Everything you need to know about Iowa City Jazz Festival

Free events run Friday through Sunday

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IOWA CITY — Non-stop jazz is set for four stages at the Iowa City Jazz Festival this weekend. In its 26th year, the festival offers music, art, food and other entertainment downtown starting at 4 p.m. Friday and culminating in fireworks Sunday evening.

The festival attracts jazz connoisseurs from surrounding states, said John Kenyon, who serves on the music selection committee and the Board of Directors for the Summer of the Arts, the organization hosting the event.

“We’re a community landlocked here in the middle of the U.S. and you’ve got to drive a considerable amount to see these kinds of acts,” Kenyon said, adding that many jazz festivals aren’t free like the Iowa City celebration.

While not everyone may be a jazz connoisseur, the festival has something for everyone, said Lisa Barnes, executive director of Summer of the Arts.

“Part of our mission is bringing people together through the arts,” Barnes said. “A lot of people may or may not be familiar with jazz ... it’s kind of a niche, but jazz is rooted in so many types of music.”

Admission to the festival and entertainment is free. Food, beverages and art vendors are to be on site.

Here’s everything you need to know before you head out:



Friday — 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday — 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday — 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.


Old Capitol, Clinton Street and Iowa Avenue

• Main stage — Pentacrest
• Youth stage — on Iowa Avenue, close to Dubuque Street
• Local stage — on North Clinton Street between Iowa Avenue and Jefferson Street
• College stage — South Clinton Street, close to Washington Street


Best parking is in the downtown parking ramps — the closest ones are the Old Capitol Town Center Garage and Tower Place & Parking. A shuttle service is planned for those with disabilities. For a full list of ramps and prices, visit www.downtowniowacity.com.

Weather Forecast

Friday — Mostly sunny, high of 77, low of 57
Saturday — Mostly sunny, high of 79, low of 58
Sunday — Partly sunny, high of 81, low of 62

Food and Drinks

Culinary Row and the Beverage Garden, featuring a variety of vendors, is open from 4-10 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Main stage acts

Friday — 5 p.m. United Jazz Ensemble; 7 p.m. Akiko Tsuruga Trio featuring Jeff Hamilton & Graham Dechter; 9 p.m. Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom

Saturday — 1 p.m. North Corridor Jazz All Stars; 3 p.m. Phil Hey Quartet; 5 p.m. Marquis Hill Blacktet; 7 p.m. Vijay lyer Trio; 9 p.m. Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band

Sunday — Noon Damani Phillips Trio; 2 p.m. Larry Fuller Trio; 4 p.m. Edmar Castaneda Trio; 6 p.m. Miguel Zenon Quartet; 8 p.m. David Berkman Sextet

Kids activities

• FUN Zone activities with crafts, games and other activities
• Face painting and balloon twisting


Fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m. Sunday. They are being shot from the west side of the Old Capitol.

New this year

• More local beers in Beverage Garden
• Kids can create design on T-shirts
• 12 artist booths open from 4-10 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday

What to take

Cash, although many vendors accept credit cards and downtown Iowa City has multiple ATMs; sunscreen; comfortable walking shoes; lawn chairs for live entertainment.

More Info

www.summerofthearts.org, (319) 337-7944

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