What to do in Madison this week: Lucinda Williams, ‘Tina: The Tina Turner Musical’ and more Isthmus Picks – Isthmus

Madison Jazz Festival, June 7-16, various locations: Each June brings an embarrassment of riches for music fans when the Madison Jazz Festival returns, this year from June 7-16. Coordinated in partnership by Arts + Literature Lab and the Wisconsin Union Theater, the schedule features an array of concerts and a couple special events focusing on the late Richard Davis, a former UW professor and international music legend. Still to come on June 13 is a screening of the new documentary String Theory: The Richard Davis Method, plus a discussion by director Michael Neelsen and others (7 p.m., Madison Museum of Contemporary Art). Ticketed concerts include Miguel Zenón & Luis Perdomo performing music from the new album El Arte del Bolero Vol. 2 (7:30 p.m., June 10, ALL). The rest of the fest’s events are free to attend, including UW Memorial Union Terrace headliners the Orrin Evans Quartet (7 p.m., June 15) and Dee Dee Bridgewater’s We Exist quartet (7 p.m., June 16). Find the full schedule at Luncheon, Tuesday, June 11, Madison Club, 11:30 a.m.: Are you ready for summer? Considering that the Republican National Convention is being held in Milwaukee starting July 15 and the Democratic National Convention is being held in Chicago starting August 19, we are not ready for this to be happening at all. This lunch seminar sponsored by the invaluable news resource features director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs, Susan Webb Yackee, and UW-Madison poli sci professor Barry Burden. They’ll put the run-up to the conventions (including advertising onslaughts, Trump’s felony convictions, and the first presidential debate) in context. Tickets include a lunch buffet.

Caravan, Tuesday, June 11, Capitol Square, noon: A summer tradition for many years, the Madison Central Business Improvement District’s Lunch Time LIVE series is back for 2024 with concerts most Tuesdays through the end of August. This week features a set by Madison’s own Caravan, experts at creating new music drawing on vintage jazz styles, particularly that of Romani guitarist Django Reinhardt. Concerts take place on the King Street walkway of the Square. Find the season schedule at

Gerald Heckathorn, Tuesday, June 11, Mystery to Me , 6 p.m.: Your bank might have been robbed by Gerald Heckathorn, a man who robbed about 250 of them around the country — including some in Madison — and spent 35 years locked up for those charges and drug-related crimes. He’s written a GoFundMe-driven book that takes readers inside his criminal mind, titled Memoir of a Bank Robber, and if anyone can get Heckathorn (now retired and living in Madison) to talk about his nitty-gritty experiences both in and out of prison, it’s Madison Magazine’s award-winning writer Doug Moe. He’ll be asking the tough questions during what promises to be a fascinating conversation. This event is free but RSVPs are encouraged; it also will be livestreamed via Crowdcast. Find links at

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, June 11-16, Overture Hall: Singer, songwriter and actor Tina Turner, who died in 2023, was one of the most electrifying performers of the 20th century. Her story is also one of resilience; it took years for Turner to rebuild her career after divorcing her abusive husband and bandmate Ike Turner, but she became a far bigger star as a solo performer. The touring Broadway production Tina: The Tina Turner Musical features Ari Groover and Zurin Villanueva alternating nights in the lead role. Shows at 7:30 p.m. on June 11-14, 2 and 7:30 p.m. on June 15, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. on June 16; tickets at

Arkansauce, Tuesday, June 11, Bur Oak, 8 p.m.: You like your bluegrass in overdrive? Four-part harmonies okay? These hard chargers from Fayetteville, Arkansas, have been zapping audiences on festival stages for a dozen years and via five albums including OK to Wonder, released this spring. Their music is inspired by the lives they live on the road, and the lives they share with their audiences at each stop. Tickets at

Read(y) to Wear, Wednesday, June 12, The Sylvee, 6 p.m.: This annual event features fashion creations by local business, nonprofit, student and artist teams. The twist: All the designs are made of paper rather than fabric, a nod to the fact Read(y) to Wear is a fundraiser for Madison Reading Project, a nonprofit working to increase youth literacy by giving books to kids and families. The show, on the theme “Dress for Your Adventure,” will be emceed by drag artist Bianca Lynn Breeze, Downtown Madison Inc. president Jason Ilstrup, and MRP executive director Rowan Childs, with music provided by DJ Four7 (aka Travis Beckum, former UW and NFL tight end). Runway winners will be decided by celebrity judges. Find ticket info at

Lucinda Williams, Wednesday, June 12, Barrymore, 7:30 p.m.: It was 1998’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road that made Lucinda WIlliams a star — and that 13-track album holds up as a no-skip wonder on the dive bar honkytonk bayou-side jukebox of your dreams. She’s made an astonishing amount of music (11 albums) since that landmark, and is touring in support of her 2023 album Stories from a Rock n Roll Heart. Williams, now recovered from a 2021 stroke, continues to write music where what is said, and sung, is as crucial as what is not. Tickets at

Shannon & the Clams, Wednesday, June 12, Majestic, 8 p.m.: During the last 15 years, Oakland quartet Shannon & the Clams have taken a variety of vintage rock and soul influences and built a sound all their own. Their songwriting is always heartfelt, but never more so than on their new album, The Moon Is In the Wrong Place, which was created following the death of vocalist-bassist Shannon Shaw’s fiancé. The album is heartbreaking and hopeful in equal measure. With Tropa Magica. Tickets at

Gilda’s Backyard BBQ, Thursday, June 13, Gilda’s Club Madison, Middleton, 5:30-8:30 p.m.: Gilda’s Club offers support for those facing cancer and their families, friends and caregivers — for free. Help support their mission by attending the annual Gilda’s Backyard BBQ, which along with barbecue fare by Blue Plate Catering includes a raffle, auction, and music by Universal Sound. Tickets available online through June 9, or at the door.

Sharon Kilfoy + TetraPAKMAN, through Aug. 9, Social Justice Center: The Jackie Macaulay Gallery hosts paired exhibits considering the effects of climate change on our planet’s living creatures. TetraPAKMAN’s sculpture and other large-format works often focus on raising awareness of climate change, and this exhibit includes “The Climate Sheets,” wrapping around the gallery space and including records of the ever-raising level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Rising global temperatures contribute to a higher danger of wildfires; Sharon Kilfoy shows some concrete examples of what fire does with a collection of objects recovered following a 2016 fire at Williamson Street Art Center.

Paul Lawrence, Thursday, June 13, Harmony Bar, 6:30 p.m.: Midwestern singer-songwriter Paul Lawrence is in a homecoming phase after writing and performing his music for the last 12 years in Taipei. He says he’s excited to share his new music with English-speaking audiences. It’ll be interesting to listen for any Taiwanese influences that may have seeped into his blues and folk-country after all this time.

La Combi, Thursday, June 13, Monona Terrace Rooftop, 6:30 p.m.: La Combi is a pillar of Madison’s Latin music community, holding down a twice-a-month dance at Robinia Courtyard with their unique mix of salsa, Peruvian. Cuban and other styles. An all-star ensemble, the group includes fleet-fingered guitarist Richard Hildner Armacanqui, bassist Nick Moran, vocalist Betty Guerrero, percussionist Paddy Cassidy, and others. The evening begins with a Latin dance lesson led by Luis Armacanqui. This Concerts on the Rooftop performance is free, but tickets are required:

Find the individual Picks collected here, and as part of the full calendar of events.

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