Isthmus Jazz Festival


David Alderman

Isthmus reporter Mike Muckian was just two days too late to view the phenomenal jazz record and memorabilia collection with the late DJ and collector, Gary Alderman. The community is mourning the loss. Read more


After getting bumped from its usual spot last year, Isthmus Jazz Festival organizers improvised, spreading the festival out over 10 days and multiple venues. They liked the results so much, they’re sticking with it for the 32nd annual fest. Read more



Corey Wilkes photo by Ingrid Moreta, Joel Paterson photo by Nolan Wells

After getting bumped from Shannon Hall and the Terrace for the ’60s Reunion, programmers for the Isthmus Jazz Festival decided to shake things up. This 31st program will take place over 10 days and focus on local talent and diverse voices. Read more


The Ben Ferris Octet visited the Isthmus office on Tuesday for a special session announcing the lineup for the 31st annual Isthmus Jazz Festival. The event will bring dozens of acts to venues all over the city June 1-10. 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


Joey Alexander, the 12-year-old Indonesian jazz pianist who wowed the audience at the 2016 Grammys, is coming to Madison to headline the Isthmus Jazz Festival on June 22. Read more



Reese Moore

Freddy Cole, brother of Nat King Cole, has forged a luminous career, performing all over the world and recording more than 20 albums. He joins a lineup of local luminaries for the Isthmus Jazz Festival, June 19-20 at the UW Memorial Union. Read more



Austin Jeffries

Ralph Russo, cultural arts director of the Wisconsin Union Theater, warned the near-capacity crowd Saturday night that there are "lots of touchups to finalize" in the renovated auditorium space now known as Shannon Hall. But iconic bassist and UW mus Read more



Joe Engle

I walked out to the Union Terrace at sunset for an entirely different sort of musical pleasure. The Darren Sterud Orchestra played a set of punchy big-band jazz, heavy on Thad Jones. Read more



Timothy Hughes

It takes only a few minutes of conversation with Richard Davis to figure out that this is a man who likes to wing it. That's true whether he's recording an album, teaching a group of aspiring bassists or mapping out a concert set list. Read more


This year's Isthmus Jazz Fest on the Terrace takes place at the UW Memorial Union on June 20 and 21. All events, including Richard Davis' appearance with Willie Pickens, are free and open to the public. Acts perform on the Terrace unless noted otherw Read more


Bassist Richard Davis' star power should draw a big crowd to Isthmus Jazz Fest at the UW Memorial Union June 20-21, but the event is also a chance to celebrate other acts that keep the genre alive close to home and around the world. Read more


The Isthmus Jazz Festival is the first event at the new, improved Wisconsin Union Theater, which has been under construction for the past two years. Richard Davis and Willie Pickens will be the inaugural performers at Shannon Hall, the theater's prim Read more



Dean Robbins

The 2012 Isthmus Jazz Festival began Friday afternoon under blue skies, with sailboats drifting behind the UW Terrace stage. It's hard to be in a bad mood in such conditions, and the Ladies Must Swing big band made it even harder. They hark back to t Read more