By TREVOR WENDZONKA
Lerner Marketing Manager
ELKHART — Discounted early-bird passes will go on sale Friday, March 11, for the 29th Annual Elkhart Jazz Festival, presented and inspired by the Community Foundation of Elkhart County.
“Set Summer to Music” is the theme for the June 24-26 event, which will bring 100 nationally renowned musicians to Elkhart for three days of entertainment.
The Joshua Redman Quartet will be Friday night’s featured performer on stage at the Lerner Theatre. The son of the legendary Dewey Redman has been making his own smooth sounds on the saxophone since the early 1990s, when he passed on Yale Law School to chase his music dreams. He’s been nominated for two Grammy Awards and his work has been praised in Rolling Stone magazine.
Due to contractual obligations, the Saturday headliner will be announced at a later date. In past years, the festival has attracted such premier performers as Wynton Marsalis with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and more.
“Set Summer to Music” welcomes a number of fan favorites back to Elkhart, including Dave Bennett, Joan Collaso, Kris Brownlee, Rebecca Kilgore, Rica Obsesion, and the highly acclaimed Gene Knific Trio. Collaso, appearing again with the Larry Hanks Trio, has performed at all but two Elkhart Jazz Festivals.
The talent lineup also includes several performers making their Elkhart debut: BMR4, The Rad Trads, Blair Clark and Derek Brown BEATBoXSAX. Also, Frank Russell and Elizabeth Mis will be featured artists for the first time.
The festival also pays tribute to plenty of local talent, from local groups like the Elkhart Community Chorus, Truth in Jazz and Jazz Assemblage, along with student bands from Indiana University South Bend and local high schools.
As always, free entertainment will be showcased on Main Street at Civic Plaza. More than 100 sets will be played on the six festival stages throughout the three-day event.
Elkhart Jazz Festival early-bird discounts save patrons up to $30 per pass, but the sale lasts only for a limited time. Reduced pricing will be available to students through the end of the festival.
Along with the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, additional sponsors of this summer’s event are INOVA Federal Credit Union, Gaska Tape, the Elkhart County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the city of Elkhart, and Friends of The Lerner.
Also on sale Friday, March 11, will be the third annual EJF Preview Party, hosted by the Four Arts Club in the Lerner’s Crystal Ballroom. Dave Bennett, who has packed festival venues in Elkhart each year since 1998, will play two sets during the two-hour afternoon event on Monday, June 6. Tickets will be $30.
For more information on all the festival activities, visit ElkhartJazzFest.com or call The Lerner box office at (574) 293-4469.