'What’s New and Bobby Darin' Kicks Off Jazz in the Park's 50th Season


The first concert of the 2024 Jazz in the Park series is set for Sunday, July 14.  Entitled “What’s New and Bobby Darin,” it will feature both new compositions for the La Crosse Jazz Orchestra and the music of Bobby Darin.  

LJO trumpeter Jon Ailabouni’s composition “Fraught Hope Blues” will highlight the "What’s New" portion of the program, says LJO director Greg Balfany

"Other new arrangements include Inake Askunze’s arrangement of Tribal Tech’s incredible funk tune, 'Face First,' with bassist Karyn Quinn and drummer Rich MacDonald recreating Tribal Tech’s infectious groove," he says. "Pianist Larry Price and guitarist Paul Leithold will rock on in the featured soloist roles for this presentation."

Band vocalist Tim Henke is featured on two sets from singer Bobby Darin.

"Of special note are Darin’s versions of Henry Mancini’s 'Charade' and the rarely heard 'The Curtain Falls,'" Balfany says. "Of course, 'Mack the Knife' will also be heard!"

This first of four free outdoor concerts marks the kickoff of the 50th anniversary of Jazz in the Park concerts with the LJO.  Originally one concert on a Sunday afternoon, the LJO season now includes 11 performances and occurs throughout the year.

Jazz in the Park runs weekly on Sunday evenings through August 4. The concerts are free and start at 7 p.m. at the Riverside Park Bandshell in La Crosse. The rain site for all Jazz in the Park concerts is the Cavalier Theater, 118 5th Ave. N., La Crosse.

Visit the LJO Events Calendar for more details on the 2024 Jazz in the Park and the Cappella Concert Series.



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.


Support the LJO