As summer builds with the longest days of the year this weekend, the city will rock, bob, swing and applaud to the sounds of Make Music Madison, the Isthmus Jazz Festival, Solskinn and the Madison Area Music Awards. The calendar also includes: Blues Picnic in the Park and Fruit Fest; the East x West concert and One Night Stand party featuring Kid Cut Up; more live music from Dorothy Scott, Ha Ha Tonka, Maps & Atlases, The Lonesome Organist, Geri X, Cris Plata & Extra Hot, Parquet Courts, the Fred Eaglesmith Traveling Steam Show, and Josephine Foster; performances by Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society; Adult Swim Night; a production of Too Many Husbands; and, a book reading by Nathan Rabin and the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets Invitational Poetry Marathon.
NOTEWORTHY: China declares war on U.S. during Boxer Rebellion, 1900.
Multiple venues, 7:30 am-9 pm
More than 270 free, outdoor performances will take place throughout the city on Friday. Highlights include indie rockers Dakotas at James Madison Park (8:15 pm), a parade of percussionists that begins at the Urban League (7 pm), and industrial hip-hop duo Conscious Object in the train at 640 W. Washington Ave. (1:30-2:30 pm). See Isthmus Jazz Festival
UW Memorial Union Terrace, 4:30 pm-midnight. Also Saturday, June 22, 1 pm-midnight
On Friday, Isthmus kicks off its free jazz extravaganza with the High School Jazz All-Stars with Anthony Wonsey (4:30 pm), the Carmen Lundy Outreach choir (6 pm), We Six (6:30 pm), Typhanie Monique (8:20 pm) and the Madison Jazz Orchestra (10:10 pm). On Saturday, it's college bands (1 pm), Get Down, Mr. Cat! with Michelle DuVall (4 pm), the UW Jazz Orchestra with Marcus Shelby (6 pm), headliner Carmen Lundy (8 pm at UW Mills Hall), the Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Sextet (8 pm) and the Mike Frost Project (10 pm). Read all about the performers (Music), and enjoy.
Elvehjem Park, 4:30-9 pm
Though this collection of free concerts organized by Jonk Music is technically part of Make Music Madison, it's also a standalone event that sings the praises of the Elvehjem neighborhood. Expect reverb-heavy retro-futurist tunes from Montreal band the Luyas and electronic Americana from UW grad student Julian Lynch, plus sets by Madison's Double Ewes, Dietrich Gosser, Little Legend and Icarus Himself.
Madison Children's Museum, 6 pm
Participate in a pagan fashion snow, build a miniature Stonehenge, and dance to the Celtic strains of the Pints at this solstice-themed evening for grownups.
Friday's "Stacked Deck" program features works by Ries and Faure, while Saturday's "Put Your Cards on the Table" program tells the stories of Johannes Brahms and Robert and Clara Schumann through songs, letters and diary entries. Both programs will be performed on Sunday.
Fair Trade Coffee House, 8 pm
Scott's guitar playing is impressive, and her songwriting has been compared to that of Van Morrison.
Majestic Theatre, 8 pm
This event will debut a new live-broadcasting technology by streaming the performances in China. The lineup includes superstar soprano Ruhan Jia and WJJO favorite Edisun, a New York rock band headed by Madison native Ethan Isaac.
Frequency, 9 pm
This rock band's name points to a state park in Missouri, which in turn points to the Ozark folk traditions that shape their songwriting. With Ezra Furman and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
The Chicago group have a Wisconsinite on their roster (guitarist Erin Elders) and a penchant for mathy Midwestern rock. With Mutts and Midas Bison.
Mickey's Tavern, 10:30 pm
This one-man band is also the keyboardist of the funky post-rock project 5ive Style. Listen for hints of spaghetti-western composer Ennio Morricone in his set. With Ex-Bombers and TT & the Night Owls.
Warner Park, noon-9pm
Madison Blues Society's annual event will feature nine hours of live blues by artists such as Cash Box Kings (1:45 pm), Joel Paterson Trio (4:50 pm) and Matthew Skoller (7:30 pm). The music is free, but your pocketbook may gravitate toward the raffle and food stands.
Plan B parking lot, noon-9 pm
The all-ages LGBTQI fest celebrates the gay community with bands, food, drag queens, bingo and a 5K run/walk (10 am). We're here, we're queer, and we're gonna finish that 5K, dammit.
American Players Theatre in Spring Green, 8 pm. Also Thursday & Tuesday, June 20 & 25, 7:30 pm
APT performs W. Somerset Maugham's farce about a woman who believes her husband is dead and remarries, only to find that husband number one is very much alive. Artistic director David Frank directs -- always a good sign.
Frequency, 8 pm
This Bulgarian-born musician studied classical piano before plunging into garage rock and blues. With Looka Looka Looka, Nellie Wilson, Meaghan Owens and the Gold Hope Duo.
Harmony Bar, 9:30 pm
One of the first acts to perform at the Harmony after it opened in 1990, Plata will conjure nostalgia with his blend of Mexican Norteño music and Texas swing. It's especially appropriate since owner Keith Daniels will retire in September.
High Noon Saloon, 9:30 pm
Madison is one of the smallest cities on this punkish New York band's latest tour, which includes a stop at Pitchfork Fest in July. The High Noon is much more intimate than most of the other venues they're visiting. With Cowboy Winter and Dharma Dogs.
Segredo, 10 pm
After becoming one of Milwaukee's hottest acts a few years ago, this DJ moved to L.A. to chase his electronic dreams. He seems to be on the right path, with a recent residency at Hollywood's Eden nightclub and a show with rapper Wiz Khalifa.
NOTEWORTHY: College Board administers first SAT exam, 1926.
Olbrich Gardens, 1-4 pm
Badger bards like Max Garland, Fabu and Oscar Mireles declaim their finest stanzas. If the gorgeous garden setting can't inspire high lyricism, nothing can.
A Room of One's Own, 2 pm
The UW alum and head writer of the Onion's A.V. Club reads from his book You Don't Know Me but You Don't Like Me. It's a high-concept journalistic foray into two distinct musical subcultures: the Phish world and the Insane Clown Posse world.
Overture Center's Capitol Theater, 7 pm. Red carpet at 6 pm
The 10th annual awards show honors local musicians' efforts in more than 60 categories. Several acts, including the Daze, Kicksville and Tefman, will perform during the ceremony, and strutting will abound at the pre-show red-carpet event.
High Noon Saloon, 8 pm
Shockrasonica, 9 pm
The prolific singer-songwriter bridges the gap between folk and psychedelia with beautiful experiments featuring harp and ukulele. With Pioneer and Asumaya.