Summer is just around the corner, and in Danville, that means the Great American Brass Band Festival is coming soon! If you’ve never experienced it, you’re in for a treat: for an entire weekend, Danville is filled with the sound of live brass band concerts, parades, hot air balloon races, 5K fun runs, and more. For over 25 years, the festival has been a mainstay of summer fun in Danville, and this year’s theme, brass in American jazz, will be bigger and better than ever. If you’re in town for Brass Band this year, here are three things you shouldn’t miss.
On Friday of the festival weekend, Main Street closes down for a New Orleans-style street party overflowing with food, drink, and live brass band music. You can enjoy Cajun cooking, cocktails, and spicy soulful jazz in the heart of our historic downtown district. (Bonus: the proceeds from the bash help fund the festival!) Photo: Kirk Schlea
On Saturday morning, every band involved in the festival marches down Main Street, joined by all manner of cars and horse-drawn wagons in a stunning display of musical energy. If you follow the parade, it will lead you to Centre College’s lush, leafy campus for a day of continuous concerts. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy a lazy summer afternoon on the lawn. You can even reserve a picnic table for you and your guests!
Sunday afternoon closes the concert with a spectacular send-off by some of the festival’s most talented musicians, who gather on the Festival Main Stage to perform a collaborative piece. This year, the headlining band, Airmen of Note, will partner with the DiMartino Osland Jazz Orchestra (DOJO), featuring jazz heavy-hitters Vince DiMartino and Miles Osland. You won’t want to miss it!
These are just three of the dazzling array of events lined up for a four-day musical extravaganza, June 4 - 7, 2015. Get a complete festival schedule and more festival information at www.gabbf.org.