Isthmus Jazz Festival to explore the intersection of jazz, hip hop and spoken word

First Wave alumna and spokenword artist Zhalarina Sanders will be among the artists contributing to the Isthmus Jazz Festival's fusion performers. Photo courtesy of OMAI

First Wave alum and spokenword artist Zhalarina Sanders will be among the artists contributing to the Isthmus Jazz Festival’s June 9th  fusion performers.

“Diversity is important to us. When we first started the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium, there were several of us on the board who wanted to make that the mission. It’s one of our big goals: not only to expand the jazz audience but to diversify in terms of race, ethnicity, and age,” says Howard Landsman, chair of the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium.

With that in mind, the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium and Wisconsin Union Theater will be joining forces to present the 32nd annual Isthmus Jazz Fest that feature an incredibly diverse array of artists who will perform at a variety of diverse venues throughout the city.

The 2019 Isthmus Jazz Festival, taking place from June 7-16, will present an ambitious and stylistically diverse array of concerts and other jazz-related events including special family-friendly programs, rare films, and much more.  And admission to most of the festival’s events will be free.

This year’s festival will offer two concerts that explore the intersection of jazz, hip hop and spoken word. On June 9, drummer Rick Flowers and his Floroq Trio with pianist Becca May Grant and bassist Eric Ross will perform at the Arts + Literature Laboratory with the multi-dimensional poets T Banks, Zhalarina, Dequadray, and Isha Camara.

Two nights later, on June 11th, a “Lyricists Lounge” at North Street Cabaret will find the New Breed Jazz Trio performing with poets Laduma Nyguza and D.L.O. Earlier that night, the Cabaret will offer a free showing of the 1961 feature film “Paris Blues,” with its score by Duke Ellington and starring Sidney Poitier and Paul Newman as expatriate American jazz musicians.

For the complete schedule for Isthmus Jazz Festival 2019 and information about each event, click here.