Jazz jump-starts free concert series

The Moab Free Concert Series opens July 6 with New Orleans trombonist Glen David Andrews. The series will be held throughout July at Swanny Park every Friday evening from 4:30 to 7:30 pm alongside the Moab Farmers’ Market.

The concerts will be an augmented segment of the Free Music Fridays already offered by the Farmers’ Market throughout its season, according to Cassie Paup, organizer. The events are open to the public, and folks are encouraged to come with their friends and families to enjoy meal options from the Farmers’ Market’s many food vendors. A beer garden will also be in place.

The concert stage will be set up adjacent to the pavilion; local openers will begin at 4:30 p.m. and headliners at 5:30 p.m. KZMU Community Radio will livestream the headlining acts each week.

The series opens this Friday with native New Orleans son, singer and trombonist, Glen David Andrews. His six-piece band blends a mix of gospel, funk, rock and soul creating a unique New Orleans jazz band sound. Andrews is described as “one of the giant talents of New Orleans music.” The Fiery Furnace Marching Band will open.

On July 13, the Heather Gillis Band will take the stage led by 23-year-old Gillis, a guitar player, lap steel player, singer, songwriter and one-time member of Butch Trucks and the Freight Train Band. Their blues, soul, rock and roots music will get the crowd moving. The Railbirds, featuring Lisa Justice and Josie Kovash, are the opening act.

On July 20, I Draw Slow, from Dublin, Ireland will combine American folk and Irish storytelling traditions “with close-harmony vocals, intriguing instrumentation and compelling subject matter,” said Paup. They offer energetic live performances and an inventive combination of Appalachian and Irish roots music. Green Light, with Miriam Graham, Brett Bentley and Tamara Freida will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Closing the series on July 27 will be The Last Revel, from Minneapolis. This multi-instrumentalist trio will bring “cutting-edge front-porch Americana infused with folk, rock, rockabilly and old time, and delivers an original energetic sound,” said Paup. Local favorite Eric Jones will open.

Funding for the project is provided by the Moab Area Travel Council and the City of Moab, as well as many additional business sponsors. The series is presented by a coalition of five local entities: The Moab Farmers’ Market, the Moab Folk Festival, the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, KZMU and Moab Gear Trader. As a non-profit, income earned from beer sales and local sponsorships will be put towards continuing and expanding the series in the future. The series is a labor of love for music and community from all those involved, according to Paup. For more information, visit www.moabfreeconcerts.com or https://www.facebook.com/moabfreeconcerts/