BlueStem Jazz is a non-profit venture dedicated to presenting progressive, avant-garde, experimental jazz in Madison WI.

Events

June
Tuesday Night Jazz at The Mason Lounge – La Quinta | Jun 11 | 7:30pm | free
Graham Marlowe – LAKEWAVES TRIO
at Audio For The Arts | Jun 14 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Paul Giallorenzo with Isaiah Spencer and Ingebrigt Haker Flaten at North Street Cabaret | Jun 15 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Tuesday Night Jazz at The Mason Lounge – Jake Kruse Jazz Quartet | Jun 18 | 7:30pm | free
Tuesday Night Jazz at The Mason Lounge – Max Brown Quartet | Jun 25 | 7:30pm | free
Marques Carroll Quintet at North Street Cabaret | Jun 28 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Carolyn Davis and Wendy Eisenberg at Audio For The Arts | Jun 29 | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX

July
Tuesday Night Jazz at The Mason Lounge – 5 Points Jazz Collective | Jul 2 | 7:30pm | free
Christopher Dammann Sextet with Jon Irabagon, James Davis, Scott Clark, Edward Wilkerson and Mabel Kwan
at North Street Cabaret | Jul 5 | 8pm | TIX
Maude Caillat Quartet at North Street Cabaret | Jul 6 | 8pm
Fareed Haque Quintet at North Street Cabaret | Jul 7 | 8pm | TIX
Tuesday Night Jazz at The Mason Lounge – Flood Quartet | Jul 9 | 7:30pm | free
Tuesday Night Jazz at The Mason Lounge – Jake Kruse Quartet | Jul 16 | 7:30pm | free
Tuesday Night Jazz at The Mason Lounge – Inside Pocket | Jul 23 | 7:30pm | free

September
Fareed Haque’s Chicago Immigrant Orchestra at The Bur Oak | Sep 20 | 8pm

October
Papanosh Quintet interprets Jim Harrison at North Street Cabaret | Oct 5 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN
Brandon Seabrook
solo opening for Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric at North Street Cabaret  | 8pm
Brennan Connors and Stray Passage
at Audio For The Arts | Oct 18 | 8pm
TRUSS QUARTET – Dave Rempis , Pandelis Karayorgis, Jakob Heinemann, and Bill Harris at Audio For The Arts | Oct 19 | 8pm
Riley Mulherkar at North Street Cabaret | Oct 20 | 7pm

November
Bryon Asher – BASHER at North Street Cabaret | Nov 2 | 8pm
Affinity Trio – Eric Jacobson + Clay Schaub + Pamela York
at North Street Cabaret | Nov 8 | 8pm
Gustavo Cortinas at North Street Cabaret | Nov 15 | 8pm
Darren Johnson at Audio For The Arts | Nov 22 | 8pm
CORTEX with Hedvig Mollestad at North Street Cabaret | Nov 23 | 8pm

December
Dave Rempis EARSCRATCHER with “Lisa Arnik”, Fred Lonberg-Holm and Tim Daisy at North Street Cabaret | Dec 7 | 8pm | LISTEN

Past – 2024

Chad McCullough’s FIRESTARTER with Scott Tinkler at North Street Cabaret | Jun 7 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Tuesday Night Jazz
at The Mason Lounge –Five Points Jazz Collective | Jun 4 | 8pm | free
WHEELHOUSE – Dave Rempis, Jason Adasiewicz and Nate McBride at North Street Cabaret | May 31 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Tuesday Night Jazzat The Mason Lounge –Natural Satellite | May 28 | 7:30pm | free
Tuesday Night Jazz
at The Mason Lounge – Jake Kruse Quartet | May 21 | 7:30pm | free
Tom Gullion Quintet
at North Street Cabaret | 8pm | May 25 | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
WORTSTOCK Undisclosed Sims
at Warner Park | May 19 | 2:40pm
Dirk Quinn Band
at Harmony Bar and Grill | May 18 | 9pm | WATCH/LISTEN | tickets at door only
Matt Ulery’s MOTHER HARP, with Quin Kirchner, Russ Johnson, Artie Black and Dustin Laurenzi
at North Street Cabaret | May 17 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTENTIX
Charlie Ballantine w/ Jon Cowherd, Dave King and Quinn Sternberg
at North Street Cabaret | May 14 | 7pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Tuesday Night Jazz
at The Mason Lounge – The Pray Trio | May 14 | 7:30pm | free
Jason Reisdorf SON REIS Project
at Audio For The Arts | May 11 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Dave Bayles Quartet
at North Street Cabaret | May 10 | 8pm | TIX
Tuesday Night Jazz
at The Mason Lounge –Five Points Jazz Collective | May 7 | 8pm | free
Chad McCullough’s MODAL HORIZONS: The music of Jim Knapp featuring Jay Thomas
at the Bur Oak | May 3 | 8pm  | LISTEN | TIX
THE BRIDGE #2.10 with Nick Mazzarella, Tim Stine, Céline Rivoal, Katie Ernst and Sylvain Lemêtre
at Audio For The Arts | Apr 27 | 8pm | TIX
Josh Henderson Nonet + String Quartet + Vocals at North Street Cabaret | Apr 21 | 6pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Occidental Brothers Dance Band International with Makaya McCraven &Greg Ward
at Harmony Bar and Grill | Apr 13 | 9pm | WATCH/LISTEN | tickets at door only
NORTH STREET CABARET MINI MUSIC FESTIVAL —  Jim Baker + Dan Bitney + Keefe Jackson + Ausberto Acevedo
| Apr 7 | 4pm | WATCH/LISTEN | FREE SAMOSAS! | TIX
NORTH STREET CABARET MINI MUSIC FESTIVAL – ARCHER  —  Dave Rempis + Terrie Ex + Jon Rune Strøm + Tollef Østvang
| Apr 6 | 8pm | LISTEN | TIX
NORTH STREET CABARET MINI MUSIC FESTIVAL — Jason Roebke + Ed Wilkerson Jr + Mabel Kwan + Marcus Evans
| Apr 5 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Doug White Quintet featuring Dave Cooper, Tom Gullion, Dane Richeson and Mark Urness 
at North Street Cabaret | Mar 30 | 8pm | LISTEN | TIX
Mats Gustafsson
opening for Jessica Ackerley
with Tim Daisy and Josh Berman
at Audio For The Arts | Mar 23 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
David Lord solo opening for HANAMI – Jason Stein, Andrew Trim, Charles Rumback and Mai Sugimoto
at Audio For The Arts | Mar 16 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN Lord LISTEN Hamani | TIX
Tim Berne, Tom Rainey and Gregg Belisle-Chi
at Audio For The Arts | Mar 10 | 7pm | WATCH/LISTENTIX
Gustavo Cortiñas’s Kind Regards followed by FEESTET
at North Street Cabaret | Mar 9 | 7:30pm | WATCH/LISTEN Kind Regards WATCH/LISTEN Feestet | TIX
Signal Quartet
at Audio For The Arts | Feb 17 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
The Bad Plus
at The Bur Oak | Feb 10 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
MAD DREAMS OF REASON
a film by Enrique Rueda with a live musical performance byYou Of All People + Gustavo Cortinas at the Memorial High School Planetarium | Feb 2 & 3 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Harry Tonchev w/ Jake Rosenkalt and Tim Ipsen
at Audio For The Arts | Jan 27 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Anton Batagov at Covenant Presbyterian Church | Jan 26 | 7:30 pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Shawn Maxwell Band
at Audio For The Arts | Jan 19 | 8pm | WATCH/LISTEN | TIX
Piano Summit 2024
– Dave Stoler, Chris Rottmayer, Jason Kutz and Lee Kanehira at North Street Cabaret | Jan 6 | 8pm | TIX

NewsLetter SignUp

    Get updates on new shows and BlueStem Jazz news in a non-spammy way

    News

    BlueStem Jazz has now partnered with Matt Kleiser of THE MASON LOUNGE on Park St to help present and promote his TUESDAY NIGHT JAZZ series!
    FORWARD – NEVER STRAIGHT!  reflections on jazz from the heartland article by Thomas Ferrella
    is published in Jazz Right Now, read here
    Michael Hudson-Casanova’s ANIMUS Quartet
    concert at Audio for the Arts on Sept 30th, 2023 will be featured on Buzz Kemper’s Second Sunday WVMO 98.7fm radio show, Feb 11th, 2pm.  This concert will also be released as an album in March – Tune-in!
    SIDEBAR
    with our San Francisco’s Charlie Cronk is LIVE! Tune in to Episode 1 here or wherever you get your podcasts.  Ben Monder from the Bad Plus is next!
    BlueStem Jazz
    sponsors Dave Bayle’s new album release – Live at the Uptowner on Calligram Records.
    SIDEBAR 
    is our new podcast series run by our dear pal, Charlie Cronk.  Charlie is a life-long music lover, some time musician, one-time butcher, a practical concept designer and a cyclist.  Originally from Madison, now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, he will bring a conversational style to our podcasts, so stay tuned for the up and personal SideBar with Charlie Cronk.
    Michael Brenneis
    for 4 years has been an integral volunteer for BlueStem running The ShowBiz RoundUp Podcasts.  He has decided to hang up his mic and we are eternally grateful for the beautiful work that he has done.  We want to extend a hearty THANK YOU to Michael for his dedication and knowledge that he graciously lent to the BlueStem series!
    Sunday Afternoons with Buzz Kemper
     on WVMO 98.7fm interviews Dave Stone and Thomas Ferrella, listen up here.
    BlueStem Jazz gets written up by Madison Magazine!
    BlueStem Jazz
    sponsors our first tour!  With an amalgamation of greats from the USA and Norway – Nick Mazzarella, Ben LaMar Gay, Jon Rune Strom and Tollef Ostvang.

    Ben LaMar Gay – Nick Mazzarella – Jon Rune Strom – Tollef Ostvang 11/2023
    BlueStem’s own, Thomas Ferrella lends his artistic mojo to Russ Johnson’s
    new album – REVEAL on Calligram records, give a look-see-listen here
    Luke Leavitt
    , our piano ambassador for our SOUND TILE series is leaving our fair state for lands beyond. Good luck Luke with your new adventures and a hearty thanks for all you have done for BlueStem Jazz.
    From our series, Jason Stein [cl], Damon Smith [b] and Adam Shead [d] have released a new album titled HUM on Irritable Mystic Records that was recorded at the North Street Cabaret! Congrats!
    Mars Williams
     is a beloved member of the creative music community, whose influence radiates outward from his home in Chicago to every corner of the globe, was diagnosed with cancer. Dave Rempis has organized a go-fund-me campaign to assist in his expenditures, so please consider giving generously!  https://www.gofundme.com/f/marswilliams
    BlueStem Jazz
    is spreading the love and partnering with the Slowpoke Lounge & Cabaret to help bring the Marvin Dolly Trio to Spring Green, April 15th.
    Evan Verploegh
    has released two albums on Bandcamp.  One with Ben Baker and another with Brennan Connors and Seth Davis.  These recordings arose from their live BlueStem performances we hosted at Audio For The Arts on  1.15.22 and 10.15.22.  Beautiful work and congrats!
    BlueStem Jazz
    proudly purchased a 1943 Baldwin L grand piano that will live at North Street Cabaret. Piano maestro and sensei, Brian Mott, assisted us in the purchase and did a thorough mechanical overhaul, declaring – “she is ready to rock”.
    BlueStem Jazz
    delivers our second drum kit to Audio for the Arts, a PDP Concept Maple Bop kit – it is gonna swing with that Yamaha C6 grand!
    BlueStem Jazz
    receives our new TAMA drum kit which will live at the North Street Cabaret. BIG THANKS to Heid Music for sponsorship!
    Friends of BlueStem Jazz
    are honored to form a partnership with our fellow brethren in Milwaukee, Improvised Sound, to help co-sponsor shows there, a healthy Milwaukee scene is a healthy Madison scene!
    Friends of BlueStem Jazz proudly co-sponsor the Instigation Festival – 2022 [Sept 14th – 18th] in Chicago
    Friends of BlueStem Jazz
    proudly co-sponsor the Catalytic Sound Festival – 2021 [Vienna, Trondheim, Rotterdam, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C.]
    BlueStem Jazz
    is starting a near-weekly solo piano series at the Garver Feed Mill featuring Luke Leavitt titled SOUND TILE!  This free series debuts May 27th 5-7pm.  Guaranteed, Luke will keep things interesting.  Stay tuned!
    WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL
    interviews the BlueStem Jazz power trust before Silver Lining award ceremony. article
    WORT 89.9 fm PETRICHOR RADIO
    with DJ ohjho [aka anthony cerulli] 4/19/22 – the wheres, hows and whys interview with the bluestem brain trust
    DJ Rob Szocik, ‘Alternating Currents’ WMSE 91.7 fm,
    interviews the “Wonder-Twin Super Heroes” – David Stone and Thomas Ferrella. Listen here. 2/27/22 (starts at 2:17)
    Buzz Kemper
    [Audio For The Arts] showcases a prerecorded BlueStem Jazz show by pianist Matt Blair on his every 3rd Sunday Acoustic Moose show on Monona’s WVMO 98.7fm radio show – VOICE OF MONONA. Way to keep Monona weird Buzz!
    Tune into Bob Kerwin’s newly reintroduced MADISON JAZZ CALENDAR for everything hip, cool, groovy and up to date about jazz in Madison!  THANKS BOB!
    Alan Fark
    – musician, musical impresario, owner/director of MINOR 7th.com, Ralph Towner’s website designer, 5-star cool guy….joins the BlueStem team and will now assist in our social media endeavors.  Grazie amico mio!
    SHOUT OUT!! BlueStem Jazz
     receives a healthy grant from the Dane County Nonprofit Assistance Fund, dispersed through the Madison Community Foundation. Way to recognize the little guys making a difference in our community presenting and promoting jazz for your soul. BIG THANKS!
    BlueStem Jazz
    politically sits on the fringes of the local jazz scene even though for 6 years running we have hosted over 250 shows – and the silver lining [one of many] is that we are in excellent company!  Read this article in FILMMAKER on a new documentary film titled FIRE MUSIC – The Parts That Were Left out of the Ken Burns Documentary https://www.firemusic.org/
    Al Rasho,
    famously known for running one of the best clubs in town – THE NORTH STREET CABARET, is now our marketing director. Welcome Al and a big THANKS!
    Michael Brenneis’ SHOWBIZ ROUNDUP
    are now podcasts!, tune in here to hear the latest interviews with our bands.
    All About Jazz:
    Meet BlueStem Jazz’s Dave Stone & Thomas Ferrella by Hrayr Attarian. You can read the article here
    BlueStem Jazz
    receives $2,000 grant from Wisconsinonymous Huge honor!
    BlueStem Jazz’s
    partnership with Garver Feed Mill expands in 2021 to include Fridays from late spring through late summer/early fall, so stay tuned!
    MADISON ARTS
    awards BlueStem Jazz $3,000 grant in support of our 2021 Spring Jazz Festival at Schenks Corners.
    Tony Castaneda
    hosts BlueStem Jazz on his WORT 8 o’clock buzz morning show 8/6/2020, BlueStem Jazz announces their first show since the covid lockdown and their robust fall schedule at the Garver Feed Mill Patio.
    BlueStem Jazz
    is excited to announce our newest event partner, THE GARVER FEED MILL PATIO – hip venue, enlightened people, chill vibe…way to make BlueStem feel at home!
    Welcome Michael Brenneis
    to the BlueStem Jazz all-volunteer staff!  Michael Brenneis is a drummer and composer, based in Madison, Wisconsin. He will be our blogger doing pre-show reviews and interviews called the ShowBiz Roundup. He wants everyone to know that he’s a musician not a journalist. After reading his amazing posts, BlueStem may argue with the journalist comment.
    BlueStem Jazz welcomes Rick Campbell
    to our volunteer staff. Rick possess an incredibly deep knowledge and appreciation of all things jazz, but especially of avant-garde jazz. He is also a very generous donor to Friends of BlueStem Jazz and will act as our liaison to WORT 89.9 fm. PROVOKE CULTURE!
    ALCHEMY CAFE  becomes a BlueStem Jazz sponsor! Where our musicians eat for free and our patrons to all BlueStem Jazz events eat and drink at a 10% discount day of the show.
    An Extra Large Thanks to generous supporters.  Our Giving Tuesday fundraising was very successful. Look forward to more great music in Madison during 2020
    wmse 91.7fm [milwaukee]
    with alternating currents DJs rob szocik and zoro [aka brent boock] – interview on all things bluestem, 12/1/19   https://wmsearchive.blob.core.windows.net/2019/12/12-01-2019-18-00.mp3  [starts at 1:02:50]
    11/19 “friends of bluestem jazz” give generously to wort 89.9fm and form partnership to buy underwriting promotion for 2020
    10/16/2019 – bluestem jazz proudly gets picked to host three artists from south arts first jazz road tours‘ grants:  brandon ross,  Melvin Gibbs, J.T. Lewis – harriet tubman. jaimie branch – fly or die. david rempis, tashi dorji, tyler damon – kuzu.
    bluestem jazz launched  non-profit sponsors/presenters of progressive jazz in madison, wi.   https://isthmus.com/music/bluestem-jazz-nurtures-growing-madison-jazz-scene/
    wort 89.9 fm fire worship with joanne pow!ers 5/14/19 – interview on the state of jazz in madison
    badger herald by emilie burditt 1/28/19 https://badgerherald.com/artsetc/2019/01/28/davu-seru-jamal-r-moore-combine-traditional-jazz-with-nontraditional-instruments/
    isthmus by allison geyer 11/29/18  https://isthmus.com/music/plutonium-jazz-drummer-michael-brenneis/
    isthmus by kiel majewski  5/3/18  https://isthmus.com/music
    wort 89.9fm 8 o’clock buzz with tony castaneda  5/3/18 – interview about our May JAZZFEST
    wisconsin state journal by gayle worland  4/27/18    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/know-your-madisonian-former-er-physician-immersed-in-art-and/article_76e8962b-0ab4-555d-ab5a-6676b82e5c60.html
    wort 89.9fm 8 o’clock buzz with jonathan zarov  2/23/18
    capital times by erik lorenzsonn  2/27/17  http://host.madison.com/ct/entertainment/music/concert-series-brings-big-jazz-names-to-a-diy-space/article_9881e660-4c5c-56ac-962c-1d1e56fb21e3.html

    Venues

    Audio for the Arts

    7 S Blair St # 1, Madison, WI 53703 | 608-255-0511 | Capacity: 30+

    Madison's premier recording studio, their live concert series called Acoustic Moose features artists in an intimate setting - the live room at Audio for the Arts! For these concerts, artists perform mostly acoustic versions of their music to an exclusive audience of about 30+ people. It’s a chance to see and hear amazing talent up close and personal in a state-of-the-art recording studio setting.

    Harmony Bar & Grill

    2201 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI 53704 | 608-249-4333 | Capacity: 190

    Madison's quintessential, award-winning neighborhood bar and grill featuring terrific food and great music with over 30 years hosting experience. With a tin ceiling and checkerboard floor, plus bartenders you just can't help but shoot the breeze with, it's custom made for the stuff barroom tales are made of: Saturday-night shindigs and happy hours turned hootenannies.

    The Bur Oak

    2262 Winnebago St. Madison, WI 53704 | 608-640-4380 | Capacity: 130

    Hello friend. The Bur Oak is a venue for inspiring conversation between stranger and neighbor, artist and patron, friend and family. Our cafe was inspired by a memory of your great aunt’s farmhouse kitchen. Our MENU aims to be simple and wholesome inspired by ingredients picked in our state. The drinks compliment the food. Our performance space has an expansive stage yet lends itself beautifully to our intimate listening room.

    The North Street Cabaret

    610 North Street Madison, WI 53703 | 608-422-5646 | Capacity: 99

    The North Street Cabaret is a new music venue in Madison, Wisconsin hosting a wide variety of world music, jazz and local talent. With excellent drinks, friendly staff and the Tip Top Tavern right across the street for amazing food, you have arrived at the epicenter of a cool Madison vibe. Inclusivity is our highest priority – all are welcome at the cabaret.

    The LowDown

    Since 2016 we have been booking progressive jazz in Madison, Wisconsin and have been fortunate to partner with several local venues as a means of expanding our services and increasing exposure for this valuable art form. These venues range from a recording studio to listening rooms, patios, churches and full-on killer clubs. All dedicated to the progressive, avant-garde, experimental musician. We believe our reputation speaks for itself in what we have accomplished over these years and we believe it will carry us well into the future. And as always, we do this with love and passion as volunteers and do not take a penny. What we get in return is much more valuable – we get to be anointed with sonic wonders from amazing musicians.

    This is making a couple old guys really happy!

    David Stone / Thomas Ferrella

    Tune in here to get the full skinny.

    Sponsors