18 wednesday – 22 sunday
Gene Harris Jazz Festival
The festivities begin at Jazz Camp. Musicians come from all over to compete for the distinction of "next jazz great." One of the contestants, Janelle Reichman, recently performed at the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl in an all women jazz group named Diva, and now she is in Boise to compete with the Mitch Perrins quartet from New York. The competitions are open to the public and it all boils down to the final round during Club Night Friday, June 19, held at the Knitting Factory Concert House, when the crowd is encouraged to vote for its favorite act. The Gene Harris Jazz Festival's Club Night joins forces with Boise Community Radio offering another location called the "Boise Community Radio 8th Street Venue." The Thursday evening show is on stage on 8th Street and will feature jazz artists Billy Mitchell and Cherie Buckner from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. After the jazz set, catch a free show by Equaleyes.
The Gene Harris Band shells will stay busy on Friday and Saturday with concerts featuring a performance by Gail Pettis playing in an enhanced setting specifically for audiences members with impairments and disabilities. Cherie Buckner and the Celebration Choir perform Gospel, and there are performances by the Gene Harris Jazz Camp bands with jazz competition participants and The Gene Harris All Stars. The finale concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 20, at the Morrison Center is a big deal. The winner of the Gene Harris Jazz competition will open for a group paying tribute to John Coltrane. Famous drummer Roy Haynes will be joined by Donald Harrison on saxophone, Nicholas Payton on trumpet, Christian McBride on bass and Dave Kikoski playing piano. The final event of the Jazz Festival will feature selections from Sacred Services by Duke Ellington. Attend the free performance June 22 at 4 p.m., with tunes by the Riverside Jazz Orchestra, a vocal octet, and soloists Cherie Buckner and Mark Thornton at the First Presbyterian Church, 950 W. State St., Boise. Tickets are not required, but are encouraged and can be found at First Presbyterian Church, Dorsey's and Dunkley Music.
For more information, go to geneharris.org.
Norman Weinstein, poet, jazz-music critic, professor and architecture writer, is holding a poetry reading with a decades-long retrospective from his various works. Weinstein will talk about his poetry and its roots in music, and play some rare recordings. He will also discuss books by various writers who have inspired or influenced him. Weinstein has penned many works including a book on African influences in jazz titled, A Night in Tunisia: Imaginings of Africa in Jazz.
7 p.m., FREE, Veritas Bookstore, 3500 Chinden Blvd., Garden City.
Music Fills the Air
Downtown Boise is about to see how Boise Community Radio celebrates the Summer Solstice during the Second Annual Summer Soulstice Party. Head downtown and hear DJs and local musicians including The Universal, The Invasion, ATTN, Steve Fulton, Art Hodge and Pat Benolkin. Executive director of Boise Community Radio, Jeff Abrams, has been working hard to make sure that the progressive demographics of our community get full access to an independent media source. To that end, after jumping through hurdles to secure the official license from the FCC, which granted the station a signal at 89.9 FM, the group has moved into fund-raising mode. Proceeds from the sale of alcohol during the show will benefit BCR by helping with equipment and operating costs. Abrams is excited about the celebration and says it is a "great way for people to come out and have a good time."
4-10 p.m., FREE, downtown at Eighth Street, radioboise.org.
A celebration in honor of the local refugee community will be held at the Capital City Public Market this week. World Refugee Day 2008 aims to raise awareness of the international struggle for safety and freedom. Activities include performances by poets, singers, international dancers and musicians. Support the local international culture by checking out crafts made by some of the refugees, who will be on hand selling personal henna work, handmade jewelry and hand woven baskets.
10 a.m. to 3 p.m., FREE, Boise Centre on the Grove.
A Traditional Celebration
The Idaho Black History Museum hosts the 2008 Juneteenth: An American Celebration of Freedom with festivities at the museum and at Julia Davis Park. After opening remarks, the festivities begin with a special recognition for volunteers, sponsors and supporters. The key speaker is the Rev. France A. Davis, a full-time pastor at the Calvary Missionary Baptist Church of Salt Lake City. The Praise Team Dancers perform at 1 p.m., and at 2 p.m., gather round for storytelling by Dr. Vincent Kituku. An exhibit featuring a 100-year-old quilt will be available during tours of the museum, including a presentation made by quilt historian Sharon Harleman Tandy. Children can enjoy an astro-jump, as well as appearances by Buster the Fire Dog, McGruff the Crime Dog and Eddie Trout.
11 a.m. to 4 p.m., FREE, Idaho Black History Museum, 508 Julia Davis Dr., ibhm.org.