It’s back – the annual Tacoma Jazz and Blues Festival, rocking Freighthouse Square and two other venues all day Saturday, and all for free.
Freighthouse Square is the best jumping-off place, hosting both the Big Band Stage (upstairs in the Rainier Room) and free parking. Catch the light rail to the Blues Stage at the Harmon Pub on Pacific Avenue, and then drive down South Tacoma Way to the Stonegate restaurant and bar for the evening stage.
In the line-up this year: regular favorites like Rich Wetzel’s Groovin’ Higher Jazz Orchestra (5 p.m., Stonegate), Maia Santell and House Blend (3:30 p.m., Harmon) Johnny Lewis Big Band (12:30 p.m., Freighthouse) and Little Bill and the Blue Notes (12:30 p.m., Harmon).
Other bands to check out include the MOJO Big Band (3:30 p.m., Freighthouse) and The Wired Band, winner of the 2012 International Memphis Blues Challenge (5 p.m., Harmon).
The festival runs 12:30-10 p.m. May 26. Freighthouse Square is at 2501 E D. St., Tacoma; The Harmon is at 1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma; The Stonegate is at 5421 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma.
For a complete schedule and information, see tacomajazzandblues.org