Juneau Jazz Festival Gives Music Lovers Reason to Visit Downtown

From coffee shops and churches to bars and auditoriums, the melodic sounds of the 33rd annual Juneau Jazz and Classics Festival give travelers another reason to visit Juneau.

Although Alaska’s capital city is renowned for its scenic splendor, from May 3 to 18, Juneau also is recognized for its musical festival which features jazz, classical and blues at a variety of venues. Many of the performances are free.

Conveniently located downtown, the Juneau Hotel is near many of the performance venues.

Juneau Jazz

Linda Rosenthal, an acclaimed violinist, launched the festival in 1987, with co-founder Bob Banghart.

Her dream was simple. Rosenthal wanted to share the music she loves with the community she calls home.

This year’s festival kicks off with a performance by pianists Julie Coucheron and William Ransom, the festival’s artistic director.

It concludes with a concert by the Mark O’Connor Band, which won the Best Bluegrass Album award at the 2017 Grammy Awards.

In between, festival goers will be treated to musical performances by King Louie and LaRhonda Steele, the Volante Winds, the Gonzalo Bergara Trio, the Argus Quartet, Eliot Fisk, and the Jaimiee Paul Jazz Band with Leif Shires.

SCHEDULE MAY 3 to 9

Juneau Jazz

Martinis & Mozart

7:30 p.m. May 3

Baranof Treadwell Room, 127 N. Franklin St.

Cost: General $35, Senior $30, Student w/ID $20

Pianists Julie Coucheron and William Ransom promise to dazzle with their display of piano wizardry during the opening concert of the 33rd annual Juneau Jazz and Classics Festival. Coucheron, the Artist-In-Residence at Kennesaw State University, has won national competitions in the United States, Italy, and Germany. She also collaborated with Elton John, the Steve Miller Band, as well as classical Lazar Berman, Claude Frank, Emanuel Ax, and Vladimir Feltsman.

Café Concert with the Volante Wind Quintet

Noon May 4

Heritage Café, 174 S. Franklin St.

Cost: Free

Family Concert with the Volante Wind Quintet

3 p.m. May 4

Mendenhall Library, 3025 Riverside Drive

Cost: Free

Blues Dance Party with The King Louie & LaRhonda Steele Band

7:30 p.m. May 4

Centennial Hall, 101 Egan Drive

Cost: General $35, Senior $30, Student w/ID $20

Organist Louis “King Louie” Pain and vocalist LaRhonda Steele blend blues, soul, and jazz for a fun and funky show.

Winds at the Shrine

4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. May 5

Chapel at the Shrine of St. Therese, 21425 Glacier Highway

Cost: General $35, Senior $30, Student w/ID $25

The Volante Wind Quintet, comprised of doctoral candidates at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, will perform pieces by Jacques Ibert, Giulio Briccialdi, Robert Muczynski, György Orbán, and Julius Röntgen.

Brews & Beethoven with the Volante Wind Quintet

5:30 p.m. May 6

Alaskan Brewing Co. Depot, 219 S Franklin St.

Cost: Free

Brown Bag Concert with Julie Coucheron and William Ransom

Noon May 7

State Office Building Atrium, 333 Willoughby Ave.

Cost: Free

Piano workshops with Julie Coucheron

6:30-8 p.m.

Egan Library at University of Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway

Cost: Participant $25, Auditor $10

Wind instruments workshops with Volante Quintet

6:30-8 p.m.

Egan Classrooms at University of Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway

Cost: Participant $25, Auditor $10

Guitar workshops with Eliot Fisk

6:30-8 p.m.

Egan Classrooms at University of Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway

Cost: Participant $25, Auditor $10

Brown Bag Concert by Volante Wind Quintet

Noon May 8

State Office Building Atrium, 333 Willoughby Ave.

Cost: Free

Winds at the Clan House

5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 8

Walter Soboleff Building, 105 S. Seward St.

Cost: General $35, Senior $30, Student w/ID $20

The Volante Wind Quintet will perform pieces by Samuel Barber, Claude-Paul Taffanel, Henri Tomasi, and Eric Ewazen.

Bach Under the Stars

5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. May 9

Marie Drake Planetarium, 1415 Glacier Ave.

Cost: General $35, Senior $30, Student w/ID $25

Eliot Fisk, a classical guitarist, performs in traditional venues as well as schools, senior centers, logging camps, and prisons. Fisk also has transcribed Bach’s six solo cello suites for guitar.

SCHEDULE MAY 10 to 14

Juneau Jazz

Rush Hour Concert with The Gonzalo Bergara Trio

4 p.m. May 10

Lobby at the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building, 395 Whittier St.

Cost: Free

Jazz Concert

7:30 p.m. May 10

Juneau Arts and Cultural Center, 350 Whittier St.

Cost: General $35, Senior $30, Student w/ID $20

Gonzalo Bergara, who performs with his Gonzalo Bergara Trio, has created his blend of Gypsy Jazz by mixing the sounds of Paris with the rhythms of his native Argentina. A composer and guitarist, Bergara started playing professionally at age 16. He came to the United States in 2000 at age 19. He has since toured the world and performed at The Montreal Jazz Fest and the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.

Café Concert with Argus String Quartet

Noon May 11

Heritage Café, 174 S. Franklin St.

Cost: Free

Puttin’ on the Ritz

6:30 p.m. May 11

Egan Library at University of Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway

Cost: General $50, Senior $45, Student w/ID $40

Gonzalo Bergara and Elliot Fisk provide dueling guitar styles for the festival’s signature pairing of jazz and classical styles.

Strings at the Shrine

​4 and 6:30 p.m. May 12

Chapel at the Shrine of St. Therese, 21425 Glacier Highway

Cost: General $35, Senior $30, Student w/ID $25

The Argus Quartet, which is the Graduate Quartet in Residence at New York’s Julliard School, will perform. Their Juneau appearances are part of the group’s 2018-19 performance schedule that will take them to 15 states.

Brown Bag Concert with Eliot Fisk

Noon May 14

State Office Building Atrium, 333 Willoughby Ave.

Cost: Free

Strings workshops with Argus String Quartet

6:30-8 p.m. May 14

Egan Classrooms at University of Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway

Cost: Participant $25, Auditor $10

Piano workshops with William Ransom

6:30-8 p.m. May 14

Egan Library at University of Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway

Cost: Participant $25, Auditor $10

SCHEDULE MAY 15 to 18

Juneau Jazz

Brown Bag Concert with Argus String Quartet

Noon May 15

State Office Building Atrium, 333 Willoughby Ave.

Cost: Free

Strings at the Clan House

5:30 and 7:30 p.m. May 15

Walter Soboleff Building, 105 S. Seward St.

Cost: General $35, Senior $30, Student w/ID $20

The Argus Quartet will perform pieces by Mozart, Garth Knox, and Claude Debussy.

Jazz Concert

7:30 p.m. May 16

Juneau Arts and Cultural Center, 350 Whittier St.

Cost: General $35, Senior $30, Student w/ID $20

Jaimee Paul, who previously toured as a backup singer for Wynonna Judd, the Judds, and Kelly Clarkson, will create a jazz cabaret experience with her band featuring Leif Shires on trumpet.

Jam Session with Mark O’Connor

8 p.m. May 17

TK Maguire’s Lounge, 375 Whittier St.

Cost: Free

Festival Finale

7:30 p.m. May 18

Centennial Hall, 101 Egan Drive

Cost: General $45, Senior $40, Student w/ID $20

The Mark O’Connor Band blends country, pop, bluegrass and chamber music. The band has served as the opening act for the Zac Brown Band and received standing ovations at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

TICKETS

Tickets for performances can be purchased online through the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council box office.

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