Friday kicks off the 24th annual Balcones Heights Jazz Festival (July 7, 14, 21 and 28), a free family-friendly event at the Wonderland of the Americas Amphitheater.
In the past, the festival has hosted such internationally acclaimed artists as saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa, jazz/pop vocalist Slim Man, and fusion guitarist Peter White. David Munoz, host of Sunday Morning Jazz with Q101.9, will add another festival to his 23-year streak of emceeing the event. Bluesy Texas jazz guitarist Ruben V returns to the festival accompanied by local vocalist Melina.
The festival lineup is full of newcomers, like Strunz & Farah from Costa Rica and Iran respectively, whose blended virtuosic style casts Allman Brothers-style twin leads and improvisation into flamenco rhythms. Paul Jackson, Jr., a sought-after sessions musician who’s recorded with the likes of Michael Jackson and B.B. King will also take the stage at Wonderland for the first time, along with dentist by day and saxophonist by night Phillip “Doc” Martin, precocious rising saxophonist Chase Huna, smooth jazz keyboardist Oli Silk, instrumental jazz guitarist Steve Oliver and cutting-edge jazz trumpeter Rick Braun (pictured.)
Free, 7:30-10pm Fri, Jul 7, Wonderland of the Americas Amphitheater, 4522 Fredericksburg Road, (210) 732-0055, sanantoniocentral.org.