Steve Lindeman & Friends Dazzle at Utah’s Jazz & Roots Festival


Photo of Steve Lindeman (Courtesy of Steve Lindeman)

By Oakley Burt, Arts Editor


The 2019 Utah Jazz and Roots Festival truly was a celebration of jazz music and Utah’s diverse communities. Held at the Gallivan Center in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, friends and families gathered for a free performance by Steve Lindeman & Friends on Sept. 5 — the opening night of Utah Jazz & Roots Festival. 

Lindeman, a Salt Lake City local, is an active jazz musician, composer and keyboard player. He is also a professor in the School of Music at Brigham Young University and teaches courses in music theory, jazz history, jazz styles, jazz piano and world music. Lindeman has an impressive academic resume, having studied at the Indiana School of Music, Queens College and Rutgers University. Lindeman also had the opportunity to work with some of the best musicians in the business such as Jim McNeely, Mike Holober, Larry Groupé and Roger Neill. Lindeman has also worked in the film industry, scoring films with Enrica Sciandrone at the Royal Academy of Music in London. 

Lindeman & Friends includes Corey Christiansen, Kris Johnson, Parker Swenson, David Halliday and Alex Rowe. Their performance at the Utah Jazz & Roots Festival was nothing short of spectacular. Their energy was unmatched as they performed upbeat and lively jazz numbers, with Lindeman calling it “a wonderful night for a concert.” Lindeman & Friends performed rearranged versions of these classic songs “No Reply” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, “Moment’s Notice” by John Coltrane, “Moon Alley” by Tom Harrell and “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan — making timeless classics their own as they rocked the stage. Lindeman also performed a few of his original compositions titled, “Hohenzollern,” “Etiana,” “Escarlatta” and “Tchoupitoulas.” Members of the crowd danced and others cheered them on with infectious laughs and smiles throughout the night.

Lindeman & Friends continued to perform as the weather took a turn for the worse by the minute, but the audience didn’t give it much thought — they were just happy to be there. At one point during the concert, an announcer took to the stage to inform the audience that in the event of rain, they were invited to sit on the stage behind the musicians to keep the concert-going. Sure enough, 20 minutes later the rain began to pour and lightning lit up the dark sky, and audience members flocked to dry spaces. Lindeman & Friends picked up where they left off and the concert became a more intimate experience for those who stayed. Lindeman & Friends performance was entertaining and enjoyable until the end, and regardless of the weather, all the festival-goers, young and old, came together as one community to celebrate the spirit of jazz music.  

The festival will also feature performances by Kris Johnson featuring Lulu Fall, Brandee Younger Quartet and Lewis Nash & Friends on Friday, Sept 6. The 2019 Utah Jazz & Roots Festival was presented by the Utah Cultural Trust who, partnered with the Salt Lake City Jazz Festival, Jazz Arts of the Mountain West, Excellence in the Community and the GAM Foundation to provide a fun and inviting event for all ages. 


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