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The Green Room

Summer by the Lake: Jazz Fest at the Memorial Union Terrace

Posted: 05/08/24

Summer by the Lake: Jazz Fest at the Memorial Union Terrace

Photo credit: Andy Manis

By Charlie Pingel

As the sun shines brighter, brats sizzle on the grill, and Terrace sunburst chairs fill with people, our outdoor dining and entertainment destination Memorial Union Terrace is in full swing for the summer. Serving as a space for numerous events during the season, the Terrace brings the spirit of Madison to life. This spirit is the heart of the annual Madison Jazz Festival, where the community gathers to immerse themselves in the soulful sounds of jazz against the backdrop of Lake Mendota.

Featuring free and ticketed events throughout town, the 2024 Madison Jazz Festival is a fan-favorite event over the summer. Join the Wisconsin Union Theater (WUT) as the Madison Jazz Festival concludes on Saturday, June 15, and Sunday, June 16, at the Terrace. Enjoy two jam-packed days of FREE jazz featuring the Orrin Evans Quartet and the Dee Dee Bridgewater Quartet as headliners. Check out the full schedule of events and plan your jazz-filled weekend with us!

Saturday, 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

Orrin Evans remains one of the more accomplished but relatively unheralded jazz artists, perhaps because he has never settled down to any sub-genre and composes music that stretches convention” (ChicagoJazz).

Jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader Orrin Evans stands as a beacon of innovation in the jazz scene. With a career spanning three decades, Evans has continuously defied categorization, blending genres from jazz and blues to soul. A two-time GRAMMY-Nominated artist, his accolades speak to his immense talent and creative vision. Evans's collaborators range from recurring Wisconsin Union Theater artist Immanuel Wilkins to legendary saxophonist Branford Marsalis, who is set to perform as part of the 2024-2025 WUT season

Sunday, 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 - We Exist! Dee Dee Bridgewater Quartet

Eight-time GRAMMY nominee and Tony Award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater “has a technique and musicality that bests most performers of her generation, and her understanding of the ‘great American songbook’ makes pretenders pale in comparison” (The Guardian). Having risen to fame in New York Jazz clubs, Bridgewater has been active in the city’s Jazz scene since 1970. Bridgewater also pursued a parallel career in musical theater, winning a Tony Award for her role as Glinda in "The Wiz" in 1975.

Join us for an unforgettable experience at the Memorial Union Terrace. We look forward to spending our Summer by the Lake with you! To check out the full lineup of Jazz Fest events taking place throughout Madison June 7-16, head to

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