The answer to Sedona’s increasingly commercial art scene is Gumption Fest, when local and regional artists gather for a weekend of music, dance, art, and poetry, including the Haiku Death Match Poetry Slam. The free festival takes over a slice of West Sedona along Coffeepot Drive in mid-September.
In late September, the venerable Sedona Jazz on the Rocks (928/282-0590) showcases live outdoor jazz performances. Spyro Gyra, Herbie Hancock, Diane Krall, and Poncho Sanchez have all taken the stage under the red rocks. In recent years, venues and dates have shifted; call or check the website for the current schedule.
In October, look for the sea of white tents near Red Rock High School marking the Sedona Arts Festival (995 Upper Red Rock Loop Rd., 928/204-9456), when more than 100 artists gather to show their work. There’s also live music, food booths, and the Kid Zone, where children can create their own masterpieces.
The Sedona Plein Air Festival (928/282-3809) in late October attracts artists from around the United States to paint “in the open air,” a technique made famous by the French Impressionists. The weeklong event—at trailheads, creeks, and parks throughout town—includes demonstrations and workshops for painters hoping to develop their technical abilities, as well for art lovers who like to “brush up” their observation skills.
Excerpted from the Second Edition of Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona.