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CodaFest at Café Coda
November 16 @ 7:00 pm - November 20 @ 10:00 pm$50 – $275
The first-ever CodaFest is a five-night festival that impressively encompasses the sheer variety of jazz and improvised music Café Coda has showcased in Madison since opening in 2017. The top-line acts are two veteran, boundary-pushing musicians who retain their fiery vitality today: saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, playing Wednesday night in a trio with bassist Jakob Heinemann and drummer Tim Russell, and Marshall Allen, leading the ongoing interstellar voyage of the Sun Ra Arkestra on Saturday night. Those highlights alone are a testament to the Willy Street venue’s ability to bring in great music, and its deep commitment to the history and practice of jazz.
CodaFest’s lineup also incorporates two jazz documentaries: Jazz In Exile (screening Thursday at 2 p.m. followed by a discussion with director Chuck France) details the careers of Black jazz musicians who left the United States to live and work in Europe, and an episode from Ken Burns’ Jazz documentary, titled A Masterpiece By Midnight (screening Friday at 2 p.m.), which surveys the splintering and development of jazz music from 1960 onward.
Other highlights throughout the fest include Chicago-based pianist/vocalist Alexis Lombre (Sunday at 3 p.m.); Coda owner Hanah Jon Taylor with bassist Reggie Workman, drummer Dushun Mosley, and pianist Luke Leavitt (Saturday, 5 p.m.); and a duo set from guitarist Louka Patenaude and pianist Paul Hastil (Thursday, noon). The festival has some free afternoon events and a range of prices for ticketed events (there’s also an all-access pass option for $275), so I’d recommend taking a thorough look at Coda’s events and tickets pages to plan ahead.
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