Art Beat: Spenard Jazz Fest is in full swing

mdunham@adn.comJune 8, 2013 

— The Spenard Jazz Fest started last week and continues through late June. The updated complete schedule can be found online, but here are some highlights for the week to come:

Sunday, noon-2 p.m., Jazz Brunch at Organic Oasis, featuring Dan McElrath. This is going to be an ongoing feature of the festival for the next three weekends.

Sunday, 6 p.m., the eclectic Peninsula band Elite 9 performs at the Tap Root in a program that includes a wedding party.

Wednesday, 8 p.m., Jazz Jam at Tap Root, with John Damberg. Open to all players of all ages and stages of expertise.

Thursday, 7 p.m., Venus Transit Poetry Band, a performance of poetry and spoken word "jazz," if you will, at Blue.Holloman Gallery.

Friday, 7 p.m., The Alaska Song of the Year at Organic Oasis. This new event will include several categories, including Best New Jazz Song, Best New Instrumental Composition, Best New Arrangement, Best New Instrumental Jazz Standard and, of course, People's Choice. This offering has the potential to showcase some of the most interesting music of the festival.

Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the Spenard Farmer's Market will feature the Alex Cruver Trio and a chance to buy unique Spenard Jazz Fest merchandise.

Saturday, 4 p.m. until very late, one of the festival highlights, "Originals Only," featuring only original tunes by Alaskans. Performers include the Alex Cruver Trio, East Jazz, Tyler Desjarlais, Heidijo, Jackie Schafer and Lee Pulliam. Talk about a chance to hear music you really won't hear anywhere else.


Buchalter leads workshop

Gregory Buchalter, whose credentials include work as an assistant conductor with the Metropolitan Opera in New York, directing diva Maria Ewing in "Salome" at the Savonlinna Opera Festival in Finland, and serving as conductor and artistic director of Opera Camarata of Washington, D.C., will lead a workshop for singers in Anchorage this week.

Buchalter, who regularly shows up in Alaska to direct Opera Fairbanks productions, is being sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing Alaska, part of their "Visiting Masters Series."

Participants will include local divas Jane Drebert and Lisa Willis. The public is welcome to observe the class, which will take place 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in room 124 of the University of Alaska Anchorage Fine Arts Building. Admission is $10.



Reach Mike Dunham at or 257-4332.


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