West Texas had virtually no jazz heritage until it began hosting a jazz party in 1967. The party was begun by an Odessa physician who loved jazz and wanted to bring it to Texas. His party celebrated 50 years in 2016. This is the story of the West Texas Jazz Parties, held in a very unlikely location in Texas - Odessa and Midland.
This documentary celebrates a Jazz Party that has been held in the Permian Basin of West Texas since 1967. The West Texas Jazz Party Collaboration (begun as the Odessa Jazz Party) marked its 50th anniversary in 2016. This documentary features interviews with key participants and musicians and performance footage from four years (2013-2016). All of the music within the soundtrack is from live performances across 50 years of audio recordings captured at the events in Odessa and Midland. The documentary also highlights the personal stories, archival images and memorabilia of the parties dating to 1967. Two of the musicians at the 50th party - Bucky Pizzarelli and Johnny Varro - have attended events in Odessa and Midland since the 1960s. The President of the Board of the West Texas Jazz Society, Margaret Gillham, has had a hand in every party for more that 25 years.