Dig out your blankets and picnic baskets, find a parking spot and plant yourself in the lawn at Turner Park for some summer sun and good tunes.
Jazz on the Green returns to the park near Midtown Crossing for its 29th year of concerts. This year’s lineup for the six-week series features joyous world music, Zydeco jams and jazz inspired by the Rat Pack era, from musicians hailing from Nebraska and all over the country.
NPR called them “one of the best party bands around,” and Red Baraat plays a blend of funky percussion and brass that will bring out plenty of dancers at Jazz on the Green. The eight-piece band has funky Bhangra rhythms, brass melodies, go-go rhythms and hip-hop-styled lyrics. The Brooklyn-based band released a new album, “Big Talk,” last month, and expect to hear some of those hard-driving songs at Turner Park.
Adams & Cooley Rat Pack Jazz featuring Susie Thorne
You may recognize Johnny Adams and Ron Cooley from their work with Mannheim Steamroller, but their talent extends all over the musical map. This time, they’ll bring back songs from a classic era of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Vocalist Susie Thorne will join the band.
Laith Al-Saadi Band
Michigan singer-guitarist Laith Al-Saadi began singing at 4 years old and picked up a guitar for the first time at 13. The 35-year-old began his first blues band 20 years ago. Since then, he’s been playing in and around Ann Arbor and Detroit with his three-piece band and their soulful rock and blues.
Josh Hoyer & the Shadowboxers
Soul? Yes. Funk? You know it. R&B? Absolutely. Josh Hoyer & the Shadowboxers are an in-demand seven-piece Lincoln band that say they come together “to harness soul power.” Expect covers of funk and soul classics as well as original material that reflects Hoyer’s love of soul, funk and New Orleans music.
Ron E. Beck Soul/Jazz Revue
As a former drummer for R&B band Tower of Power and other groups, Omaha native Ron E. Beck has toured the world and played with an impressive list of artists. He now has the Ron E. Beck Drum Institute, which teaches drums in San Jose, Calif., as well as online. Beck’s band features all Omaha musicians, including Mitch Towne, Jorhe Nila, Craig Balderston, Luke Polipnick, Brad Cordle and Curly Martin.
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IF YOU GO
» Jazz on the Green takes place every Thursday through Aug. 15 and is free and open to the public.
» Seating in the center bowl of Turner Park opens at 5 p.m., and the concert will begin at 7:30 p.m.
» Blankets, chairs, beer, wine and Champagne are allowed in the park.
» Tents, stakes, open flames and hard liquor are not allowed in the park.
» Pets are allowed but must be on a leash at all times. And you must clean up after your pet. Parking
Garage parking is accessible from 33rd and Farnam Streets as well as 33rd and Harney Streets and is free for the first three hours. Each hour thereafter is $1 per hour up to a maximum of $6.
Mutual of Omaha surface lots and parking garages are free and open to the public beginning at 5 p.m. Street parking is available and is monitored until 6 p.m. Farnam Court also offers valet parking for $5.
New stage will stick around
A single word to describe Turner Park’s new stage?
The pavilion at the park near Midtown Crossing includes a 44-by-24-foot stage (expandable to 54 feet by 48 feet), a concrete area in front for dancing and another in the rear for staging. The stage also includes a canvas roof and LED lights.
Private donations through the Omaha Community Foundation funded construction of the pavilion, which will save money spent to construct and tear down a temporary stage for each event at the park.
Representatives from Midtown Crossing are hopeful that the new pavilion will help attract other events to the park in addition to Jazz on the Green, such as weddings, dance recitals and other concert series.
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