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Event Series Event Series: Jazz in the Park

Jazz in the Park

July 25 @ 6:00 pm 8:00 pm

This summer, join us for an unforgettable series of Jazz in the Park concerts, where friends, family, and neighbors come together to enjoy live music in the great outdoors. Experience the magic of jazz in a different neighborhood park each month as talented musicians take the stage to serenade the crowd. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and refreshments, and get ready to relax and unwind as you soak up the soulful sounds of jazz under the open sky.

May 23 | Location: Clark Park | Band: Frank Kurtz Trio featuring Reginald Lewis – tenor saxophone, Emma Taylor – bass and vocals, Frank Kurtz – drums

June 20 | Location: Mattis Park | Band: Jenelle Orcherton & Friends

July 25 | Location: Commissioners Park | Band: The Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project

August 22 | Location: Powell Park | Band: Chip McNeill & Friends


Musician Bio

June 20 – Jenelle Orcherton & Friends

Jenelle Orcherton is a jazz performer and educator, and is the Artistic Director and Founder of the annual Champaign-Urbana Jazz Festival, celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this October, 2024.

She has served on many jazz and community organizations including Music Defying Boundaries and the Urbana Public Arts Commission. Jenelle has over twenty years of education experience and is passionate about giving all audiences the opportunity to engage with jazz.

She will be joined by Nick Young on guitar, Nate Wahan on electric bass and James Mauck on drums playing a selection of jazz standards, and favorites tunes. We look forward to seeing you there.

July 25 – The Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project

The best of both worlds when Latin meets jazz! The Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project is a fresh mix of outstanding jazz soloists, rich, Afro-Cuban inspired rhythms, and unique arrangements of jazz standards. The group is led by drumset artist and percussionist Craig Russo, who  has a special interest in Afro-Cuban music styles. Craig has traveled to Cuba extensively to study at the prestigious National School of Arts in Havana. He toured Cuba with the all-star Midwest Cuban music group “Charanga Tropical,” the first American group ever invited to perform at  Cuba’s prestigious, International Festival of Danzon.  Craig also  performed with the international, Grammy-winning Cuban salsa singer Mayito Rivera on his first U.S. solo tour. He recently played Levitt Amp Foundation and St. Louis Hispanic Festival Midwest shows with Tito Puente Jr.

The group plays a familiar jazz repertoire but uses Latin rhythms, which makes for a unique and engaging form of jazz. The Latin, tropical sound lends itself especially well to summer events.  The music is multicultural and easily accessible to a wide audience.

August 22 – Chip McNeill & Friends

Chip McNeill is currently a full professor and Chair of Jazz Studies at The University of Illinois. He was formerly associate professor and Director of Jazz Studies at Florida International University. Prior to that he was associate professor and Director of Jazz Studies at Virginia Tech University for six years. He currently tours with Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band as well as with Grammy award winning vocalist Natalie Cole. He is formerly the musical director and jazz tenor saxophonist for Grammy award winning recording artist Arturo Sandoval and has recorded with Arturo on his CD “Americana” as well as the Grammy Award winning release “Hot House” on Encoded Music. The “Hot House” CD won a Grammy Award for “Best Latin Jazz Performance”. Prior to Arturo Sandoval, Mr. McNeill was the musical director and jazz saxophonist for legendary jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson. Mr. McNeill produced, wrote, and performed on five CD’s with Maynard Ferguson including “Swingin’ For Schurr”(’01) Concord Jazz with guest jazz vocalist Diane Schurr, “One More Trip To Birdland” (’96) Concord Jazz, “These Cats Can Swing” (’95) Concord Jazz, “Live From London” (’94) Warner Bros. Jazz, and “Footpath Cafe”(’93) Avion Jazz.


Food Vendors

June 20

  • Burrito King
  • The Main Scoop

July 25

  • Burrito King
  • The Main Scoop

August 22

  • Jurassic Grill
  • The Main Scoop

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!

217-819-3932

902 Glen Abbey Dr
Champaign, Illinois 61822 United States
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3212 Clayton Rd.
Champaign, IL 61822 United States
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601 Devonshire Dr
Champaign, Illinois 61820 United States
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