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2018 Isthmus Jazz Festival Lineup Announced

Press Release

For immediate release

Contact: Esty Dinur, edinur@wisc.edu, (608) 262-3907

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The Wisconsin Union Theater, in collaboration with the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium and supported by Isthmus, is excited to announce the line-up for the 2018 annual Isthmus Jazz Fest. For the first time ever, this year’s festival spans 10 days. Ilango Villoth, the Wisconsin Union Directorate’s Performing Arts Committee Jazz Assistant Director says, “2018 marks the incredible 31st anniversary of the Isthmus Jazz Festival. I'm ecstatic to announce that the festival has evolved into a city-wide celebration of Jazz! Our wonderful committee has been hard at work programming jazz shows and events stretching throughout and beyond the entire Isthmus area. This grander festival format allows for a wider variety of jazz to be shown and celebrated throughout venues all around the city of Madison, including a Strollin' series on State Street.

“And if you've come to love the previous festivals on the Terrace, don't panic -- the two Saturdays bookending the Isthmus Jazz Festival, June 2nd and 9th, will feature full days of jazz on the Terrace."

The schedule is as follows:


Friday, June 1st


Darren Sterud Orchestra with special guest Tim Whalen

Ticketed Event

Location: Brink Lounge 701 E. Washington Ave., Suite 105 Madison, WI 53703



Poet Fabu Book Launch and Poetry Reading and Emerson Hunton's Quintet

Ticketed Event

Location: Arts + Literature Laboratory 2021 Winnebago St., Madison, 53704


Saturday, June 2nd Memorial Union Terrace


Sun Prairie High School All-Stars


UW Jazz Orchestra


Ben Ferris Octet


Gerri DiMaggio Quintet


Joel Paterson & The Modern Sounds


Sunday, June 3rd


“Musicians Find ‘Utopia’ in Denmark: African American Jazz Expatriates” by UW Professor Ethelene Whitmire, followed by Filmmaker Chuck France presenting his documentary "Jazz in Exile” (1982)


Location: Urban League of Greater Madison, 2222 S Park St., Madison, WI 53713



World premiere: Hanah Jon Taylor's "Songs for the Emerging Man," performed by the Hanah Jon Taylor Artet

Ticketed Event

Location: The Madison Opera Center,335 W. Mifflin Street
Madison, WI 53703



Madison Jazz Jam presents Lem Banks


Location: North St. Cabaret 610 North Street
Madison, WI 53703



Inspired Jazz, with Bishop Harold Rayford


Location: Fountain of Life Covenant Church 633 W Badger Rd, Madison, WI 53713


Tuesday, June 5th


Matthew Endres, “History Sandwiched In” with UW School of Music jazz history professor Matthew Endres presenting “Jazz in the Dairy Land: A Brief History of Jazz in Wisconsin.”


Location: Wisconsin Historical Museum, 816 State Street, Madison, WI 53706



“A Celebration of the Artistry and Spirit of Women in Jazz,” Jessica Courtier with pianist Jane Reynolds and bassist Laurie Lang,


Location: Capitol Lakes 333 W. Main Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53703



New Breed Jazz Jam  featuring Tony Barba and Paul Dietrich, performing Wayne Shorter’s album Speak No Evil in its entirety.


Location: North Street Cabaret 610 North Street
Madison, WI 53703


Wednesday, June 6th


Book launch for Kurt Dietrich’s Wisconsin Riffs: Jazz Profiles from the Heartland

Location: Wisconsin Historical Museum, 816 State St., Madison, WI 53706



Lynette’s Vocal Improvisational Group


Location: North Street Cabaret, 610 North St., Madison, WI 53703



Acolplados- Latin Jazz Project

Ticketed Event

Location: North Street Cabaret, 610 North St., Madison, WI 53703


Thursday, June 7th


An Evening of Rare Jazz Films with Gary Alderman


Location: Sequoya Public Library 4340 Tokay Blvd Madison, WI 53711



Matt Ulery’s Loom Trio

Ticketed Rvent

Location: Brink Lounge 701 E. Washington Ave., Suite 105 Madison, WI 53703


Friday, June 8th

5:00 pm-midnight

Strollin’ State Street


Location: 100-400 blocks of State Street, Madison, WI


Saturday, June 9th


Kids Jazz Exploration & Magical Concert with John Becker, Laurie Lang and Chris Wagoner


Location: Madison Children’s Museum 100 N. Hamilton Street, Madison, WI 53703


Saturday, June 9th Memorial Union Terrace. Free


Edgewood College Jazz Band


High School Jazz All-Stars


Alison Margaret Quintet




 Panchromatic Steel


Sunday, June 10th


Madison Jazz Society Annual Year-end Party featuring the Chicago Cellar Boys


Location: Wyndham Garden Hotel 2969 Cahill Main Madison, WI 53711


The Isthmus Jazz Fest is presented by the Wisconsin Union Theater’s Performing Arts Committee, Isthmus, and Greater Madison Jazz Consortium. MG&E, Prime Urban Properties, John and Carolyn Peterson Charitable Foundation, UW Credit Union, Peterson Foundation are sponsors. This project is supported by Dane Arts with additional funds from Endres Mfg. Company, The Evjue Foundation, Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times, the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation, and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation. Additional sponsors include Madison Jazz Society, Madison Music Collective, Madison Jazz Jam and Overture Center for the Arts. This festival was supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. WORT 89.9 is a media sponsor.