Long-running Jazz in June begins Thursday  

Stefanie Brickman

One of the longest running of Norman’s annual festival offerings takes center stage later this week. The 36th annual Jazz in June begins Thursday evening at Brookhaven Village and ends with a Saturday finale at Andrews Park.

In 1984, the Norman Arts Council (then known as the Norman Arts and Humanities Council) and the Cimarron Circuit Opera Company partnered to present the initial Jazz in June to raise funds for the CCOC. By 1990, the beloved festival became its own separate entity. KGOU has been on board as a media partner since the early years and broadcasts Jazz in June on its airwaves.

According to the economic report on the nonprofit’s website, the event regularly attracts an audience of 50,000, producing an estimated $2.27 million impact, paying nearly $195,000 in state and local taxes.

A board of volunteers guide the 501c3 nonprofit organization, which exists to “provide the hippest jazz festival around, as a gift to our community.” The Oklahoma Arts Council and the Norman Arts Council provide grants to Jazz in June that also fundraises throughout the year with The Friends of Jazz in June to present the free event.

Blues Under the Stars on Thursday will feature Josh Hoyer and the Soul Colossal as the headliner, with AJ Ghent as the opening act at Brookhaven Village. Jared Cathey will open Friday evening’s Jazz Under the Stars at 7:30 p.m. again at Brookhaven Village with the Jonathan Scales Fourchestra headlining later that night. Funky Knuckles will headline Jazz at the Park Saturday at Andrews Park; Frisson will be the opener.

In addition, Jazz in June will present four educational clinics taking place at Norman Public Library West on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons.

Stefanie Brickman is the communications manager for VisitNorman and volunteers on the parade committee for the Norman Native American Frontier Days weekend. VisitNorman exists to promote the city, to attract overnight meeting, convention, sport and tourism business to the community, and to enhance and contribute to the overall identity and economic well-being of the city. VisitNorman’s vision is to be the leader that proactively markets and develops Norman as the preferred destination in Oklahoma.