The Greater Madison Jazz Consortium’s popular free Strollin’ series of live music festivals will be downtown this weekend for “Strollin’ Main Street.” The second of three jazz mini-fests being presented this year by the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium (GMJC), the event will see seven bands and seven hours of continuous live music at four different venues just east and just west of Madison’s Capitol Square.

“The idea for this really emerged out of series of a series of Jazz Musician Town Hall meetings that we convened back in January-February of 2014 where musicians were challenged to come up with ideas for creating more fair-paying performance opportunities in Madison,” says GMJC board member Howard Landsman, one of the coordinators of Strollin’ Main Street. “This is one way for musicians to get both exposure for their talents and exposure of venue owners who are participating in the event. It also creates exposure to music fans who might never think of going to a jazz concert.”

Money will not be an object for jazz lovers because “Strollin’ Main Street” has no cover charge. The popular “jazz stroll” series features a staggered performance schedule that makes it easy for attendees to stroll from venue to venue and sample many different musical styles.

“We’re trying to create a more healthy and supportive environment for our local musicians and we would also like to expand and diversify the audience for the music which we know has been a challenge for the last couple of decades,” Landsman says.

“Strollin’ Main Street” is the eighth “jazz stroll” produced by the Consortium in a series that began two years ago at Schenk’s Corners on Madison’s east side, and has been warmly embraced by each of its host communities and by the local musicians whose talent is showcased by the series. Once again, the Consortium’s Nick Moran has booked an intriguing mix of bands showcasing the wide range of instrumental and vocal jazz styles regularly available to Dane County audiences.

Live Soundz perform at a previous "Strollin'" — Strollin' Schenk's Corners.
Live Soundz perform at a previous “Strollin'” — Strollin’ Schenk’s Corners.

“The Strollin’ Series has been very well-received by the musicians and by the people who come to hear the music and by the venue owners,” Landsman says. “We are very excited about Friday’s Strollin’ Main Street.”

The schedule for Friday’s stroll is as follows:

The Rigby: 119 East Main Street (Trad Jazz and Dixieland Stage)
5:00 – 6:00 PM: The Dixie Sizzlers
6:30 – 7:30 PM: Red Hot Dixie

Maduro: 117 East Main Street
6:00 – 7:00 PM: The Goodie Two Shoes (vocalist Megan Moran with bassist Nick Moran)
7:30 – 8:30 PM: Guitarist Louka Patenaude with organist Mike Cammilleri and Percussionist Tony Castañeda

Genna’s Lounge: 105 West Main Street
7:30 – 9:30 PM: Vocalists Jan Wheaton, Lynette, and Gerri DiMaggio with The New Breed

The Frequency: 121 West Main Street
9:30 – 10:15 PM: Good Trouble
10:30 PM – Midnight: Wilder Deitz Group

The Jazz Consortium will be staging its final Strollin’ event of the 2016 season in downtown Middleton on September 2nd.