More info: 937-324-2712 or www.SpringfieldArtsCouncil.org
Summer Arts Festival
Thursday, June 23: 8 p.m., “Getting to Know … Once Upon a Mattress”
Friday, June 24: 8 p.m., The Urban Jazz Coalition
Saturday, June 25: 5 p.m., ParrotHead Party in the Park
Saturday, June 25: 8 p.m., Parrots of the Caribbean
Sunday, June 26: 8 p.m., When Springfield Sings! Nehemiah Foundation’s Praise and Worship Celebration
Wednesday, June 29: 8 p.m., The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra
The Summer Arts Festival is primed to get jazzed up.
Returning Festival performers Urban Jazz Coalition will perform its unique combination of smooth jazz with rhythm and blues and pop when it returns at 8 p.m. Friday, June 24, to the Turner Pavilion in Veteran’s Park.
The concert is free.
If there’s a jazz festival in the country, then there’s a realistic chance that Urban Jazz Coalition will play or has played it. But coming to arts festivals with a variety of entertainment such as in Springfield is a chance to share the band’s unique sound, which bassist and band leader Phil Raney enjoys doing, especially if an audience isn’t familiar with jazz.
“People sometimes are thrown off by labels or attempts to categorize music. Our music is kind of an amalgamation, so it’s kind of hard to classify what we do,” Raney said.
“The thing that attracts listeners to our music is that the grooves make you want to bop your head, maybe even get up and dance. You definitely shouldn’t be going to sleep at an Urban Jazz Coalition show.”
While Raney said Ohio has always been a hotbed for soul music, there’s a lot more jazz associated with it than one may think..
Raney studied at Ohio University and played in jazz and rhythm and blues bands in the Dayton and Columbus areas. Urban Jazz Coalition marks 21 years together in 2016.
“We enjoy it any time we have the opportunity to perform in this area, and we’re very excited to be coming back to Springfield,” he said.
And Raney and the band look forward to bringing their sounds to the open air.
“There’s really nothing like playing out in nature, and Veteran’s Park is a beautiful venue. The blessing of just being alive for another day with an opportunity to play music under God’s sky, it can’t get much better than that.”