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Conductor David Swihart leads the Elkhart Municipal band in the Lerner Theatre on June 21, 2012. The municipal band perfomed with guest artist Dave Bennett at the theater before the start of the Elkhart Jazz Festival. (Truth Photo by J. Tyler Klassen) (AP)

Members of the trumpet section play during the Elkhart Municipal Band’s opening concert at McNaughton Park in Elkhart on Tuesday, June 5, 2012. (Truth Photo By Delayna Earley) (AP)
Elkhart Jazz Festival to open with show by city’s municipal band, Todd Williams

Posted on June 17, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on June 17, 2013 at 3:40 p.m.

ELKHART — The 26th annual Elkhart Jazz Festival will be off to a musical start Thursday, June 20, with a free concert performed by the Elkhart Municipal Band and Todd Williams, a musician who toured with festival headliner Wynton Marsalis as part of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

The municipal band will share the stage with Williams at 7:30 p.m. at the Lerner Theatre in downtown Elkhart. The band has arranged a special jazz medley for Williams, a seasoned saxophonist and clarinet player who teaches music at Indiana Wesleyan University.

The municipal band opened the jazz festival in 2012 with clarinetist Dave Bennett, who will return to the festival this year.

“It was a really great concert last year, and we hope to fill the Lerner again this time,” band director David Swihart said. “That would be really exciting.”

This year marks the municipal band’s 75th anniversary. The band’s recent performances have commemorated its music through the years since 1938. The ensemble regularly puts on shows as part of a summer concert series at McNaughton Park on Tuesday evenings through the first two weeks of August. A brochure about the band’s history has been produced, and a DVD will be available later this summer.