Tower Jazz Review

Reprinted from The Daily Nebraskan

By Lindsay Esparrago Jun 30, 2015

It is time to say goodbye to June, but jazz performances are not over for the city of Lincoln. Starting July 7, Jazz Time Smooth Radio and the Downtown Lincoln Association will present Jazz in July at Tower Square on 13th and P streets every Tuesday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. Just like Jazz in June, admission is free and the concert series will focus on established and upcoming local musicians. “It’s basically an extension of Jazz in June,” said James Terry, the founder of Jazz Time Smooth Radio. “It’s something that’s been going on for about 30 years just in June, but hey, we want more jazz.”The series will have performances by two groups from Omaha and two groups from Lincoln, including Darryl White, associate professor of trumpet at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a member of the UNL Faculty Jazz Combo. Groups the audience can expect to see include Darryl White Trio, Brian Saxkeys Holland ft. The Jazzy Truth, The Jazzocracy and Ed Archibald.“I tried to choose different types of groups and split them in half to give Lincoln a variety,” Terry said.This isn’t Terry’s first shot at promoting jazz in the Lincoln community.Keeping jazz alive in Lincoln has been a goal of his since his interest for jazz music peaked after taking a history of modern jazz course in the mid-1970s before he graduated from UNL with a sociology degree. Terry said he wants to give Lincoln four more weeks of jazz, but more than that, he wants to give Lincoln jazz music 24 hours, seven days a week with his online radio station, Jazz Time Smooth Radio.“I’m trying to brand the website as a part of this series. I have about 2,000 listeners right now, but not very many from Lincoln and Omaha,” Terry said. “I’m trying to change that.” With a change in the number of listeners, Terry said there’s change in the Lincoln community, too.“We need more jazz concerts,” he said. “It’s a lot about the community and having something people can take their families to, but it’s also about bringing money into the city.” The Downtown Lincoln Association is attempting to bring this money into the city by getting nearby downtown businesses and restaurants to collaborate with Jazz in July. By involving them as food vendors, they hope to promote them. But Terry said there is more work to be done to keep the performances going for the summer. “What people don’t realize is that it’s a lot of work,” he said. “You have to get sponsors to pay for it and you have to get more collaborators to join in on it.” The series is free for all, but Terry stressed the importance of getting members of the community to contribute by donating in order for Lincoln to bring in national jazz bands like Jazz in June used to 3 years prior. “It’s really exciting.. Bands from all over the country have reached out and want to perform in Lincoln because friends from Nebraska have told them about it,” Terry said. “But it’s critical that community members reach out, too.”Talk of expanding the series into the next few months and onto the UNL City Campus Union Plaza is being negotiated among the Downtown Lincoln Association.But for now, Lincoln has the opportunity to enjoy four more weeks of jazz. “Jazz isn’t as big here as it is in some cities, but I want that to change,” Terry said. “I want people to think ‘jazz’ and then think ‘Lincoln.’”

Copyright 2021 James Terry