Jazz on the Green at Midtown Crossing is back for another year. The Omaha Performing Arts will present the free outdoor concert series beginning July 11.
The 2013 Thursday concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the new permanent stage of The Pavillion at Turner Park. The lawn will open at 5 p.m. The series will conclude August 15.
This year’s schedule promises to include something for everyone. Although most of the musicians are well-known Nebraskans, others will come to Omaha from all over the country including Brooklyn, Detroit, Louisiana and California.
July 11: Jeffrey Broussard and the Creole Cowboys. While Broussard is considered an influential accordionist and vocalist in modern Zydeco music, when he plays with the Creole Cowboys, it’s all about tradition. The Louisiana native Broussard is dedicated to preserving and promoting the Creole culture and traditional Zydeco music. He has range seldom seen in Zydeco – from traditional songs to originals, single-note and triple-note accordion to fiddle.
July 18: Red Baraat is a blend of North Indian bhangra rhythms and elements of New Orleans brass, funk and hip-hop. The band’s second studio album, Shruggy Ji, was released in January and is hard to define musically. Red Baraat calls it “an incredible party jam that moves your parts.”
July 25: Adams & Cooley Rat Pack Jazz is an Omaha-based Rat Pack-inspired band. It will perform with Jazz on the Green staple Susie Thorne. Johnny Adams and Ron Cooley have been performing regionally, and across the country, for more than two decades, and both have worked with Chip Davis and Mannheim Steamroller.
August 1: Laith Al-Saadi Band will feature the blues stylings of Detroit singer/guitarist Laith Al-Saadi. Named “King of the Blues for the Northern Region of the United States” by Guitar Center, he blends rock, blues and R&B into an impressive package. During his live shows, he hammers out a mix of originals and puts his own spin on songs by artists like Bob Dylan and the Beatles.
August 8: Josh Hoyer and the Shadowboxers. The Lincoln-based band consists of Josh Hoyer, Justin G. Jones, Brian Morrow, Ben Kushner, Tommy Van Den Berg, Mike Dee and Logan Pennington. The band’s sound comes from a deep respect and knowledge of blues, Americana, soul and funk.
August 15: Ron E. Beck Soul/Jazz Revue. Beck was the drummer for the urban soul group Tower of Power, and he has played with Bell and James, Herbie Hancock and Carlos Santana. His band consists of all Omaha musicians – Mitch Towne, keyboards; Jorge Nila, saxophone; Craig Balderston, bass; Luke Polipnick, guitar; Brad Cordle, vocals; and Curly Martin, drums. Beck has his own Omaha connection: The drummer lived in Omaha until he was 19 years old, and now calls San Jose, Calif., his home.