May 10, 2017

Jazz in June announces 2017 lineup

Sonic Black

Sonic Black

Now in its 26th year, the Jazz in June concert series offers four evenings of great jazz in the great outdoors on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.

The 2017 lineup includes LaFrae Sci and Sonic Black featuring Lakecia Benjamin, Bill Wimmer’s Project Omaha featuring Victor Lewis, Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective and The Rad Trads.

Terence Blanchard
Terence Blanchard

Concerts are at 7 p.m. each Tuesday in June in the sculpture garden west of the Sheldon Museum of Art, 12th and R streets. The concert series is free, but attendees are encouraged to make a donation of $10 per family to help ensure its continuation.

Concertgoers are allowed to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Pets are not allowed. Recycling bins are provided throughout the concert area.

Tickets may be purchased for a reserved space in the section in front of the band. Each ticket includes a guaranteed space for one lawn chair, a beverage and sandwich. Tickets are available here, by calling 402-472-4747 or at the Lied Center ticket office, 301 N. 12th St., which is open from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays.

A market featuring vendors with food, drinks and artisan-made crafts begins at 5 p.m. each Tuesday at 12th and R streets.

The Rad Trads
The Rad Trads

Bike Valet provides free, secure parking for bicycles from 5 p.m. until an hour after each concert at the east end of the market. For more information, click here or call the Outdoor Adventures Center at 402-472-4777.

Campus Recreation offers yoga at 5:30 p.m. each Tuesday in June northwest of Woods Hall.

Representatives of Landscape Services, Lincoln Parks and Recreation and Sheldon Museum of Art also offer walking tours of campus gardens at 6 p.m. each Tuesday in June. Tour groups assemble at Sheldon’s east entrance.

In the event of inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, a Jazz in June concert may need to be canceled. Information on cancellations will be posted here and here.

The 2017 lineup features a number of performers who are also educators. New programs have been established to engage the community and university through community center performances and traditional master classes.

The schedule is:

  • June 6, LaFrae Sci and Sonic Black featuring Lakecia Benjamin: An internationally known composer, drummer and educator, Sci teaches at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls in New York City. Her band, Sonic Black, is an educational collective that creates interactive presentations on African-American musical contributions to U.S. and world history. Saxophonist Benjamin has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, The Roots and Macy Gray. She has played with or written arrangements for Santigold, Maurice Brown, the Clark Terry Big Band, Krystle Warren and Talib Kweli.

  • June 13, Bill Wimmer’s Project Omaha featuring Victor Lewis: Driven by world-renowned drummer and recent Nebraska honorary doctorate recipient Lewis, Project Omaha features Wimmer on saxophone, Roger Wilder on piano, Gerald Spaits on bass and Joey Gulizia on percussion. Lewis has performed with Woody Shaw, Carla Bley, David Sanborn and Dexter Gordon. Between 1980 and 1991, he was a member of Stan Getz’s quartet, which also included pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Rufus Reid.

  • June 20, Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective: Blanchard is a prominent trumpet player, bandleader, film orchestrator and leader in the mainstream post-bop community. He has performed with Lionel Hampton’s orchestra and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and co-led a prominent quintet with saxophonist Donald Harrison. He also performed on the soundtracks to Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” and “Mo’ Better Blues” and has written the score for every Lee film since 1991. In 2000, Blanchard was named artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at the University of Southern California. He has been nominated for 12 Grammys and has won five.

  • June 27, The Rad Trads: This New York City band’s influences range from early jazz and New Orleans brass band to R&B, Chicago and delta blues, and rock and roll. Featuring three powerful horns, a driving rhythm section and four lead vocalists, The Rad Trads consistently win over audiences with their energy, charisma and enthusiasm. Members have performed or recorded with Lee Fields and The Expressions, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Sammy Miller and The Congregation, St. Paul and The Broken Bones, Deer Tick, Red Baraat, Ikebe Shakedown, Lenny Pickett, EMEFE and Jason Robert Brown.

Those interested in donating or serving as a Jazz in June volunteer or board member can contact Spencer Munson at 402-429-2642 or

Jazz in June is a collaboration between the Sheldon Art Association, the Lied Center for Performing Arts and the Glenn Korff School of Music. For more information, click here.