NORMAN — The 30th annual Jazz in June kicked off Thursday night with the moody, earthy tones of blues during Blues Under the Stars at Brookhaven Village.
The heat radiating from the pavement didn’t deter fans as they packed the area with lawn chairs, blankets and coolers to listen to local favorite Parker Millsap and blues great the Duke Robillard Band.
Gina Kelly, a Norman resident, said she has attended the festival for 20 years.
“It just makes me proud to live in Norman,” she said. “It’s a great festival. It’s low key, you get to meet your friends.”
Tina Guttery, a Noble resident, came just to hear Millsap perform and described the live music experience as “awesome.”
“I just heard about him in January and have never gotten around to seeing him live,” she said. “It’s so different compared to watching it on YouTube — it does not do him justice.”
Though this was Guttery’s first time at Jazz in June, she said she definitely has plans to come back.
With the festival running through Saturday, Jazz in June Board Vice President Karen Holp said it’s the perfect summer family-friendly event.
“Because it’s free, I think it makes for a nice gathering spot. We don’t play up the alcohol or anything like that, so you can bring your kids — and a lot of folks do — so I think that’s kind of neat.”
Jazz in June continues today with Jazz Under the Stars featuring A Taste of Herb and Fareed Haque & Math Games! at 7:15 p.m. at Brookhaven Village, 3700 W. Robinson St.
The final night of the festival closes with Jazz in the Park featuring The Paseo Street Walkers, The Justin Echols Jazz Trio and headliner The Dirty Dozen Brass Band beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday at Andrews Park, 201 W. Daws St.
For a complete schedule, including information on jazz jams and clinics, visit jazzinjune.org.