ELKHART — Local businessman Rocky Giglio helped the Elkhart Jazz Festival get started 26 years ago when his company brought some quality jazz players to the city. He’s kept up his support of the festival over the years through several different companies. Because of this, Giglio will receive a Lifetime Achievement Honor at this year’s festival.
“Rocky symbolizes everything good about the support the band companies have shown the festival,” said Van Young, one of the organizers of the festival. “He has worked for every major music company in town, and he’s been behind having the band companies support the festival.”
Giglio is the president and chief operating officer for jj Babbitt in Elkhart.
“We brought in some of our good jazz players to get the festival started, all at the cost of the company and no cost to the city,” said Giglio, remembering Elkhart’s first jazz festival. “We’ve been doing that pretty much for the past 26 years, most recently for the past 14 years when I’ve been involved with jj Babbitt. We’ve always supported the festival.”
He said he enjoys the way the jazz festival brings the city together.
“I’m a true jazz lover and a player,” said Giglio. “I enjoy the spontaneity of jazz and the fraternity involved. People are able to play with each other on standard tunes and then improvise on them.”
He continued, “What I enjoy most about (the jazz festival) is jazz being played by top professional people.”
More information about the 2013 Elkhart Jazz Festival is available online at www.downtownelkhart.org under the arts and entertainment tab.