NORMAN — From blues to big band, funk to country, this year’s Jazz in June is offering up a little bit of something for everyone during three nights of free music June 19-21.
“People who are not jazz and blues aficionados, this is the event to go to because it’s an introduction to a whole bunch of different kinds of music,” Debra Levy Martinelli, Jazz in June spokesperson, said. “I am not a music aficionado in any way but I go there and its magic. Under the stars — it really is magic.”
The concert series began as a single performance in 1984 that attracted a crowd of 300. Now in its 31st year, Martinelli said Jazz in June is expected to attract 50,000 people, similar to audience sizes from years past.
Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks is headlining this year’s event with a sound that fuses swing, jazz, folk and country during “Jazz in the Park” from 9-10:45 p.m. Saturday at Andrews Park, 201 W. Daws St.
The first night of the series begins with Dirty Red & The Soul Shakers during “Blues Under the Stars” 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday at Brookhaven Village, 3700 W. Robinson St. Dirty Red, led by front man Eric McDaniel, captures the spirit of the Oklahoma blues scene with soul-drenched vocals and funky harmonica.
Samantha Fish, Kansas City blues singer/guitarist, will take the stage next with her cigar box guitar from 9-10:45 p.m. Thursday. Jazz in June Program Chair Jim Johnson describes Fish as a “guitar-playing, song-writing, singing phenom.”
A Blues Jam, hosted by Dirty Red & The Soul Shakers, is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. Thursday at Tres Cantina & Grille, 305 E. Main St.
The second night starts with the Edmond Jazz Orchestra during “Jazz Under the Stars” from 7-8:45 p.m. Friday at Brookhaven Village. The 25-piece orchestra is bringing a big-band sound that features trumpets, trombones, mellophones, saxophones, drums, percussion, bass and piano.