JAZZ FEST: Two-day music festival set to begin Friday

The Outlook’s own Audra Spears was the winner in last year’s year’s Jazz Fest Art Contest with this design that combines the shape of the state and a musician playing jazz trombone. You can give it a try and enter this year’s contest.

Get jazzed up. One of the top music festivals in the state is almost here.

The 27th annual Alexander City Jazz Fest is set to begin at 6 p.m. Friday night at Strand Park in downtown Alexander City before resuming at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night at the Lake Martin Amphitheater.

Friday night kicks off at 6 p.m. with The Sofia Goodman Group, a jazz funk band from Nashville. Their leader, drummer Sofia Goodman has been featured on the 2014 album “The World is Love” from rock fusion band HuDost, as well as performing with them at Bonnaroo in 2012.

At 7:30 p.m., singer-songwriter Randall Bramblett takes the stage. Describing himself on his website as being heavily influenced by the blues, his over 40 year career has seen Bramblett on stage with such iconic musicians as Steve Winwood, The Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic.

The night closes out with Delta Rae starting up at 9 p.m. A folk rock group from North Carolina, the group has been a part of over 100 shows each year and has been featured at Lollapalooza, Tortuga Music Festival and Austin City Limits among other festivals. Delta Rae’s appearance at Jazz Fest is one of their stops during their summer 2017 tour.

The festival picks up again on Saturday evening with shadowood beginning their set at 6:30 p.m. Hailing from Atlanta, the band states on their Facebook page that, “If you blended Jackopierce, RUN-DMC, Guster, CSNY, and Barenaked Ladies together, you’d have a shadowood smoothie.”

The music continues at 8 p.m. with The Stooges Brass Band, one of the top brass bands from the city of New Orleans. The Stooges Brass Band has competed for the title of “Red Bull Street Kings: Best Brass Band,” performed at music festivals in both the United States and internationally, and toured Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan on behalf of the U.S. State Department.

Capping off another exciting Jazz Fest, The Paul Thorn Band’s performance starts at 9:30 p.m. The group’s members have individually been credited with playing with musicians such as Huey Lewis and the News, Keith Anderson and Hank Williams, Jr., among many others.

Both nights are free to attend. If you’re looking for a great weekend outing with some good music, look no further than the 27th annual Alexander City Jazz Fest.