The Art of the Jazz Parties: 1973 – 2016

The Jazz Parties in Odessa and Midland had a unique sense of style. As one of the social events of the year in West Texas, the jazz parties were a “dress-up” affair. Many of today’s attendees with history back to the original parties lament the fact that it’s not quite like that anymore.

Many of the welcome messages allude to the fun of the party, and implore attendees to keep the noise down to hear the music. Until about 1990, the party was SIX days of music – with a full slate of after-parties in local homes. Anyone who had the luxury of taking off a few days during the party did so.

While the art is not generally reflective of other designs outside the Permian Basin, the programs tend to be interesting and historically tied to the musicians. In hindsight, some of the programs could have been more elaborate, considering the history the party was creating.