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.
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.
X-Dance, sponsored by Skullcandy, is a four-day celebration of adrenaline in its cinematic form, showcasing incredible film footage of action aficionados as they conquer the elements aboard bikes, boards, and skis. Cypher Vision meticulously documents the wave-wrassling abilities of the world's best surfers with an innovative camera capable of shooting 1,000 frames per second and getting very wet. Other equally kinetic films shine a spotlight on record-breaking free skier Grete Eliassen, speedy snowboarder Jeremy Jones, and motocross stunt specialist Robbie Maddison. Many of these daredevils will be on hand to answer questions after their films are shown. Passholders also get to attend FirstCom's music-licensing panel, which will show aspiring filmmakers how to access FirstCom’s massive catalog of licensed tunes so that their awe-inspiring base-jumping footage can be scored to something more extreme than “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
Entering their 85th season, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained millions of parents, children, and general basketball admirers with a unique brand of athletic precision and showmanship. For their latest “4 Times the Fun” North American tour, the Globetrotters will add a new 4-point shot spots located 35 feet from the basket, which is 12 feet further than the official three-point line but several thousand miles closer than the prime meridian. See the arch-nemesis Generals try to keep up as the Harlem hardwood sorcerers evade gravity’s oppressive clutches and court clairvoyants distribute unassailable alley-oops. Youngsters can learn about the benefits of teamwork while laughing along with the jovial jocks as they perform classic routines of unconventional passing and sudden transmutations of water into confetti.
Within Clark Planetarium's space-exploration-themed facility, the interactive displays and immersive IMAX and planetarium shows enlighten visitors with interesting scientific facts. Spread out across 10,000 square feet, more than 15 hands-on exhibits entrance guests with artifacts such as photos from the Hubble Space Telescope and a moon rock brought back from the Apollo 15 mission.
Audio in the ATK IMAX Theatre emanates from a 14,000-watt digital surround-sound system as the 70-foot wide, five-story-high screen accommodates Hollywood hits and insightful documentaries in 3-D. More entertainment abounds in the Hansen Dome Theatre, where six high-definition projectors fill the 55-foot domed screen with seamless images during scientific films and cosmic light shows.
Visitors to the Utah Arts Festival stride across concrete promenades and grassy lawns sprawled out between fountains and modern buildings, which have glass walls that reflect the fest’s vibrant paintings and eclectic sculptures. Since its inception more than 35 years ago, the four-day festival has taken over a multiblock radius to accommodate hundreds of visual artists, musicians, performers, and culinary artists, each celebrating modern art and the local community. Throughout indoor and outdoor exhibitions, visitors explore varied works of visual art represented through special exhibitions and hands-on workshops with featured artists. A marketplace also gives artists a place to sell their paintings, wearable art, and sculptures to help disseminate their crafts and raise enough money for van Gogh’s ghost to move out of their basements.
Musicians score the festival throughout its days with worldwide genres on several outdoor stages, and storytellers and other literary artists tickle ears with eclectic tales and recitations of the UN staff directory. Across the grounds, festival staffers recycle the fete’s discarded plastic, aluminum, and cardboard as well as food scraps and vegetable oil, and promote eco-friendly practices with a protected bicycle lot and bike valet.