Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series at the Walker
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Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series at the Walker

Photo by Gene Pittman


Next generation jazz visionaries make their Twin Cities debuts and chart new pathways forward this summer at the Walker’s Hillside Jazz series. They each capture the virtuosity, passion, and commitment to racial and social justice that has driven the jazz vanguard for decades. Offering the sound of tomorrow through some of the most vital voices of today in a free outdoor summer concert series on the beautiful Walker hillside.

Hillside Jazz: Present Tense: Irreversible Entanglements featuring Moor Mother
Thursday, June 3
7 pm

Hillside Jazz: Present Tense: jaimie branch’s FLY or DIE
Friday, July 2
7 pm

Hillside Jazz: Present Tense: Joel Ross Good Vibes
Friday, August 6
7 pm



Irreversible Entanglements. Photo: Bob Sweeney.

Irreversible Entanglements featuring Moor Mother

“The band draw[s] a through-line from ’60s free-jazz to our current despair, with urgent improvisation that unfolds like a fire flower of rebellion.” —National Public Radio

Featuring Philly’s electrifying poet Moor Mother (Camae Ayewa), the free-jazz collective Irreversible Entanglements has forged a presence fired by deep-dive improvisation and searing poetic narratives of Black trauma, survival, and power. The message is the music, wild and tightly woven. Working in profound communion, the quintet (saxophonist Keir Neuringer, bassist Luke Stewart, trumpeter Aquiles Navarro, and drummer Tcheser Holmes) addresses history and tradition, while insisting on a future of aesthetic and political liberation. The group formed after meeting at a 2015 rally against police brutality in Philadelphia where they were performing separately.

jaimie branch. Photo: Peter Gannushkin.

jaimie branch’s FLY or DIE

“Fly or Die is a stunning quartet recording that knits together several threads in Branch’s music—laser-sharp improvisatory exploration, ebullient melodies, and a deep feeling for groove.” —Chicago Reader

Injecting a contemporary reckoning—hopefulness and hopelessness, joy and loss—into a clarion call of creative music now, the concert features a bandleader unafraid to pull from the vast history of American jazz, improvisation, and experimental music. Progressive composer jaimie branch, whether soft and pleading or brash and seething as she sounds her trumpet or her voice, helms her quartet (Chad Taylor drums, Jason Ajemian bass, and Lester St. Louis cello) with unflinching conviction. Her last two releases wowed fans and critics alike with her FLY or DIE II: Bird Dogs of Paradise scoring a top 10 spot in NPR’s 2019 records of the year.

Joel Ross. Photo: courtesy Blue Note Records.

Joel Ross Good Vibes 

“Ross’ playing erupts through the layers of lush arrangements like consistent currents of electricity, high-powered and full of luminous energy” —DownBeat

Still in his mid-20s, rhythmically ecstatic vibraphonist-composer Joel Ross is known for his work with leading new jazz figures Makaya McCraven, Ambrose Akinmusire, Nicolle Mitchell, Kassa Overall, and Marquis Hill. NPR calls him “the breakout jazz star of the moment… partly on the basis of this volatile spark and its cathartic release.” Establishing his own distinctive single mallet approach to the vibes, full of clarity and drive, Ross just released his second Blue Note release Who Are You? to wide-spread critical acclaim. His Good Vibes quintet features pianist Jeremy Corren, bassist Or Bareket, drummer Jeremy Dutton, and sax wunderkind Immanuel Wilkins. Each artist advances the spirit of risk-taking while maintaining Ross’ vision for telling compelling musical stories.


Outdoor Performance and Event Guidelines

Masks must be worn unless consuming food or beverages. No umbrellas, lawn furniture, or pets. No smoking allowed. Handwashing and hand sanitizer stations will be located throughout each event.


You will have the option to request accessibility accommodations when you register. For more information about accessibility, or to request additional accommodations, call 612-375-7564 or email

For more information about accessibility at the Walker, visit our Access page.


If you are sick, experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or are otherwise unable to attend, call the box office at 612-375-7600 to return your ticket.

Voicemails left for box office will be returned as soon as possible 10 am–5 pm, Tuesday–Sunday.


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