2019 City-Wide Isthmus Jazz Fest
channeling inspiration from her Japanese and American musical roots, the young and celebrated saxophonist Mai Sugimoto will bring her quartet (trumpeter Quentin
Coaxum, bassist Katie Ernst, and percussionist Juan Pastor) to the new Winnebago Arts Café on Saturday evening, June 8th.
Another festival highlight will be the evening performance by percussion sensation Makaya McCraven, whose trio will headline nine hours of free concerts on the
UW Memorial Union Terrace on the evening of June 15th. Capping off the Union Terrace festivities later that night will be a rousing and joyous free concert of highly
danceable Latin Jazz by the Madison-based septet Acoplados. The septet will also perform earlier in the week, on the evening of June 13th, with special guests
Diana Mosquera on vocals and Yorel Lashley on percussion at Robinia Courtyard’s Latin Jazz Jam, where dancing is also front and center.
This year’s festival will offer two concerts that explore the intersection of jazz, hip hop and spoken word. On Sunday evening, June 9th, drummer Rick Flowers and
his Floroq Trio with pianist Becca May Grant and bassist Eric Ross will perform at the Arts + Literature Laboratory with the multi-dimensional poets T Banks,
Zhalarina, Dequadray, and Isha Camara. Two nights later, on June 11th, a “Lyricists Lounge” at North Street Cabaret will find the New Breed Jazz Trio (pianist Paul
Hastil, bassist Nick Moran, and drummer Michael Brenneis) performing with poets Laduma Nyguza and D.L.O. Earlier that night, the Cabaret will offer a free showing
of the 1961 feature film “Paris Blues,” with its score by Duke Ellington and starring Sidney Poitier and Paul Newman as expatriate American jazz musicians.
The bridge between jazz and visual art are the focus on Monday evening, June 10th, when two UW faculty members — Anthony Black from Afro-American Studies
and Matt Endres from the School of Music — team up at the Catholic Multicultural Center for a free talk called “Cymbalism: Roy Haynes’ and Bob Thompson’s Master
Improvisation.” After and providing historical background on both artists, they will examine how legendary jazz drummer Roy Haynes approached “4-way
coordinated comping” and improvisation on the drum set while considering the significance of the risk-taking visual artist Bob Thompson, whose work combined
by Howard Landsman
The Greater Madison Jazz Consortium and Wisconsin Union Theater are joining forces again this year to
transform the iconic Isthmus Jazz Fest, now in its 32nd year, into a community-wide multi-cultural
celebration of jazz at venues all over town and on the UW Memorial Union Terrace. Spanning 10 days
from Friday evening, June 7th to Sunday afternoon, June 16th, the 2019 festival will present an
ambitious and stylistically diverse array of concerts and other jazz-related events including special
family-friendly programs, rare films, and much more. And admission to most of the festival’s events will
One of the many festival highlights, and one of its few ticketed events, is a June 13th evening concert at
Café CODA featuring two prominent members of the legendary Chicago jazz scene: pianist and former
Miles Davis musical director and sideman Robert “Baabe” Irving III and vocalist Maggie Brown,
performing with Madison’s own Hanah Jon Taylor on saxophone and flute. Also from Chicago, and
the jazz aesthetic, Old World masterworks, and Abstract
On Tuesday evening, June 11th, the Bayview Community Center
will host a special free concert, “We Got the Blues,” in which
Bayview youth perform their own blues compositions along with
jazz bassist Ben Ferris and his quartet. On Saturday, June 8th,
kids and their family members can enjoy a unique Circus Jazz
Brunch with a thrilling improvisational collaboration between
circus artists from Madison Circus Space and jazz artists Louka
Patenaude on guitar, Paul Hastil on keyboards, and John
Christensen on bass.
The Fest wraps up on Sunday afternoon, June 16th, with a free
performance by WAMI award-winning vocalist Adekola Adedapo
as part of the twice-monthly free Madison Jazz Jam series at
North Street Cabaret. Adekola has been a fixture on the
Milwaukee Jazz scene since the 1970’s, and her artistry spans
Jazz, Blues, Traditional African Vocals, and telling stories of
African Gods and Heroes. She’ll perform with the MJJ house
band that includes drummer Joey Banks.
These are just some of terrific programs that make up this year’
s Isthmus Jazz Fest. For the complete schedule, and info about
each event, visit www.isthmusjazzfestival.com.