With multiple performance areas set up throughout Washington Square, this year's Salt Lake City Jazz Festival boasts an impressive lineup of jazzy folk who can do more than just imitate bop—they can actually bebop. Help kick off the festival with the Friday, July 9, tribute to Motown, soul, and funk, featuring Ellis Hall and his band playing the hits of artists such as Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson. Other July 9 performers include the vocal quartet Fifth Avenue, who will woo tapping toes with intricate harmonies and swinging beats. On Saturday, performers such as the Rippingtons, Eddie Daniels, Phat Tiger, and the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra will tickle ears without invading personal space, paving the way for Sunday's performance by Hollywood hotshot Seth MacFarlane, best known as the creator and primary voice actor behind Fox's Family Guy. MacFarlane, a capable singer in his own right, will sing American songbook standards from the likes of Sinatra and Crosby while backed by the Salt Lake City Jazz Orchestra. Check out the entire lineup and descriptions here. If you drop by the festival on Sunday, also take advantage of the free music clinics open to sound makers of all ages and skill levels.
The family owned and operated children's arts studio is in its 10th year of offering an eclectic selection of dance and theatre group classes for curious and creative creatures ages 2–18. Courses, which include tap, jazz, ballet, acting for film, stage acting, and musical theatre, to name a few, are divided by age and experience level, and typically meet for one hour every week. Off Broadway's passionate and professional staff of instructors promises to lead children down a path to greater self-discipline through performance, and all of the fun and encouraging classes are taught in a warm and friendly environment.
Sprawled across three floors, The Hotel Elevate helps partiers keep the revelry going all night. The Lobby occupies the first floor and treats guests to a fully stocked bar, patio area, and droves of VIP tables and seating. Venture farther and visit the enchanting top floor Ballroom, which features chandeliers and a balcony that overlooks the second-floor Opium Lounge—an intimate dance floor area with a bar and DJ booth. In the basement, the Barrel Room tantalizes thanks live music and a fully stocked bar. Also on-site, Club Elevate ignites the atmosphere with a 35-foot main bar, VIP sections, and a 1,100-square foot stage. The Hotel Elevate frequently puts its gargantuan space to use as an events venue, with past bashes including visits from The Crystal Method and evening costume parties. The same spaces are also available for private functions such as birthday parties or the retirement party of one lonely, lonely billionaire.
This month’s Comedy Showcase invites a trio of jokesters to excavate laughs in The Depot’s urban space. Comic J. Chris Newberg enlivens standard standup with his blend of audience interaction and short songs that bait giggles with a grab bag of controversial topics, from religion to the usefulness of the metric system. Newberg’s edgy humor nabbed him stage time with Dane Cook, on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and Comedy Central. A seasoned DJ and comedian, DJ Cooch sweet-talks microphones with confidence gained from co-hosting MTV’s Rock the Vote with Ashton Kutcher and flying overseas to entertain troops in Iraq, and funny woman Jen Murphy dissects dating and intergender communications. Before the show, host AJ from 97.1 ZHT warms up the stage with only a microphone and a huge electric blanket, as audiences settle into the urban interior of the old Union Pacific Station.
Wiseguys Comedy fills Salt Lake City’s state-mandated laugh quota with its rotating schedule of local and national joke handlers. Upcoming appearances include rising comic Spencer King performing an atypical set of irreverent musings at Ogden on February 25 and 26. Equally all-ages-appropriate joke spinner Steve Soelberg, "not Kevin Bacon," steps up to the mic at Trolley Square on March 3, making audiences guffaw as hard as dentists’ trifecta of nitrous oxide, gum-tickling mouth feathers, and insistence on doing old Steve Martin routines during a fluoride treatment. Wiseguys recommends checking the comics out on YouTube to get a flavor for their acts before catching a show.