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



Eric Ryan Anderson

Branford Marsalis — the oldest sibling in the Marsalis musical dynasty — talks with Isthmus about the difference between playing jazz and classical and the role of ego in musicianship. He’s at Overture Center April 9. Read more



Amy Stocklein

Hanah Jon Taylor never liked how music is taught more like science than the language it really is. So every Saturday, he turns his Cafe Coda jazz club into a classroom. Read more


Betsy Ezell conquered self-doubt, started writing music at age 35 and broke into the Madison jazz scene. Now vocalist and bandleader of the Betsy Ezell Quintet, she celebrates the release of her debut album Jan. 25 at North Street Cabaret. Read more


“Plutonium,” the epic new suite of jazz pieces from longtime Madison drummer Michael Brenneis, is a gorgeous, thrilling and sometimes terrifying examination of industrialization and its impact on the human condition. Read more

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Jean Picard

Ben Sidran sorted through decades of recordings to help put together a three-CD retrospective, “Ben There, Done That.” It’s out on Sunset Blvd Records. Read more



Eric Schirtzinger

Johannes Wallmann releases “Day and Night,” a new album of originals and standards that brings together some of the players the pianist worked with in New York City. Read more


Until he saw The Beatles on TV, Pat Metheny was following in his family’s tradition of learning trumpet. Isthmus talks to the jazz guitar virtuoso in advance of his Oct. 14 show at the Wisconsin Union Theater. Read more

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Christopher Drukker

Madison will celebrate the legacy of Richard Davis, a world famous jazz musician, educator and racial justice advocate. A multimedia event is planned for Oct. 11 at Overture Center’s Capitol Theater. Read more


Cafe Coda’s former downtown space is being demolished for a new hotel. But the jazz club is reopening on Willy Street, contributing to a burgeoning east side jazz scene. Read more



Elvira Faltermeier

Isthmus music writer Kiel Majewski chats with avant-garde jazz pioneer Roscoe Mitchell, who is performing in Madison for the first time in two years. Mitchell is a student of music, constantly revising what he is and what you thought he was. Read more


Sweet, simple melodies are taken apart and reassembled in new and wonderful ways on Dear Friend, the debut album from longtime Madison bassist John Christensen. Read more


Madison’s Arts + Literature Lab is becoming a regional destination for avant-garde jazz. The venue is curating a neighborhood-wide jazz festival on May 4. 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


Sax man Joe Lovano talks with Michael Muckian about collaborating with guitarist John Scofield. Their quartet plays the Barrymore Theatre on April 21. Read more



Todd Hubler

For decades, the Cardinal Bar was the center of Madison’s jazz and Latin music scene. But when it became Nomad World Pub, the music went away. Read more

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Alllison Geyer

Booted from their space on West Dayton Street earlier than anticipated, Cafe Coda co-founders Hanah Jon Taylor and Susan Fox hope to move their jazz club to a vacant storefront on Willy Street. 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



Anja Tanner

Tenor Joshua Stewart plays the ghost of saxophonist/composer Charlie Parker in Madison Opera’s production of “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird.” The chamber opera has its Midwest premiere at Overture Center’s Capitol Theater Feb. 10 and 12. Read more