Friday, December 4, 2020



Summer is fast approaching, and with it, a bevy of arts and music festivals throughout Utah. Notably, the Utah Arts Festival (UAF) makes its return at Library and Washington Squares, heralding its 40th year. June 23-26 promises to bring local, national, and global entrepreneurs, artists and performers to the fore of our cultural consciousness.

As evidenced by last year’s installation, the festival, unique in its urbanized, laidback setup, collaborative programming, and all-ages offerings, continues to live up to its mission statement: to foster greater appreciation for the arts – especially of the non-traditional variety – spur innovation among local talent, and ultimately improve our quality of life.

I spoke with UAF Performing Arts Coordinator, Steve “Doc” Floor, who with his keen ear for sounds across genres has been enlisting musicians for the festival circa 1999. While the program is still in its finalizing stages, he gave me the scoop on confirmed acts. With returning and debuting artists, the eclectic roster is sure to satiate goers’ specific palates.

CHARISSA CHE: What does the UAF has to offer that makes it unique from other summer arts festivals in SLC (i.e. the annual DIY Festival)?

STEVE “DOC” FLOOR: I think that at the Utah Arts Festival we bring together more forms of art and fun during the annual four-days than any other event… I only handle the performing arts portion (classical, folk, rock, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, bluegrass and electronic music; modern dance, multi-cultural dance and ballet).  But we also feature over 100 visual artists booths full of traditional 2-D and 3-D works, not to mention a festival-long program of literary art and film.  We’re celebrating our 40th anniversary this summer, and we still provide a great opportunity for this community to come together to celebrate how art makes our lives better.

CC: Tell me about some of the confirmed acts for the upcoming festival. What might be particularly exciting for first-time goers?

SDF: It’s still very early in the game and I’ve barely made a dent in scheduling the 90+ performances for this year.  But at this point, I can release the following list of artists who are confirmed to perform at the Festival: The Utah Symphony Orchestra; haven’t had ‘em in over 20 years, Steep Canyon Rangers– Steve Martin’s back-up band; Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio – Elvin was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Cimarrón, from Colombia, and about 86 more still to be named.

CC: What do you look for when you review artists’ applicants?

SDF: Several factors are considered when reviewing artists’ applications.  While certain time slots are reserved for music schools and “young” musicians, for most other time slots, I personally look for experienced, professional performers.  That doesn’t mean that all of the band members are full-time musicians…we should present seasoned players that can perform with at least a minimal amount of competency, professionalism and have the creativity and energy that all performers should demonstrate… I have recruited 25 persons to serve on five separate music-genre committees to help me review the 300+ acts that are considered every year.

I can safely say that the only acts that perhaps might not be appropriate for the Festival are those that present gratuitous sex, violence or profanity.  I think that when so-called artists rely on such superfluous displays, it’s actually a sign of artistic weakness, and is therefore contrary to our overall mission.

CC: For those who may be too late in applying for a slot in the program: how might they still get involved in the Festival’s cause?

SDF: The Utah Arts Festival depends on more than 1,200 local volunteers every year and volunteering is a great way to be involved.  Members of the set-up crew, face painters, beverage servers, Earth Team recyclers; we need help with all of it! (Find out more and sign up to volunteer here.)

CC: What has been one of your most memorable experiences at the UAF thus far in the time you’ve been involved?

SDF: I think the one that stands out the most was in 2007 when I performed at the Festival.  The band, Zion Tribe, had been together for 20 years by this time, and we had played the Festival several times. For whatever reason, this show was one of our best ever…the crowd was big and appreciative.

This is what many other acts have experienced at the Festival and the main reason so many local bands really want to be accepted to play the event. We provide a big stage and a big, top quality sound system with professional audio engineers. This is the sort of technical production that provides a rare opportunity for local bands. For most groups, it’s sort of a once in a lifetime experience and the chance for their fans, friends and family of all ages to see them in a professional and fun setting.

In addition to the above, here’s a sampling of confirmed acts that Floor is personally excited to see, and bookings in progress: 

A collaboration between RDT Dance Company and 3hattrio, a country/folk/jazz group out of southern Utah.  I saw the two groups perform together and it was an absolutely unique pairing.

A Dutch woman who now hails from Portland, Oregon and performs under the name Jet Black Pearl, does amazing things with her voice, her accordion and some electronic devices.

The Phoenix Jazz and Swing Big Band will make their first appearance ever at the Festival and will feature California based vocalist, Jack Wood.  They will present an evening of music in tribute to Frank Sinatra entitled “A Sinatra Centennial Salute.”

For the past few years, we’ve presented artists submitted by the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation.  The pianists they’ve brought to us are always world-class.  At this point, we don’t know who they’re going to feature, but it will be high-caliber piano artistry.

I’m currently in the process of booking a musician to be featured as soloist with the Salt Lake Jazz Orchestra.  I don’t have confirmation as to who it will be; I’m exploring several options.  But whoever it is, will be a world-class player.

Beginning last year, we presented the Salty Cricket Composers Collective, who will again premier original music written by Utah composers. Their repertoire consists of classical music written for the piccolo, clarinet, and piccolo trumpet, played by a handful of Utah Symphony Orchestra musicians.

From Great Britain, we will have Neighbourhood Watch Stilts International, a group of larger than life, colorful street theater performers. They’ll be on site, roaming throughout the festival at various times during the four days and nights.

For more information on the Utah Arts Festival, visit its official website.

Photo cred: Austen Diamond

Mark your calendars! Our 12 Days of Giveaways starts Dec 1! ✨⁠

With giveaway items from local businesses such as @gotbeautydotcom, @woodhouseholladay, @cactusandtropicals and many more, you won't want to miss this! 🎁⁠

Here's the idea: ⁠
⭐ Tag a friend on our giveaway post who you believe should win the giveaway item! The person you tag is then entered to win! (Friends can tag one another) 💑⁠
⭐ Be sure to follow us (@slmag) and the giveaway provider on insta! ⁠
⭐ Entry deadline will be at 10PM. The winner will be announced at 11:59PM and a new prize will be posted at 8AM each day. ⁠

#giveaways #win #contest #christmas #gift #holiday #12daysofgiveaways #slmag

A holiday letter from our editor, Mary Brown Malouf:⁠

"It’s the season for celebration. And let’s face it—it was a bad year for cheer. Nevertheless, though masked and socially distanced, we will join together again this year in love and joy for one another. We will clink glasses, feast, toast to a better future and enjoy what we have, taking care to live in the moment. Remembering the good times in the midst of the not-so-good and pledging to support one another."⁠

Have a wonderful and safe holiday. Cheers! 🥂⁠

To read the full letter, go to the link in bio.

Happy Friday! We all know the best way to celebrate the end of the week is with a cocktail 😉! ⁠

🍸 And our next highlighted cocktail is the perfect way to start your weekend. @alibislc's 'Far From The Tree' by Clif Reagle:⁠

1.5 oz. @shdistillery Bourbon⁠
1.5 oz. Utah Honey and Akane Apple Shrub⁠
.25+ oz. @waterpocketdistillery Snow Angel .25 oz. lemon juice⁠
Barspoon of simple syrup⁠
2 dashes Regans Orange Bitters⁠
Combine in shaker over ice, shake and strain into a footed glass. Serve with dried apple garnish.⁠

“My goal for this drink was to make it with as many local ingredients as possible,” says Reagle, “and seeing as the farm scene is pretty quiet in November I decided to go with a classic method of fruit preservation: the shrub.⁠

VOTE VOTE VOTE AWAY! Grab our magazine, grab a cocktail (or make it yourself) and get voting. Cheers!🥂⁠

Link in bio to vote and learn more about Clif Reagle!

Yes. Thanksgiving is going to be different this year. So instead of stressing out to prepare a meal, help support local restaurants who need our love this Thanksgiving. 🦃⁠

Restaurants are doing what they can to make this Thanksgiving seamless for us. With offerings of curbside pick up, meal kits, and even delivery, ordering out this Thanksgiving seems like a no-brainer.⁠

Oh and did we mention no family-sized mess to clean up afterward? That’s a win-win in our book. 😉 Check the link in bio for full list of restaurants. 🍽️

Don't forget to vote in our 2020 Cocktail Contest!! 🍸🍹🥂⁠

Our next highlighted coktail is @thecopperonion's “Not Today Satan” by Frank Mealy:⁠

1.5 oz. @shdistillery Bourbon⁠
1.5 oz. pear shrub (Champagne Vinegar/Earl Grey simple 2:1)⁠
.75 oz. lemon juice⁠
Preheat glass with hot water. Mix ingredients, pour into the hot glass, top with hot water and garnish with cinnamon stick, star anise and dried pear.⁠

Mealy is a full-time bartender for the Copper Group. “Inspiration for this drink came from the expectation that we’re going to be running our outdoor patio season longer because of Covid.” People are more comfortable sitting outside, Mealy says, “So I wanted to make a hot drink for the colder months.”⁠

VOTE VOTE VOTE AWAY! Grab our magazine, grab a cocktail (or make it yourself) and get voting. Cheers!🥂⁠

Link in bio to vote and learn more about Frank Mealy!

Our 2020 Cocktail Contest is live!! 🍸🍹🥂

We’ll be highlighting our cocktail contest contestants throughout the next few weeks. Starting with @takashi_slc’s “Red Dirt Garden” by Crystal Daniels:

- 1.5 oz. Amaro Bilaro
- .5 oz. @shdistillery Barrel-strength Rye
- .75 oz. Lemon juice
- 1 oz. Red rice orgeat made with @redbuttegarden botanicals
- Pinch of Jacobsen Salt from @caputosmarket

Daniels garnished her cocktail with banana leaves and an edible begonia- if you can’t get the begonia, another colorful edible bloom will do. 🌺

VOTE VOTE VOTE AWAY! Grab our magazine, grab a cocktail (or make it yourself) and get voting. Cheers!🥂

Link in bio to vote!

Did you know that the first woman to cast a ballot in the United States voted right here in Salt Lake City?

In 1870, on her way to work as a schoolteacher, Seraph Young stopped by SLC’s old City Hall—right across from the Capitol—and made history as the first woman to vote under a women's equal suffrage law.

Like many of us, Young voted early in that election simply because she had to get to work on time. Her story reminds us of the power ordinary people have to make history. Now, get out and vote!

Photo: Ron Fox

Our November-December issue is on stands now!!⁠

And our annual cocktail contest is open for voting! Take all precautions, support our hardworking hospitality community and remember to smile. 🍹🍸🧉⁠

Pick up a magazine, grab a cocktail and vote! Happy November, everyone! ⁠

Check the link in bio to vote.

Trick or treat? COVID cases are getting scary.

111K confirmed cases and 601 deaths in Utah.

Link in bio for a little op-ed on face masks. 😷