The 2011 Isthmus Jazz Festival kicks off summer in Madison with a wide-ranging lineup on June 3 and 4 on the UW Memorial Union Terrace. The festival runs the gamut from big band to small group, Latin to bebop. You can sit and admire the instrumental virtuosity or get up and dance to late-night salsa and merengue.
The entire festival is free this year, with no ticketed event in the Wisconsin Union Theater.
Out-of-town acts include the Mike Frost Project, a hard-blowing Chicago group featuring the leader’s tenor and soprano sax. The Marlin McKay Quintet, based in Bloomington, Ind., is a straight-ahead combo led by a fluent young trumpeter.
Local groups new to the festival are the Madison Mellophonium Jazz Orchestra, a recently formed big band devoted to music by Stan Kenton and Johnny Richards; the swinging, string-oriented Stellanovas; the UW Jazz Orchestra; and the lively Latin band Grupo Candela.
Old favorites from the local scene include Michelle DuVall with Get Down, Mr. Cat; the Tony Castaneda Latin Jazz Super Group; the Jan Wheaton Quartet; the High School Jazz All-Stars; and the Edgewood College Jazz Ensemble.
Isthmus Jazz Festival 2011
All events are free on University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Memorial Union Terrace, 800 Langdon St.
Friday, June 3
3:30 pm: Edgewood College Jazz Ensemble
4:30 pm: High School Jazz All-Stars
6 pm: Michelle DuVall with Get Down, Mr. Cat
7:30 pm: Madison Mellophonium Jazz Orchestra
10 pm: The Tony Castaneda Latin Jazz Super Group
Saturday, June 4
2 pm: UW Jazz Orchestra
3:15 pm: The Stellanovas
4:30 pm: Jan Wheaton Quartet
6 pm: Marlin McKay Quintet
8 pm: The Mike Frost Project
10 pm: Grupo Candela