One of Milwaukee's most popular summer festivals released its 2013 music line-up recently. Jazz in the Park is one of the city's premier outdoor destinations of tourists and locals alike, who have flocked in ever-growing numbers to the festival since it first began in 1991. An average of nearly 10,000 fans has attended the weekly Thursday shows since then, and this season is expected to raise that number significantly.
Located in the heart of downtown, the event continues its residence at the scenic Cathedral Square this year. Street parking is available for commuters who don't live close enough to walk, the closest spots situated on the streets surrounding the square, Kilbourn, Jefferson, Wells, and Jackson. The city's number 30 bus line also runs directly to the venue.
Debuting just two years ago, Milwaukee's own Extra Crispy Brass Band will headline Jazz in the Park's first show of 2013 on Thursday, June 6th. The six member group has been a main stay in the bar and festival scene since forming in 2011, including performances at notable events such as the WMSE Backyard BBQ and Bastille Days. The act delivers to fans a plethora of historic and modern brass band music, specializing in early century titles and their own creative originals.
The festival's first out-of-state performer comes to town for the second week of the summer season. Minneapolis’s Davina and the Vagabonds is led by dynamic female vocalist and piano player Davina Sowers, who has been compared to such names as Etta James and Amy Winehouse by many critics. Backed by a four-piece band, Sowers is a classically trained musician who plays her own eclectic mixture of blues, jazz, and ragtime.
Soule Monde (from Vermont,) and Madison native Natty Nation perform before Jazz in the Park takes a two-week hiatus for the 4th of July and Bastille Days. Tweed Funk reopens the festival on July 18th, the first of six Milwaukee-based bands to perform before it ends on September 5th.
Fo/Mo/Deep and Snarky Puppy are the only other non-Wisconsin acts this season. Both have earned national and international attention, Brooklyn's Snarky Puppy even slated to attend this year's London Jazz Festival and New Morning in Paris.
Admission to every show of the 2013 Jazz in the Park festival is free. Alcohol and food are sold by a variety of vendors stationed around the square, though no outside alcohol is permitted on the grounds. Deals on alcohol are offered during the 5PM happy hour. Music starts at 6PM.
2013 Jazz in the Park Line-Up
6th – Extra Crispy Brass Band (Milwaukee)
13th – Davina & the Vagabonds (Minneapolis, MN)
20th – Soule Monde (Burlington, VT)
27th – Natty Nation (Madison)
18th – Tweed Funk (Milwaukee)
25th – Torn Soul (Milwaukee)