BN the Music – Front Street Music Festival
On a warm summer evening in Downtown Bloomington, jazz music can be heard coming from Front Street. For a small jazz club, Jazz Upfront produces a lot of sound. With its weekly live music, drink specials and cool yet casual environment, Jazz Upfront offers a taste of big city entertainment to downtown.
Owners James and Linda Gaston had dreamed of opening a jazz club for years, and their dream became a reality in 2015. “Because of the universities, we have a ton of really great jazz musicians in town, and it just made sense to open a place where that element of our culture could thrive,” James said.
Inside, patrons can relax at the antique bar, or cluster around low tables by the stage to hear performers from the area as well as national and touring artists from all over the world, including New York and Australia. When the show ends, the tables are moved back and the club becomes a dance floor. “We wanted to make a space for people to come and enjoy a cocktail and some really great music, a place to welcome all people who want their evening out to be more thought-provoking,” said James.
Four years ago, a group in Downtown Bloomington named Friends of Front Street came together to bring the spirit of Jazz Upfront out of the club and into the streets. They created the Front Street Music Festival, which celebrates music, art and fun. The group saw the festival as an opportunity to bring people together through music and food. “This festival is important because it allows us to showcase businesses on Front Street, and offer a wonderful cultural experience for the entire community,” said James.
The festival will be held on Saturday, August 17 in Downtown Bloomington and will begin at 1 pm. This year’s lineup includes performances from Soft Spoken, Ink Trail, Little Ed and the Blues Imperials, The Femme Fatale, and The Hurricane Project among others. Food vendors will be on hand throughout the day, including Epiphany Farms.
For a complete list of events happening in Bloomington-Normal, go to our website at VisitBN.org.