The Iowa City Jazz Festival, presented by the University of Iowa Community Credit Union is celebrating 25 years this year and will be held June 30 through July 2 in downtown Iowa City. The Festival is a free, three-day musical extravaganza held on the University of Iowa Pentacrest lawn and adjacent streets. Three side stages, a Culinary Row, artist booths, FUN Zone, Beverage Garden and more line the downtown city streets. This year’s festival features many well-known guests as well as up-and-coming musicians ready to make their mark!
The festival kicks off on Friday June 30, at 5 PM, with the return of United Jazz Ensemble, featuring some of the most talented musicians from Iowa City High and Iowa City West High Schools, followed at 7 PM by Rhythm Future Quartet that offers up a contemporary sound influenced by the gypsy jazz of the Hot Club of France. The evening concludes with an energetic and imaginative set from In Orbit with Jeff Coffin & Michael Occhipinto & Felix Pastorius.
The second day of the Iowa City Jazz Festival begins at 1 PM on Saturday July 1, with the North Corridor Jazz All Stars, a group of rising high school jazz artists from the Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls and Waterloo area. This performance is followed at 3 PM by Christopher’s Very Happy. Band. with a set that exudes bright sounding compositions from University of Northern Iowa jazz instructor Chris Merz. Jacob Garchik’s Ye Olde takes the stage at 5 PM – they are better known as three of Brooklyn’s baddest guitar heroes who will play ping pong with your ears. Next on stage will be the piano-led Kris Davis Quintet at 7 PM, followed by The Cookers: jazz legends Billy Hart, George Cables, Cecil McBee, David Weiss, Eddy Henderson, Billy Harper and Donald Harrison at 9 PM.
Sunday July 2, launches the last day of the Iowa City Jazz Festival highlighting a wide array of artists starting at 2 PM with the Laura Caviani Trio. In 2010, Twin Cities performer Laura Caviani was a finalist at the International Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida. John Raymond & Real Feels and their electrifying new sound take the stage at 4 PM, followed by the Donny McCaslin Group at 6 PM. McCaslin earned recognition for leading the band backing the late David Bowie on his last album. Stacy Kent, an award-winning vocalist known for her timeless songs of romance, will conclude the evening with a set at 8 PM.
Summer of the Arts produces the Iowa Arts Festival presented by Veridian Credit Union, Iowa City Jazz Festival presented by the University of Iowa Community Credit Union, Friday Night Concert Series presented by Toyota of Iowa City, Iowa Soul Festival and Free Movie Series presented by Urban Acres Real Estate and UICCU. The mission of Summer of the Arts is to build community by bringing people together in the heart of Iowa City to experience, learn about, and enjoy free arts and cultural programs.
For more information about this event and to view performer bios, visit www.summerofthearts.org.