Final Capital City Jazz Fest Set for April 27-29, 2018

Jazz fans from all over the country will converge on Madison one more time to hear non-stop jazz at the 30th—and final—Capital City Jazz Fest sponsored by the Madison Jazz Society. It will be held at the Wyndham Garden Hotel, 2969 Cahill Main, Fitchburg. This year’s event will feature jazz artists from all over the country performing a broad range of jazz styles, along with some special events to ensure that the Fest “goes out with a bang.”

More than 400 jazz fans are expected to attend four sessions over the three days of the Fest: Friday, April 27 from 6:30 until 11 PM; Saturday, April 28 from 11 AM until 4 PM and from 6 until 11 PM; and Sunday, April 29 from 11:30 AM until 4 PM. In addition, a free kick-off concert will be held on Thursday, April 26 from 7 until 11 PM and free jazz concerts will be presented at the Fitchburg Senior Center and Lilliana’s on Friday.

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All of the bands performing have appeared at the Fest in past years and are returning to close out the Fest’s 30-year run. The Buck Creek Jazz Band began by playing jazz parties on Buck Creek Road in Temple Hills, Maryland. The band specializes in interpretations of early musical pioneers, presenting a variety of more than 2,300 tunes. They appeared at the 1994 Fest when seven inches of snow fell in May!

Buck Creek Jazz Band
The Buck Creek Jazz Band

The Fat Babies are appearing at their second Capital City Jazz Fest. The band interprets styles of the 1920s and 1930s and are one of the finest purveyors of early Chicago jazz. Details of voicing, color and phrasing distinguish this band from others.

Led by identical twins Joe and Paul, the Midiri Brothers Jazz Sextet plays music rooted in 1930s and 1940s small jazz groups, with unique arrangements in the tradition of the Swing and Dixieland eras. This will be their fourth Fest appearance.

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The members of Red Lehr’s Powerhouse Five + One engage in musical conversations that sizzle and scintillate. Inspiration and intuition at their best will be part of their fourth Fest performance.

Two special guest stars will perform throughout the weekend. Vocalist Marilyn Keller, making her second Fest appearance, is known for her “killer” renditions of Gospel and Blues; her repertoire includes Jazz and Big Band hits and more. Her ballads are haunting, soulful and tender and she “gets down” with the best of them in high-energy tunes.

Wisconsin native Bob Schulz, has appeared at more Capital City Jazz Fests than any other musician—and he’ll be there “one more once” to lead the Thursday night kick-off event and be part of the weekend’s music. He is considered the foremost exponent of the Bob Scobey trumpet style and a vocalist in the tradition of Clancy Hayes.

A jazz worship celebration will be held Sunday morning at the Fest venue. Red Lehr’s Powerhouse Five + One and Marilyn Keller will perform at the celebration and Rev Allan Townsend, who has performed with is Wonderful World Jazz Band at the Fest, will lead it.

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In addition to the music, the fest’s Jazz Mall will have books, records, CDs, videos, jazz clothing, and souvenirs for sale throughout the event.

Covering the costs of an event such as this is a daunting task and MJS members have
participated in extra mile giving to help underwrite the costs and keep jazz alive in Madison.
Thus far, they have contributed more than $14,000. In addition, a concerted effort was made to obtain corporate support for the event. To date, Madison area corporations providing support are
American Transmission Company, Bagels Forever, Bergstrom Cadillac, the Evjue Foundation, Charitable Arm of The Capital Times, and Summit Credit Union.

Advance individual session tickets ($35 per session) are available by mail only or can be purchased at the door 30 minutes before a session. For more information, call (608) 850-5400 or go to www.madisonjazz.com.

The Madison Jazz Society is a non-profit, all volunteer organization formed to encourage the performance of and education about jazz. It annually sponsors six concerts and awards grants to school music departments to enhance their jazz education programs. MJS observed its 30th anniversary in 2014-15.

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