CEDAR RAPIDS — Hot August nights are about to get a little hotter, as KCCK-FM launches Jazz Under the Stars on Thursday nights, Aug. 2 to 23.
The first three concerts will be held at Noelridge Park, 4900 Council St. NE, and the finale will move to the McGrath Amphitheatre, 475 First St. SW. The slate is dedicated to the memory of legendary KCCK air personality Gordon Paulsen of Cedar Rapids, who died in April.
“Jazz Under the Stars was Gordon’s favorite event,” said Dennis Green, KCCK’s general manager, in announcing the series.
The Jazz Standard, led by Paul and Gail Williams of Cedar Rapids, launches the season Aug. 2.
Reigning International Blues Challenge winner Kevin “B.F.” Burt of Coralville will step into the spotlight on Aug. 9 with the Corridor Blues All-Stars.
Burt took the annual Memphis competition by storm in February with a soulful rendition of “Eleanor Rigby” to beat out entrants from all over the world. He is the first musician to win the solo/duo competition and the Lee Oskar Best Harmonica Award and the Cigar Box Guitar award for Most Promising Acoustic Act.
Another highlight brings audience favorite The Funk Daddies back to Jazz Under the Stars on Aug. 16, after a 10-year absence.
The Aug. 23 finale features Coe College professor and Cedar Rapids Municipal Band Director Steve Shanley directing an all-star big band, accompanying some of the Corridor’s most popular singers. Slated to appear are Amy Friedl Stoner, Craig Boche, Eddie Piccard, Prairie High School student Lydia Jennisen and KCCK’s own Hollis Monroe.
WHAT: KCCK’s Jazz Under the Stars
TIME: 7 p.m. Thursdays in August
AUG. 2: The Jazz Standard, Noelridge Park, 4900 Council St. NE, Cedar Rapids
AUG. 9: Kevin “B.F.” Burt and the Corridor Blues All-Stars, Noelridge Park
AUG. 16: Funk Daddies, Noelridge Park; with KCCK’s CD sale
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AUG. 23: Eastern Iowa All-Star Big Band with Singers, McGrath Amphitheatre, 475 First St. SW, Cedar Rapids
EXTRAS: Bring seating and picnics or buy from food vendors on-site; in case of rain, go to KCCK-FM, 88.3, Kcck.org, Facebook or @jazz883kcck on Twitter for cancellation or rain location sites