Bob Jacobson


Kevin Henkes

Hometown children’s literature superstar Kevin Henkes is in the company of the greats. He received the 2020 Legacy Award from the American Library Association. He joins Dr. Seuss, E. B. White and Beverly Cleary at the top of the field. Read more


With an expert time-lapse cinematographer and a movie star narrator, “Fantastic Fungi” takes the audience on a ride through the mycosphere, exploring the various ways in which mushrooms might save the world. Read more



Brent Nicastro

In 1987, organizers roped Ben Sidran into playing a set — and Steve Miller stopped by. Then came Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Betty Carter and Herbie Hancock. This year’s Isthmus Jazz Festival celebrates the event’s 30th anniversary. Read more

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Henry Adebonojo

Jazz legend Terence Blanchard headlines 30th anniversary Isthmus Jazz Festival June 16-17. Read more


Hometown hero and DIY music promoter Ari Herstand returns to Madison for a solo show at the High Noon Saloon (Feb. 26) and a book signing at Barnes & Noble (Feb. 28). Read more



Autumn de Wilde

Hatched in Portland, Oregon, as a musical accompaniment for political fundraisers, Pink Martini has grown into a globe-trotting, multilingual fun fest. Bob Jacobson talks to founder Thomas Lauderdale about creating the “little orchestra.” Read more


No alarm bells seem to be going off as the owner of Milwaukee’s Nomad World Pub takes over Madison’s longtime Cardinal Bar. New owner Mike Eitel says he plans to continue relationships with the LGBT and Latino communities. Read more

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Hanah Jon Taylor, sax whiz and educator, is hoping to open a dedicated jazz venue in Madison. The project’s crowdfunding campaign is underway, but the location of the venue might be in question. Read more


Ben Ferris, one of Madison’s busiest bassists, is releasing a harmonically rich debut album called “Home.” He’s at Crescendo Espresso Bar and Music Cafe Dec. 16. Read more


Four Madison saxophone players are part of the sax choir on Bon Iver’s new album, “22, A Million.” They report that in addition to being a generous collaborator, Justin Vernon is a regular Cheesehead — and a Packers fan. Read more



Dewey Nicks

At age 81, famed trumpeter and record mogul Herb Alpert has released a new rump-shaking album. He stops by the Stoughton Opera House on Oct. 14 with his longtime partner and soulmate, vocalist Lani Hall. Read more

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When “Doc” DeHaven passed away last week, Madison lost a lyrical and melodic trumpet player and a longtime music educator who left a lasting impact on this community. Read more


His work spans music, comedy, puppetry and video. Isthmus speaks to “outsider artist” David Liebe Hart in advance of his July 25 performance at the Frequency. Read more



Festival photos by David Michael Miller

Madison is rich in summer festivals, and this bounty means you get to see top national and international acts — for free— all summer long. Isthmus music critics weigh in on the summer’s don’t-miss festival shows. Read more

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James O'Brien

​As UW-Madison celebrates 100 years of offering Yiddish instruction, campus scholars and musicians are gearing up for “Out of the Shadows: Rediscovering Jewish Music, Literature and Theater,” May 1-5. Read more

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Kelley McRae

After nearly five years on the road, singer/songwriter Josh Harty is back in Madison, with a new album, “Holding On.” He performs with Old Soul Society and Nashville artist Sarah Lou Richards at the High Noon Saloon on March 19. Read more



Jeff Miller/UW Madison

When the Grammy Awards launch on Feb. 15, UW folklorist Jim Leary will be paying close attention. He’s nominated for Best Album Notes for his massive collection of recordings and writings on the folk music of the Upper Midwest. Read more


Madison’s Yid Vicious celebrates 20 years of existence at an anniversary show at Mother Fools Coffeehouse on Jan. 22. Founding member Bob Jacobson reflects on the series of coincidences that led to the original lineup. Read more

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Riley Frambes

Madison already has a happening storytelling scene. But with the arrival of national powerhouse the Moth StorySLAM in February, it’s about to take flight. Read more

A & E


Daniel G. Baird

Condensed Matter Community is a curatorial project featuring work by 34 artists in a variety of media, designed to spark dialogue about the art/science nexus. And get this: The exhibit is at the UW’s decommissioned particle accelerator. Read more

A & E