Endorsed by Gary Alderman

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Posted by Piano Man on June 05, 2009 at 21:13:53:

Local lineup sure to please at Isthmus Jazz Fest
Tom Alesia June 3, 2009

As a jazz archivist, collector, talent agent and longtime disc jockey, Gary Alderman has rightly earned his chops as Madison's jazz renaissance man. So when he raves about the Isthmus Jazz Festival's two-day lineup, fans can trust the solid endorsement.

Granted, Alderman is on the committee that helps select the acts performing at the Memorial Union Terrace for the 21st annual fest. But he insists that the city is home to a wealth of jazz talent and the festival's performers, all with Madison ties, prove that sentiment.

"These acts are going to get as much response -- and maybe more -- than bringing in someone from somewhere else," he said. "The reason for that is twofold: One, these groups are good and, two, at times you bring in outside acts that can be somewhat esoteric."

In other words, it's a crowd-pleasing event. And it's nearly all free.

Down from four days to two days this year, the fest's organizers still managed to pack nearly 20 hours of jazz on the Terrace stage.

The fest, as usual, also has a ticketed headliner in the Wisconsin Union Theater. That is four-time Grammy Award nominee and Puerto Rican native David Sanchez, who performs at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 6. He is considered one of the world's best young tenor saxophonists.

Sanchez, 30, won a Latin Grammy Award in 2005 for his album, "Coral." His most recent recording is last year's release "Cultural Survival."

Music will continue outdoors during Sanchez's indoor concert at the Union Theater.

After the fest opens Friday with Patrick Breiner, a saxophonist who moved from New York to Madison, singer Gerri DiMaggio will do a set featuring several additional female singers and a three-piece band.

"To me, it's one of the highlights of the festival because everybody responds well to vocalists," said Alderman, whose show "Journeys Into Jazz" airs from 2-5 p.m. Wednesdays on WORT-FM (89.9).

The busy New Breed Quintet performs at the fest for the first time this year, and Friday's lineup concludes with the Madison Jazz Orchestra. Of the latter group, Alderman said: "You have 17 or 18 musicians and they're wonderful and they swing and they're strong. When you hear them, it makes people feel good."

Saturday night's performers at the Terrace include Jan Wheaton; Tim Whalen Nonet ("It has some of the best musicians in this area," Alderman said); the band Get Down, Mr. Cat!, featuring singer Michelle DuVall; and Madisalsa.

The latter group is high energy.

"They blow everybody away. They're a first-class group," Alderman said. "They could be a national group. To me, Madisalsa's jazz. To some people, it might be Latin music or Latin jazz."

More jazz Sunday

The Madison Jazz Society (MJS) closes its 2008-2009 season with a free performance by the Madison Jazz Orchestra from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, June 7, at the Coliseum Bar, 232 E. Olin Ave.

Although the Madison Jazz Orchestra has been together since 1986, this is the group's first appearance at an MJS event. MJS begins its 25th-year celebration this fall.


What: Isthmus Jazz Festival

When: 4 p.m. to midnight, Friday, June 5, and 12:30 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, June 6.

Where: Memorial Union Terrace (rain location: Rathskeller inside Memorial Union)

Cost: Free


Friday, June 5:
Patrick Breiner Trio 4-5:30 p.m.
Gerri DiMaggio 6-7:30 p.m.
New Breed Quintet 8-9:30 p.m.
Madison Jazz Orchestra 10 p.m.-midnight.
Saturday, June 6:
Mama Digdown's Brass Band
(beginning on Library Mall) 12:30-1:30 p.m.
High School Jazz All-Stars 2-3 p.m.
Edgewood College Big Band 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Jan Wheaton 5-6 p.m.
Tim Whalen Nonet 6:30-8 p.m.
Get Down, Mr.Cat 8:30-10 p.m.
Madisalsa 10:30p.m.-midnight.

Ticketed concert: David Canchez, 8 p.m., Saturday, June 6, at Wisconsin Union Theater. Tickets: $32, $26 or $18 ($10 for UW-Madison students). Go to uniontheater.wisc.edu or call 262-2201

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