Concerts set for downtown La Crosse, Riverside Park and Caledonia
The sound of great jazz returns to the Coulee Region in July. The 43rd season of Jazz in the Park features the La Crosse Jazz Orchestra once again on stage. UW-La Crosse Professor Emeritus Greg Balfany directs the ensemble.
Concerts are set for La Crosse’s Riverside Park, the 300 block of Pearl Street, and the Gazebo in Caledonia, Minnesota. The five performances, all free, include:
Sunday, July 16, 7 p.m.
Riverside Park, La Crosse
Vocalists Cathy Reitz and Tim Henke are featured. Henke’s selections include Gino Vanelli’s “Venus Envy” and Sinatra’s “Lady is a Tramp.” Reitz will be featured on Natalie Cole’s “L.O.V.E” and the orchestra’s version of “On A Wonderful Day Like Today.” The band will introduce several selections that have not been performed in the Jazz in the Park series before. Drummer Rich MacDonald will be featured on the sizzling Latin chart “Garaje Gato.” Works by Terry Gibbs, Glen Miller and Count Basie will round out the program. The rain site is the Weber Center for the Arts.
Tuesday, July 25, 7 p.m.
Downtown Gazebo, Caledonia, Minnesota
A new set of vocals and other charts will highlight this 90-minute program. A special salute to the Armed Forces will be performed, including Navy Jazz Band versions of the “Stars and Stripes Forever” and “America the Beautiful.” Tim Henke will sing Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA.” The rain site is a building next to the gazebo.
Thursday, July 27, 6 p.m.
Moon Tunes, Riverside Park
This concert includes unique debuts. UW-La Crosse alum and American Idol Star, Reed Grimm, will reprise his performance of last year with a couple of new twists. Broadway touring actress Stephanie Harter will lead a vocal trio reinterpreting two great hits from the Andrew’s Sisters, “Rum and Coca Cola” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.” The band will debut an arrangement commissioned locally and created especially for the orchestra. The ensemble will also perform Miami writer Rob Lussier’s arrangement of “Cat Battles!” The rain site is the Weber Center for the Arts.
Friday, July 28, 7 p.m.
Downtown La Crosse Street Dance
East end of the 300 block of Pearl Street
The performance will include popular big band hits featuring the orchestra’s five singers.
Sunday, Aug. 6, 6 p.m.
Riverside Jazz Party
This evening of jazz features guest vocalist Steven March-Torme. Guest groups will include the La Crosse area high school all-star jazz band and other ensembles. The rain site is the Weber Center for the Arts.
The La Crosse Jazz Orchestra continues the tradition of summer concerts, along with performing at concerts, dances, and festivals throughout the Coulee Region and elsewhere. Along with this year’s guest vocalists Grimm and Torme, the band has backed up such luminaries as Janet Planet, Melissa Manchester, Randy Brecker, Frank Wess, Red Skelton, Red Holloway, Ed Shaughnessy, Bob Mintzer, Curtis Fuller, Kurt Elling and Sunny Wilkenson.