Pre-Show Entertainment Series Starts at 6:30 p.m. with Concerts at 7:30 p.m.
Omaha Performing Arts kicks off a cool summer as it again presents Jazz on the Green at Midtown Crossing. The free outdoor concert series runs six consecutive Thursdays, from July 7 to August 11, 2016, in Turner Park at Midtown Crossing. Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. on the permanent stage of The Pavilion at Turner Park. The lawn is open beginning at 5:00 p.m. every Thursday. This is the sixth year Omaha Performing Arts has presented the popular series, sponsored this year by Mutual of Omaha.
Omaha Performing Arts has partnered with the Blues Society of Omaha and Omaha Ballroom to present free pre-show entertainment. A band from the Blues Society of Omaha’s non-profit youth artist development program, BluesEd, will perform before the start of three Jazz on the Green performances. An instructor from Omaha Ballroom will lead a pre-show dance lesson at two of the performances. Instructors at Omaha Ballroom, under the direction of Elizabeth Edwards, have been teaching dance for more than a decade. The August 11 pre- show entertainment will be the Brownell -Talbot School’s Raider-Blues Jazz Combo. This year’s Jazz on the Green will feature the following groups:
Blue House with the Rent to Own Horns opens this season’s Jazz on the Green, Thursday, July 7. Members of the band have performed with musicians and groups from Ray Charles to Maroon Five. From a twist of blues to powerful horn interludes this group separates itself from other blues bands. Pre-show entertainment from BluesEd is by their “Us & Them Blues Band.” The July 7 concert is sponsored by Mutual of Omaha.
Esencia Latina will perform July 14. There are twelve musicians and vocalists who form the core group of this Omaha-based band. Their mission is to share Salsa and other Latin music with Omaha, the Midwest and beyond. Pre-show Salsa Lessons will be taught by Omaha Ballroom. This week’s concert is sponsored by Fran and Rich Juro.
July 21 Cha Wa will perform. This New Orleans-based band is known for its red-hot combination of two of that city’s best traditions, Mardi Gras Indians and street level funk music. BluesEd presents “Dilemma” as the pre-show entertainment.
Billy McGuigan and the Omaha Big Band perform Thursday, July 28. This popular performer, the creator of three international touring shows including Rave On!, Yesterday and Today and Rock Legends, brings the big band sound to Jazz on the Green. Swing Dance lessons will be available from Omaha Ballroom during the pre-show. This concert is sponsored by Beardmore Subaru.
The August 4 Davina and the Vagabonds performance will feature musical influences ranging from Fats Domino and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Aretha Franklin and Tom Waits. The show will be filled with New Orleans charm and Memphis soul swagger. BluesEd will present “Voodoo Vinyl” as pre-show entertainment. This concert is sponsored by C & A Industries, Inc.
The final Jazz on the Green concert is Saxophone Superstar Kim Waters, Thursday, August 11. This creative musician-composer-record producer has had 16 Top 10 and 14 #1 singles, 4 #1 CDs in his 25-year career of distinctive, soul-imbued melodies and seductive grooves. Brownell -Talbot School’s Raider-Blues Jazz Combo will provide the pre-show entertainment. This concert is sponsored by Nebraska Medicine.
All Jazz on the Green at Midtown Crossing concerts are free to the public, with no reservations or tickets needed. Seating in the center bowl of Turner Park, the grassy circular area with a direct view of the stage, will be permitted at 5:00 p.m., though the green spaces outside the bowl will be available before 5. Pre-show entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m. and the headlining performance starts at 7:30 p.m. Midtown Crossing offers convenient and secure parking for more than 3,000 vehicles. Two parking garages are easily accessible from 33rd, Farnam and Harney streets. In both garages, the first three hours are free, and visitors pay only $1 for each hour thereafter.
For the convenience of concert attendees, Midtown Crossing restaurants will be set up in Turner Park, selling grilled fare, concessions and beverages each week. The sponsor for Omaha Performing Arts presents Jazz on the Green at Midtown Crossing is Mutual of Omaha. Individual concert sponsors are Beardmore Subaru, C&A Industries, Inc., Fran and Rich Juro, Mutual of Omaha and Nebraska Medicine. Media sponsors for this year’s series are the KETV, KIOS and Omaha World-Herald. For more information about the series and the artists, visit JazzOnTheGreenOmaha.com.
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