City High Jazz Lab Helps Kick Off Summer of the Arts

Emme Perencevich, Reporter

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The ped mall was filled with the smooth sound of jazz last Friday. People brought blankets and lawn chairs and lay them down in the middle of the street to watch the City High and West High Jazz Ensembles kickoff the Summer of the Arts’s Friday Night Concerts.

“I always enjoy listening to what other musicians from our own school and [other schools] are working on,” said City High Jazz Lab guitarist Ana Koch ‘21. “I liked this performance because playing outside- with your friends is a great way to end the year.”

During the performances, the wind caused some disruptions, but the songs went on without a hitch. Evan McElroy ‘21 stopped by downtown to watch the performances and hang out with friends.

“I thought the performance was excellent and while the weather made it difficult, the bands didn’t seem to be affected at all,” said McElroy.

“It was one of the most energy-filled performances. I think the crowd enjoyed it a lot too!””

— Nolan Vibhakar '21

The sky stayed clear for most of the night, but the windy weather annoyed the performers.

“The temperature was perfect, but the wind was annoying,” said Keith Friestad ‘21, the vibes player in Jazz Lab. “We played everything well otherwise and the whole thing was really fun.”

The City High Jazz Lab played a couple of songs and many performers stayed downtown to watch the other bands perform. The performance went smoothly and the crowd grew as the night went on.

“It was one of the most energy-filled performances. [It was] filled with many good moments from both City and West. I think the crowd enjoyed it a lot too!” said Nolan Vibhakar ’21. 

Quinter Harvey ‘21, who plays bari-sax, performed with the City High Jazz Lab.

“The jazz performance went well,” Harvey said. “There were lots of people who stopped to watch.”

Arts Fest starts Friday, June 1 and will feature over a hundred artists, live music, and food. There will be activities and entertainment all weekend. There will also be several student artists from the University of Iowa and local high schools who present their art at the festival. The Culinary Row will also be open over the weekend and at all of the Summer of the Arts festivals.

From June 1st to August 31st there will be events, festivals, and performances downtown. There will be free movies and concerts that you can find details about at the Summer of the Arts website. Upcoming events include the Iowa City Jazz Fest from June 29th to July 1st and the Free Movie and Friday Night Concert series. All events are free, family-friendly, and the perfect way to spend your summer.