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WOODSTOCK – Featuring all new artists this year, the Jazz on the Square Jazz Festival promises to bring a slice of Chicago's jazz scene to Woodstock.

In its sixth year, the three-day event runs Aug. 22-24, with most events taking place at Stage Left Cafe, 125 W. Van Buren, Woodstock. A free show beginning at 9 a.m Aug. 24 takes place on the Woodstock Square during the Woodstock Farmers Market. “We really want to try to show some of the up-and-coming Chicago jazz musicians," said Erin Denk, executive director of Jazz on the Square.

Along with the festival, the group hosts regular jazz jams throughout the year and provides scholarships for youth jazz camps. In keeping with its mission to not only entertain, but also to educate, the festival features a variety of musicians, Denk said.

“We have a wide range of musical styles," she said. “We're hoping that will be interesting for the audience.... We really try to have a good time. And really, you're seeing acts you'd have to pay a lot of money in Chicago to see."

Among the artists scheduled to perform are Nia Quintet, Brent Kimbrough & Company, Whirlpool featuring Caroline Davis, Frank Russell Group, Billy Denk Trio, the McHenry County College Jazz Combo, Outcast Jazz Band, Tim Fitzgerald Trio and Stephen Lynerd Group.

Cost for the evening performances is $10 Aug. 22 and $20 Aug. 23 and 24. Tickets are sold at the door only, on a first-come basis.

Denk and others began the festival simply as fans of jazz music.

“I grew up in Chicago, and I grew up going to a lot of jazz clubs. We all were kind of wanting to bring that out here. That's really how it began, a bunch of us just really appreciating the music," she said. “It is an original American artform."

The nightly shows typically draw hundreds of people, many from Chicago and elsewhere beyond McHenry County, she said. And Saturday's free event can draw more than a thousand, she said.

The artists themselves tend to have a loyal followings of fans, some of whom are bound to make the trip to Woodstock for the first time, she said. This gives them the opportunity to discover McHenry County's charm as well as the festival, she said.

Others from the area return every year in appreciation, she said.

“There are a lot of folks very grateful there's jazz out here," she said.



AUG. 22 ($10, tickets at door)

• 7 p.m. – Nia Quintet

• 8:30 p.m. – Brent Kimbrough & Company

AUG. 23 ($20, tickets at door)

• 8 p.m. – Whirlpool featuring Caroline Davis

• 9:30 p.m. – Frank Russell Group

AUG. 24 (morning free to the public, evening $20, tickets at door )

• 9 a.m. – Billy Denk Trio featuring Phil Ciancio & Jim Seidel

• 10:30 a.m. – McHenry County College Jazz Combo

• Noon – Outcast Jazz Band

• 6 p.m. – Jazz on the Square Education Workshop with Bryan Kyrouac

• 8 p.m. – Tim Fitzgerald Trio

• 9:30 p.m. – Stephen Lynerd Group

Illinois State Bar Association State Bar of Wisconsin Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Illinois Trial Lawyers Association McHenry County Bar Association
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