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Fox Jazz Fest celebrates Wisconsin’s special connection to jazz

Community First is matching gift sponsor for the free two-day music festival

Friday, August 30, 2019

As summer slowly ebbs into fall, music lovers will have another special opportunity to soak in some sun (hopefully) and great vibes (definitely) at the 25th annual Fox Jazz Fest Aug. 31-Sept. 1 at Jefferson Park in Menasha at a price that can’t be beat.
Community First Credit Union is pleased and proud to once again be Jazz Fest’s matching gift sponsor, matching up to $5,000 in donations from patrons – funds that enable it to continue to be free for all to enjoy!
“This year marks 25 years, a quarter of a century of world class entertaining, free of charge,” said festival founder and jazz pianist John Harmon.  The festival has indeed grown over the years and Harmon only looks to continue this pattern.  “Our aim is to someday bring in the greatest artists jazz has ever seen.  It’s an ongoing effort and work in progress but we have the passion to share one of America’s greatest art forms.”
An Oshkosh native and Winneconne resident, Harmon is an acclaimed composer and pianist whose passion for jazz and being a music education advocate inspired the free festival.
“The theme is Wisconsin riffs,” said Harmon. “Riffs can be either a verb or a noun. The point is that it is a book created by a Wisconsin musician (Kurt Dietrich) and what it does is profiles just about every significant musician that has come from Wisconsin.”
“It’s a quarter of a century of pretty world class entertainment free of charge to the public,” Harmon said. “It’s fantastic.”All artists are either born in Wisconsin or have resided here.
“Tell them to come and enjoy something totally fresh, noncommercial, and honest,” Harmon said. “It’s an American art form at its finest. We want people to enjoy this music and support it.”
Each day features local middle school and high school jazz bands starting at noon and the first featured artist will be a Quad performance led by David Cooper at 1:00pm. The music continues all day and into the night with the Fox Jazz Fest “All Ages” Jam at Gibson Music Hall on College Ave. downtown Appleton starting at 8:30pm. 
Day two starts off with a free Jazz Clinic presented by UW-Stevens Point and UW-Oshkosh music faculty members and previous composers. The 25th annual Fox Jazz Fest comes to an end by showcasing world-famous jazz artist Janet Planet at 5:15pm. Performance lineups and the detailed schedule for the whole weekend can be found here.
Harmon closed with expressing his thanks to all donors who make Fox Jazz Fest a possibility; Community First included. “Words can’t come close to matching the generosity you all have shown. We are so very appreciative for your contribution.” Come out Saturday and Sunday and enjoy world renowned jazz classics and good company!

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