The Isthmus Jazz Festival will feature more than a dozen performances on June 1 and 2 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Memorial Union, all of them free. The headliner is vocalist Mary Stallings, who's worked with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie.
Stallings was a prominent talent in the 1960s but walked away from music in the 1970s for a career in clothing design. Now she's back, sounding like the great jazz singer who somehow slipped through the cracks. Stallings performs at the Wisconsin Union Theater, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 2.
The chance to see the headliner for free is a new twist for the Isthmus Jazz Festival, which also offers free sets by regional acts on the Memorial Union Terrace on June 1 (4-11:30 p.m.) and 2 (12:30-11:30 p.m.). The lineup includes a wide range of sounds from Madison and beyond, including Latin group Madisalsa, the jump-blues trio Modern Sounds, and Chicago saxophone phenom Rajiv Halim. There will be a jam session and late-night sets suitable for dancing.
Isthmus Jazz Festival 2012
All events are free at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St. Mary Stallings performs in the Wisconsin Union Theater, with other acts on the Terrace. The outdoor events move into the Union in case of rain.
Friday, June 1
4 p.m.: Ladies Must Swing
5 p.m.: The Rand Moore Quartet
6:30 p.m.: Gerri DiMaggio and friends with special guest Donna Bender
8 p.m.: The Rajiv Halim Quintet
10 p.m.: The Modern Sounds
Saturday, June 2
12:30 p.m.: Student bands from UW-Whitewater, Edgewood College, UW-Madison, and Madison high schools
4 p.m.: Dave Stoler Quartet, featuring John Greiner
5:30 p.m.: Alison Margaret Jazz Quartet
6:45 p.m.: The New Breed
8 p.m.: Mary Stallings
10 p.m.: Madisalsa