had said, “Some people eat ice cream or buy shoes. I started a jazz festival.” What started with three bands and approximately 100 people in Tobias’ back yard in year one has grown to a three-day event now in its 15th year of planning and operation. How does one make the transition from being a floral designer to starting a jazz fest? “I think handling large weddings that require a lot of coordination helped with this,” he explained. “But this is a year-round thing now. The way it’s grown, I’ve been blessed.”

Jazz it Up a Little at the San Antonio Summer Art and Jazz Festival

Photo: Wikimedia

Tobias has continued to expand his passion project, and this year’s event is being held at the Marriott Plaza San Antonio, located at 1300 N. Main Ave. Performances commence at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 2, and the event wraps up by the evening of Sunday, June 4. Not without its bumps in the road, the 2013 festival didn’t break even, and three other years were called due to rain or poor turnout. Although Tobias found that devastating, he has carried on in his efforts. “The money we make, if we make any, goes to charity,” explained Tobias. “We’ve done everything we can to keep this event free, and a lot of help with that has been from sponsors coming in at the right time.”

Jazz it Up a Little at the San Antonio Summer Art and Jazz Festival
Photo: Flickr/Jimmy Baikovicius

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