Road Trip: Coast to Coast with LJO


Jazz in the Park is back this summer with a road trip theme.


“Our 49th season takes us to major jazz cities from coast to coast exploring the best music for big band in the U.S.A.,” says Greg Balfany, La Crosse Jazz Orchestra director.


“Road Trip: Coast to Coast with the LJO” kicks off Sunday, July 9 at Riverside Park with the theme “Pacific Highway” featuring the music of west coast big bands and composers from Vancouver to San Diego. 


The band visits San Francisco where they “Left My Heart.” LA composer Bob Florence contributes his “Soaring” chart, envisioning an eagle's flight over the ocean with LJO trumpet artist Jon Ailabouni. Vocalist Cathy Reitz hops on “Route 66” to get the band going from the West Coast to the Midwest. The ensemble takes a side trip to Oakland to join up with a Tower of Power medley from “In the Slot.” Music from Stan Kenton, Bette Midler and John Clayton round out the season premiere.


“Heartland Waterways," the second Jazz in the Park concert of the season is on Sunday, July 16.


On Sunday, July 23, the theme is “I-95 – Top to Bottom.”


The 2023 Jazz in the Park series concludes on Sunday, July 30 with “Wisconsin Friends and Family” featuring guest artist Steve March-Tormé.


All concerts start at 7 p.m. at Riverside Park in downtown La Crosse.


Concerts are free for all and suitable for the whole family. The rain site for all LJO Jazz in the Park concerts is the Cappella Performing Arts Center, 721 King St., La Crosse.




The La Crosse Jazz Orchestra is Western Wisconsin's premier big band. Directed by Greg Balfany, the group is best known through its Jazz in the Park concert series. The LJO mission: to promote, preserve and forward the creation of jazz music through free live performances available to all in our region. LJO operates under fiscal sponsorship from La Crosse Community Foundation.


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