Wednesday, April 27, 2011

2011 Iowa City Jazz Festival is worth the drive

Each year, quite a few jazz fans from the Twin Cities drive to and from Iowa City over the Fourth of July weekend for the Iowa City Jazz Festival. Depending on who's performing, it's worth the drive (about 600 miles round trip) for this free festival that often books top talent.

Over the years, featured artists have included John Scofield, Paquito D’Rivera, Joe Lovano, Kenny Garrett, Roy Haynes, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Joey de Francesco, Charlie Hunter, Greg Osby, Cubanismo, Pat Martino, Paul Motian, Don Byron, Andrew Hill, Carla Bley, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Roswell Rudd, Steve Swallow, Yellowjackets, Patricia Barber, Sex Mob, and Stefon Harris.

This is a good year. Saturday brings New York/LA-based jazz-rock band Kneebody, followed by the Josh Roseman Unit. Roseman is a trombonist who studied under Lester Bowie and has played with people like Muhal Richard Abrams, John Zorn, Dave Holland, Dave Douglas, Oliver Lake, and Medeski, Martin and Wood.

If you can go for just one night, make it Sunday. John Ellis and Double-Wide, who wowed last year’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival, will play at 4. They’ll be followed at 6 by Ambrose Akinmusire, who currently has the hot new trumpet CD, When the Heart Emerges Glistening. At 8 the great pianist/composer and NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston will take the stage. When he plays “High Fly”—which he probably will; it’s a signature song for him, and it’s on his latest CD, The Storyteller—the crowd sprawled and seated on the lush green lawn of the Pentacrest will sigh the leaves off the trees.

Randy Weston
2011 Iowa City Jazz Festival
Friday, July 1–Sunday, July 3
Full schedule here.

1 comment:

  1. Nice lineup on Sunday. If you haven't been down to this festival, it's worth the drive; great vibe, excellent acoustics, and a nice little street fair on the side.

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