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Arts & Culture

Hot Summer Jazz Fest In Very Cool Location

San Antonio's summertime Jazz Festival heats up on Friday night. Producer Lorenzo Nastasi says that where the Balcones Heights Jazz Festival happens is a large part of its magic.

"What sets this apart is the incredible venue because it has a wonderful amphitheater setting with a reflecting pool on the north end of Wonderland, at Fredericksburg and 410. So we have about 4,000 people in this amphitheater gazing across this reflecting pool at a stage featuring some of the best jazz in the country and it's all free."

Entry and parking are free. Food and drink is available for sale. The festival kicks off Friday night and goes every Friday through Aug. 5.

"The show begins at 7:30 p.m. with an opening act. The headliner comes on at 9 o'clock," he says.

While the Balcones Jazz Festival has long been known as a primarily Smooth Jazz Festival, that description is now being stretched.

"So this year we have some R & B and some other jazz and the lineup reflects that."

Here's a layout of the acts playing, starting with this Friday night.

"July 8th Dean James at 7:30 and Tom Browne at 9p.m. July 15th, Melina at 7:30, Jeff Lorber at 9 o'clock. July 22nd, Bett Butler and Joel Dilley opening up at 7:30; and Jeannette Harris at 9p.m. July 29th, Warhawk at 7:30 and 3rd Force at 9. August 5th, Groove Therapy at 7:30, and somebody that everybody seems excited about is Stanley Jordan, whose Magic Touch album stayed atop the jazz charts for 51 consecutive weeks!"

Nastasi says people of all kinds seem to enjoy the Jazz Festival.

"There are people of all ages. Young people, people with their kids in strollers, teenagers, couples. It's a great family-friendly event."

Find more on the Balcones Heights Jazz Festival here