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Monday, June 2, 2014

Jazz in the Park – Milwaukee's Thursday Night Music Fix

The season for outdoor music festivals is upon us, so if you've been looking for a cheap way to get your Milwaukee music fix, then Jazz in the Park might be just what you've been looking for. This free outdoor concert series, which started up back in 1991, features thirteen great acts in 2014 in a range of musical genres including jazz, big band, blues, funk, R&B, and reggae.

The festival, which draws in an average of 8000 people per event, runs every Thursday evening from June 5th to September 4th (except for July 10th when the city holds Bastille Days) between the hours of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Cathedral Square Park. The park is located in downtown Milwaukee surrounded by Kilbourn Avenue on the north, Jackson Street on the east, Wells Street on the south, and Jefferson Street on the west.

Some people come to Jazz in the Park to dance, while others prefer to stroll around the grounds with their friends or loved ones. If you are more into sitting and relaxing while enjoying the music and friendly atmosphere of the park, then simply bring your own blanket or some chairs. Do be prepared to carry them a couple blocks, however, if you aren't planning on arriving early as finding nearby street parking can be troublesome on most Thursday evenings.

The music portion of the night begins at 6 p.m., but visitors are welcome to attend the pre-show happy hour starting at 5 p.m. where you can enjoy some great specials on beer, wine, and cocktails from one (or more) of the many vendors located around the park. As all proceeds from the happy hour sales go straight back into maintaining the festival, the event organizers ask that you do not bring outside alcohol into the park during festival hours.

The 2014 Jazz in the Park schedule is as follows:
  • June 5: Nabori
  • June 12: Dumpstaphunk
  • June 19: Hood Smoke
  • June 26: Paul Spencer Band
  • July 3: King Solomon
  • July 17: AhVantSoul featuring Jon Pierre Gee and Kat Web
  • July 24: Nick Waterhouse
  • July 31: Calje: Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble
  • August 7: Wicked Knee
  • August 14: 5 Card Studs with special guest Jim Liban
  • August 21: Terry Sims Band
  • August 28: Forq
  • September 4: Reverend Raven and the Chain Smoking Alter Boys
So if you happen to be in the Milwaukee area and find yourself looking for something to keep you musically entertained on a Thursday evening, then be sure to head on over to Cathedral Square Park between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. The music is great, the people are friendly, and with it being a free event, the price couldn't be more right.

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