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Arts & Culture

Summer Tradition At Wonderland: Hot Jazz

A local Jazz Festival kicks in on Friday night.

"It’s one of the largest free concerts in the region and it’s recognized throughout the state. People come from all over," said producer Lorenzo Nastasi.

It’s called the Balcones Heights Jazz Festival and it’s known primarily for smooth jazz. But it’s not all just that.

“We’ve had performers that do some Latin Jazz. And one of the things I’ve tried to do more in the last couple of years is bring in more women performers,” said Nastasi.

The Jazz Festival kicks off Friday and is on for the next four Friday nights. Some people shy away from summertime Festivals outdoors, but he says the Wonderland Mall amphitheater venue has some real advantages.

Nastasi adds “You an go inside and use a restroom. You can go inside and cool off, you don’t have to use a porta-potty. And the reflecting pool that is the centerpiece of the amphitheater there…once it gets dark and the lights reflect off the water, it really creates a nice ambience. And there’s not  a bad seat in the house.”

This weekend they start the Festival off with Groove Therapy.

"Yes,  they’re from Ft. Sam Houston, the 323rd Army. They have a bassist, a trumpet, a guitar. I brought them in several years ago and they’ve proven to be very, very popular. And I think any time we can support the military with some of the other things they do, such as this, is a very positive, good thing, and the crowds love it.”

Free parking, Food and drink booths, and of course, the mall’s food court are nearby. 

For more on the Balcones Heights Jazz Festival go here