In this file photo from 2014, members of the Akropolis Reed Quintet perform during a Brown Bag Concert at the State Office Building’s atrium during the 28th Annual Juneau Jazz & Classics festival. Pictured are Tim Gocklin (oboe), Matt Landry (saxophone), Ryan Reynolds (bassoon), Andrew Koeppe (bass clarinet), and Kari Dion (clarinet). (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

In this file photo from 2014, members of the Akropolis Reed Quintet perform during a Brown Bag Concert at the State Office Building’s atrium during the 28th Annual Juneau Jazz & Classics festival. Pictured are Tim Gocklin (oboe), Matt Landry (saxophone), Ryan Reynolds (bassoon), Andrew Koeppe (bass clarinet), and Kari Dion (clarinet). (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

33rd annual festival is Bach in Juneau

Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival offers Grammy winners, intimate venues and a lot of free concerts

In its 33rd year, Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival is still trying new things.

Old favorites like the free lunch-hour Brown Bag Concerts at the State Office Building are still on the schedule for the festival that runs May 3 through May 18, but so are new venues and new types of performances.

“For the first time we’re going to be doing something called Bach Under the Stars,” said Reggie Schapp, Executive Director for Juneau Jazz & Classics.

That event will feature the classical guitar work of Grammy-award nominee Eliot Fisk, who will play the music of Johan Sebastian Bach in Marie Drake Planetarium, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 9.

“It just fits so well,” Schapp said.

Eliot Fisk, a Grammy Award-nominated classical guitarist, will perform several times around Juneau during the 33rd Annual (Courtesy Photo | Juneau Jazz & Classics)

Eliot Fisk, a Grammy Award-nominated classical guitarist, will perform several times around Juneau during the 33rd Annual (Courtesy Photo | Juneau Jazz & Classics)

Fans of woodwinds will have two new places to enjoy performances by Volante Wind Quintet.

They’ll perform at the Shuká Hít clan house in the Walter Soboleff Building as well as at the Chapel at the Shrine of St. Therese.

[Flute concert brings classical, Armenian and indigenous music to clan house]

“It’s our first time doing winds at the shrine,” Schapp said.

The event is a twist on the long-time festival event Strings at the Shrine.

This year’s versions of that performance will happen at 4 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 12 and feature the Argus String Quartet.

The quartet will also perform twice in the clan house 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 15.

[Juneau Jazz and Classics brings Rhonda Ross and other headliners]

Both spaces are smaller venues, Schapp said, and intimate spaces are a recurring theme through this year’s schedule of events.

There’s a couple of reasons for that.

“We plan our year about 18 months out,” Schapp said. “When we were planning this year, we didn’t think the JACC would be here. That’s part of the reason, but honestly, I think the music is going to sound fantastic.”

Demolition of the current Juneau Arts & Culture Center was at one point expected to begin in spring of 2019 to make way for a a proposed New JACC project.

She said the close quarters should make for great sounds as well as sights.

“For some people that’s so important,” Schapp said. “They really like to be able to see the performer playing the music on the instrument.”

Small venues may lead to fast sell-outs, Schapp said, but there are also a number of free performances during the festival by just about every artist in the lineup. Accessibility was a goal for the event.

Even the Grammy-winning Mark O’Connor, who is playing the festival’s finale at Centennial Hall 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 18 with the Mark O’Connor Band, will play a free-to-attend event.

The Grammy Award-winning Mark O’Connor Band will be the festival finale during the 33rd annual Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival. O’Connor will also visit with local music students and be part of a free jam event. (Courtesy Photo | Juneau Jazz & Classics)

The Grammy Award-winning Mark O’Connor Band will be the festival finale during the 33rd annual Juneau Jazz & Classics Festival. O’Connor will also visit with local music students and be part of a free jam event. (Courtesy Photo | Juneau Jazz & Classics)

The day before the finale, O’Connor will be part of a free jam session at TK Maguires’ lounge. Schapp said organizers are pleased to have a musician of O’Connor’s caliber in the lineup.

“Oh my gosh, we’re so excited,” Schapp said. “He’s an amazing fiddler and violinist.”

He’s also the person behind books and videos Juneau Alaska Music Matters students use to learn to play string instruments. JAMM is a tuition-free music program for Juneau School District students.

Schapp said O’Connor will be visiting the students, and he will be someone they recognize.

“It’s going to be so much fun,” Schapp said. “We’re so excited to have that happening. It should just be a wonderful experience.”

Event Schedule

Friday, May 3

Martinis & Mozart, 7:30 p.m., Baranof Treadwell Room. Admission is $35, $30 for seniors or $20 for student with ID.

Saturday, May 4

Cafe Concert with Volante Wind Quintet, noon, Heritage Cafe, free.

Family Concert with Volante Wind Quintet, 3 p.m., Mendenhall Valley Public Library, free.

Blues Dance Party with King Louie and LaRhonda Steele Band, 7:30 p.m., Centennial Hall, $35 for general admission, $30 for seniors and $20 for student with ID.

Sunday, May 5

Winds at the Shrine, 4 and 6:30 p.m., Chapel at the Shrine of St. Therese, $35 for general admission, $30 for seniors and $25 for student with ID.

Monday, May 6

Brews and Beethoven, 5:30 p.m., Alaskan Brewing Co. Depot.

Tuesday, May 7

Brown Bag Concert with Julie Coucheron and William Ransom, noon, State Office Building atrium, free.

Workshops piano Julie Coucheron, 6:30-8 p.m., UAS Egan Library, $25 for participants and $10 for auditors.

Workshop with Volante Quintet, 6:30-8 p.m., UAS Egan classrooms, $25 for participants and $10 for auditors.

Workshop with Eliot Fisk, 6:30-8 p.m., UAS Egan classrooms, $25 for participants and $10 for auditors.

Wednesday, May 8

Brown Bag Concert with Volante Wind Quintet, noon, State Office Building atrium, free.

Winds at the Clan House Volante Wind Quintet, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., Walter Soboleff building, $35 for general admission, $30 for seniors and $20 for student with ID.

Thursday, May 9

Bach Under the Stars, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., Marie Drake Planetarium. $35 for general admission, $30 for seniors and $25 for student with ID.

Friday, May 10

Rush Hour Concert with Gonzalo Bergara Trio, 4 p.m., Alaska State Library, Archives and Museum, free.

Jazz concert with Gonzalo Bergara Trio, 7:30 p.m., Juneau Arts & Culture Center, Gonzalo Bergara Trio, $35 for general admission, $30 for seniors and $20 for student with ID.

Saturday, May 11

Cafe Concert with Argus String Quartet, noon, Heritage Cafe, free.

Puttin’ on the Ritz: Dueling guitars with Eliot Fisk and Gonzalo Bergara, UAS Egan Library, $50 for general admission, $45 for seniors and $40 for students with ID.

Sunday, May 12

Strings at the Shrine, 4 and 6:30 p.m, the Chapel at the Shrine of St. Therese, $35 for general admission, $30 for seniors and $25 for student with ID.

Tuesday, May 14

Brown Bag Concert with Eliot Fisk, noon, State Office Building atrium, free.

Workshops with Argus String Quartet. 6:30-8 p.m., UAS classroom, $25 for participants and $10 for auditors.

Piano Workshop with William Ransom, 6:30-8 p.m., UAS Egan Library, $25 for participants and $10 for auditors.

Wednesday, May 15

Brown Bag Concert with Argus String Quartet, noon, State Office Building atrium, free.

Strings at the Clan House, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., Walter Soboleff Building, $35 for general admission, $30 for seniors and $20 for student with ID.

Thursday, May 16

Jazz Concert: Jamiee Paul Band, 7:30 p.m., Juneau Arts & Culture Center, $35 for general admission, $30 for seniors and $20 for student with ID.

Friday, May 17

Jam Session with Mark O’Connor, 8 p.m., TK Maguires’ lounge, free.

Saturday, May 18

Festival Finale: Mark O’Connor Band, 7:30 p.m., Centennial Hall, $45 for general admission, $40 for seniors and $20 for students with ID.


• Contact arts and culture reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com.


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