Get jazzed in July!

July 11, 2011 —

Ahh, July: It brings hot temperatures and, in the Des Moines metro, hot music. The city’s Metro Arts Alliance every year brings to the city “Jazz in July,” a family-friendly festival that celebrates jazz and art with free outdoor concerts almost every day of the month. Food vendors, visual artists and children’s activities add to the fun. Grab your lawn chair or blanket, your family and friends and enjoy these upcoming performances by local musicians and national acts:

Free outdoor concerts: It doesn’t get any better than that.

July 12: The John Krantz Quartet, which includes drummer Jim Eklof, bassist Steve Charlson and sax man Bryan Schumacker, visits Colby Park in Windsor Heights. 7 p.m. at 6900 School St.

July 13: The 10-piece Big Band Sound livens up the Sylvan Amphitheater at Greenwood Park, with catering by Woody’s Smoke Shack and Taste to Go. 6:30 p.m. at 4800 Grand Ave.

July 14: The Soya Vista Jazz Orchestra revives the sounds of the 1950s and ’60s cocktail generation, with hits by Henry Mancini and Burt Bacharach, on the lawn at Wesley Acres. 6:30 p.m. at 3520 Grand Ave.

July 15: The Scott Davis Quartet, a favorite at the Cosmopolitan Lounge, performs at Beaverdale Park. 6:30 p.m. at 34th Street and Adams Avenue.

July 16: Ashanti, the Afro-Cuban group founded by students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, makes a splash at the Clive Aquatic Center. 7:30 p.m. at 1801 N.W. 114th St.

July 17: The Des Moines Big Band makes some noise at the Johnston Public Library. 6 p.m. at 6700 Merle Hay Road.

July 18: Trumpeter Dave Rezek’s Alpha State Agents play music written just for them, behind the Shops at Roosevelt. 6:30 p.m. at 831 42nd St.

July 19: The usually-classical Belin (String) Quartet teams up with a saxophonist, bassist and drummer for a concert at the West Des Moines City Hall. 6:30 p.m. at 4200 Mills Civic Parkway.

July 20: The 17-piece High Society Big Band performs at Living History Farms, with catered barbecue from the Iowa Machine Shed. 6:30 p.m. at 1121 Hickman Road.

July 21: A group from the Drake University faculty plays in the courtyard of the Harmon Fine Arts Building, right outside the school’s new Turner Jazz Center. 6 p.m. at 25th Street and Carpenter Avenue.

July 22: The Fred Gazzo Band pays tribute to the Rat Pack on the Casady Building lawn. 6:30 p.m. at 1801 16th St.

July 23: Singer, pianist, bassist, trombonist, composer and teacher Susie Miget takes her band to the East Village, with a bonus performance by some of her students. 7 p.m. at East Sixth and Locust streets.

July 26: The Ballyhoo Foxtrot Orchestra brings the Roaring ’20s back to Terrace Hill. 6 p.m. at 2300 Grand Ave.

July 27: The 10-piece group Salsa Vibe, whose members have lived in Colombia, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Spain, Portugal and elsewhere, visit the Hispanic Educational Resources Center. 5:30 p.m. at 828 Scott Ave.

July 29: The Iowa City singer Betsy Hickok takes her back-up trio to Thomas Mitchell Park in Mitchellville. 6:30 p.m. at 10509 N.E. 46th Ave.

July 30: The festival finishes in a big, big way with the Turner Center Jazz Orchestra (11 a.m.), the Community Jazz Center Big Band (12:45 p.m.), the Valley High School Jazz Band (2:15 p.m.), the Johnston Station Jazz Band (4 p.m.), the Iowa All Star Cheerleaders (5:30 p.m.) and Bella Soul, with 15-year Jazz in July veteran Tina Haase Findlay (7:30 p.m.) around the man-made lake at Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines.


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