The Cedar Basin Jazz Festival
Relaxing with free music alfresco at the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival

All that Jazz

Free jazz concerts are on the schedule this weekend in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where the annual Cedar Basin Jazz Festival hosts a variety of combos from across the country Friday, June 22, through Sunday, June 24. Three venues—outside at the Cedar Basin Stage in Sturgis Park, indoors at the Clarion Inn University Place, and at the Bourbon Street & Voodoo Lounge—will accommodate more than 42 hours of music from eight bands, including Petra’s Recession Seven (Chicago), the Jacob Martin Band (Nashville), the Natural Gas Jazz Band (San Francisco), and the Hoodads and Saints Dixieland Jazz Band (both from Iowa). Events also include a Sunday morning gospel set and a jazz brunch.

The jazz fest comes in tandem with the weekend’s Sturgis Falls Celebration, which will include a street fair, featuring locally made arts and crafts for sale. The fair also includes demonstration by a dozen “chain saw carvers” (10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Sunday), who will use heavy-duty power tools to shape sculptures from wood.

GO The Cedar Basin Jazz Festival, 800-845-1955,; and the Sturgis Falls Celebration, 319-277-0996,

Where to stay: The Blackhawk Hotel (115 Main St., 319-277-1161, has been in continual operation since 1853 but offers modern-day amenities; rates range from $99 to $169 a night. Wingate By Wyndham (1614 Technology Pkwy., 319-277-2400, delivers clean, modern rooms convenient to downtown Cedar Falls; rates range from $119 to $189 a night.

Where to eat: Montage (222 Main St., 319-268-7222, is upscale fine dining with a creative menu of proteins and pastas. In a more casual atmosphere, The Brown Bottle (1111 Center St., 319-266-2616, serves traditional Italian dishes and has an expansive gluten-free menu.


Photograph: Courtesy of the Cedar Basin Jazz Festival