Featuring more than 400 artists, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival returns to Mears Park on June 22-24. “It’s the largest free jazz festival in Minnesota,” says Steve Heckler, executive director.
Through a partnership with the city, stages are set up in the streets and in clubs. “The entire city becomes part of the event,” Heckler says, including Lowertown and downtown.
This year, there will be eight national artists including Terence Blanchard, Bobby Lyle and Anat Cohen with her Cuban band, Choro Adventuroso. Heckler says they always try to get new artists instead of booking the previous year’s talent to keep the event fresh. They also work with international groups; last year’s event included a performer from Indonesia and a group from Mexico.