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Lineup of free Madison Jazz Festival events, including world-renowned headliners, will come to the Terrace June 15-16

Posted: 05/21/24

Lineup of free Madison Jazz Festival events, including world-renowned headliners, will come to the Terrace June 15-16

The annual tradition, the Madison Jazz Festival, will return to the outdoor dining and entertainment destination the Memorial Union Terrace June 15-16 with free jazz performances presented by the Wisconsin Union Theater (WUT) and the Arts + Literature Laboratory.

The Madison Jazz Festival at the Terrace will feature headliners the Orrin Evans Quartet on June 15 and the Dee Dee Bridgewater Quartet: “We Exist!” on June 16. Seating for Madison Jazz Fest shows at the Terrace is available on a first-come, first-served basis. During inclement weather, Madison Jazz Festival events scheduled to take place at the Terrace will move to Shannon Hall in the nearby building Memorial Union, when possible. 

The full Jazz Fest lineup at the Terrace includes:

  • June 15: 
    • 1-2 p.m. - Madison Jazz Fest High School All Stars
    • 3-4:30 p.m. - Gerri DiMaggio and Friends featuring Peter Dominguez
    • 5-6:15 p.m. - Heirloom
    • 7-8:30 p.m. - Orrin Evans Quartet
    • 9-10:30 p.m. - “¡Azucar! A celebration Honoring Celia Cruz,” featuring Betty Guerrero y La Combi
  • June 16:
    • 1-2:15 p.m. - A.S.T.R.O.
    • 3-4:15 p.m. - John Christensen Quartet with Russ Johnson
    • 5-6:15 p.m. - Pawan Benjamin Trio with Javier Santiago and Jeremiah Collier
    • 7-8:30 p.m. - Dee Dee Bridgewater Quartet: “We Exist!” 

“We are excited for the return of this quintessential Madison summertime event and even more excited that all the Terrace performances, even the headliners, will be free of charge,” WUT Director Elizabeth Snodgrass said. “The Madison Jazz Festival and the Memorial Union Terrace are two of Madison’s best ways to gather in community, and Madisonians will get to celebrate both Wisconsin-based and internationally-renowned jazz musicians all in the same place and for free.”

GRAMMY-nominated jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader Orrin Evans will lead the Orrin Evans Quartet during its free June 15 performance and has been a leader in jazz innovation throughout his three-decades-long career. He has become known for infusing other genres into jazz, such as blues and soul. In addition to Evans, the ensemble includes drummer Justin Faulkner, bassist Vicente Archer and saxophonist Caleb Wheeler Curtis. 

“I go head-first for a lot of things,” Evans has said. “I like to stretch out. Wherever the music takes me, I'm going there.”

GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning vocalist, musical theater star and producer Dee Dee Bridgewater will conclude the festival with the Dee Dee Bridgewater Quartet on June 16 at the Terrace. Bridgewater’s “We Exist!” tour focuses on the struggles women have faced and the successes women have achieved through their talent. Bridgewater earned her Tony for her work playing Glinda in “The Wiz.” The jazz songstress enjoys re-envisioning jazz classics. Her mentors have included Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins and Betty Carter. 

“I hope that I will be exploring things until I don't have the voice, or until my body gives out, or until they both give out, or until I just leave this Earth,” said Bridgewater in an interview with Morgan Enos of

In addition to the free events at the Terrace June 15-16, other Madison Jazz Festival free and ticketed events will occur throughout Madison June 7-14, including performances by Raul Midón on June 8 and Miguel Zenón and Luis Perdomo “El Arte Del Bolero” on June 10. 

The WUT team recently announced its 2024-2025 season of what’s next now the Theater’s new tag line with up-and-coming musicians, vocalists and dancers as well as renowned artists in performing arts. The lineup includes the Theater’s annual cornerstone series in jazz and classical as well as the new Black Box Sessions featuring hip-hop music. The 2024-2025 season also includes two theatrical productions as well as the return of Japanese Taiko drumming. Current subscribers can renew now; general public sales for subscriptions and single tickets start on May 28. 

Patrons can support future Wisconsin Union Theater and Wisconsin Union events as well as student leadership opportunities by making purchases at the Memorial Union Terrace, the Memorial Union, Union South, Wisconsin Union markets and cafes, and Supporters can also make events like this and performing arts student leadership roles possible by giving tax-deductible donations here

Patrons can visit for the WUT-hosted Madison Jazz Festival lineup and details about the WUT-hosted festival events. Details about the rest of the Jazz Festival events can be found at

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