All that jazz
An insider’s guide to the Elkhart Jazz Festival.
ELKHART — Don’t miss a beat at this weekend’s Elkhart Jazz Festival.
Downtown Elkhart will be buzzing with excitement starting Thursday, June 20, and keeping up the tempo through the weekend with dozens of entertainers performing at the city’s largest music event. This year’s lineup includes festival favorites, up-and-coming artists and big-name headliners Wynton Marsalis with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and guitarist John Pizzarelli.
This survival guide includes a few tips on how to enjoy the Elkhart Jazz Festival.
WHEN IS THE FESTIVAL?
The Elkhart Municipal Band will play a special free concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20, with former Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra saxophonist and clarinetist Todd Williams at the Lerner Theatre. The festival will continue Friday, June 21, with full sets by jazz musicians at a free stage on Main Street and five ticketed venues set up downtown until the afternoon of Sunday, June 23.
HOW DO I BUY TICKETS?
Tickets are sold online at elkhartjazzfestival.com and thelerner.com. Tickets are also available over the phone at 293-4469 and at the Lerner Theatre box office at 410 S. Main St.
HOW MUCH ARE TICKETS?
Session passes are daily tickets that include access to all of the festival’s music venues for specified times.
Friday or Saturday evening session pass: $55 general admission, $27.50 for students
Saturday or Sunday afternoon session pass: $35 general admission, $17.50 for students
Standard jazz and patron passes allow entrance to all of the venues all weekend. Patron passes include preferred seating and special access to patron-only events.
Standard jazz pass: $130 general admission, $65 for students
Standard patron pass: $220 general admission
Premium jazz and patron passes include all of the benefits of standard passes plus tickets to see Marsalis on Saturday, June 22, at the Lerner Theatre.
Premium jazz pass: $180 with main floor or first balcony seating at the theater
Premium patron pass: $280 with main floor seating at the theater
Individual tickets to see Marsalis at the Lerner Theatre without festival venue access are $40 to $115.
WHERE ARE THE STAGES?
Free stage at Civic Plaza on Main Street between Franklin and High streets
Crystal Ballroom at the Lerner Theatre, 410 S. Main St.
Lerner Theatre, 410 S. Main St.
227 S. Main St.
New Life Community Church, 210 S. Main St.
Knights of Columbus, 112 E. Lexington Ave.
WHERE DO I PARK?
There are eight free parking areas in downtown Elkhart, including lots off of Main Street, to the east of Civic Plaza, near the police station on Marion Street, on Waterfall Drive and along Nibco Parkway.
A free shuttle bus will be available for people staying at four North Pointe hotels — Baymont Inn and Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Country Inn and Suites and Sleep Inn — to and from the downtown area for the jazz festival.
JAZZ FESTIVAL TIPS AND TRICKS:
There will be lots of seating set up on Main Street, but bring a chair for popular outdoor concerts just in case.
Show up to performances at ticketed venues early to grab a good seat.
Keep cool and hydrated with plenty of water. Wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. Duck into one of the indoor air-conditioned venues to cool off.
Bring cash. Some vendors will accept credit cards, but others will not.
Taste-test food at Civic Plaza, pop-up restaurants and other downtown eateries.
Hop from venue to venue to discover new music and hear a spectrum of jazz.
Charge your cell phone before getting to the festival.
Download the official Elkhart Jazz Festival smartphone app.
Keep up with the latest jazz festival news at etruth.com. Use the hashtag #elkjazz for social media like Twitter, Instagram and Vine.