There's lots of live jazz to take in this weekend in the area. In addition to Eddie Piccard's regular gigs at the Fireside Grill in Kalona tonight, Konstantino's in Cedar Rapids tomorrow night, and the Top of the Five Seasons Hotel in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, plus the Dick Watson Trio at the Lighthouse Friday and Saturday, there's a handful of other events of note. First off, it's the first installment of the KCCK series, "Looking at Jazz: America's Art Form" at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, which explores the culture and history of jazz. Our own Mark Yother is your host for "New Orleans: the Birthplace of Jazz" and "The Jazz Age & the 1920s," Friday night at 7 with pianist Brent Watkins providing the music. This three-part series continues February 16 and March 16.
The U of I School of Jazz is providing us with a couple of nights of great jazz. On Friday in Clapp Recital Hall at 8pm, it's the Jazz Extravaganza, featuring student groups the Jazz Guitar Ensemble, Chuck and the All-Nighters, Living Proof, and the Jazztet. Then on Saturday, the action moves to the Englert Theater downtown for the OftEnsemble, a collective of U of I jazz faculty and alumni, in concert at 8pm. This group features Brent Sandy, Bob Thompson, Chris Merz, Rich Medd, Steve Grismore, John Rapson, Greg Mazunik, Jim Dreier and Paul Cunliffe. They'll be featuring works by Rapson, Merz, Grismore, Chris Potter, Bennie Maupin and Jymie Merritt. You can follow this concert by staying downtown and heading to the Sanctuary for some late night jazz with saxophonist Saul Lubaroff and his quartet.
We've also learned of an appearance by Des Moines native Dick Oates on Saturday night. The nationally-known saxophonist appears with Al Naylor's jazz bands at Linn-Mar High School in Marion starting at 7:30pm. Who says there's never anything to do around here?!
Bob Stewart, Program Director email@example.com