The Gene Harris Jazz Festival and Other Musical Attractions in the Boise Area


Boise is a cultural hub of art and music. There are so many musical attractions going on in Idaho’s capitol each year.  If you are new to the Boise area or are just now getting into the music scene in the Treasure Valley, here is a list of some of the most popular musical attractions in Boise:

Boise Music Festival

A huge musical attraction in Boise each year is the Boise Music Festival. Big names in popular music gather and sing for three days for the people of Boise. In 2015 and 2016, there were great line-ups with artists including Nick Jonas, Daughtry, Spencer’s Own, Nelly, Andy Grammar, and more. Local radio stations attend and hype of the event, giving away tickets and prizes to pump everyone up for the music festival. Music lovers and enthusiasts gather for days and have fun.

Western Idaho Fair

The Western Idaho Fair is a fun yearly tradition in the Treasure Valley. Folks from all over the Valley come by to play games, ride rollercoasters, go through haunted houses and ride Ferris wheels, see the animals at the petting zoo, and enjoy to musical guests. Big names like Sting and Weird Al have come to the Western Idaho Fair to perform in recent years, and in the height of High School Musical popularity about a decade ago, Corbin Bleu came by, performing for hundreds of screaming fans of the movies and his music. Each night, the Western Idaho Fair has more musical guests to perform, providing a good time for all in attendance.

Boise Blues Society

If you have an affinity for blues music, or if you appreciate all types of music including the powerful art form that is blues, check out events put on by the Boise Blues Society. They regularly post on their website about events and concerts in the Boise area. They update their followers and society members on blues events, concerts, and other opportunities that promote blues as a strong American art form.

Alive After Five

The Alive After Five music series is an ongoing summer concert series showcasing talent on the Basque Block in Boise. It starts June 1st and ends August 31st each year. 2017 marks 30 years in Boise for the Alive After Fivers. As its title suggests, the musical performances begin at 5 pm, each Wednesday night, and carry on until 8 pm. It’s a fun way to go out and enjoy music in the warm summer evenings in the Boise area. You can go throughout your days like normal, going to work and doing your daily activities, and then head down to the Basque Block to enjoy live music on the Wednesday of your choice.

The Gene Harris Jazz Festival

The Gene Harris Jazz Festival is an annual event that celebrated its 18th year in 2017. It is a musical event that takes place at Boise State, presented by the Boise State University Department of Music. It consists of jazz bands all over the state of Idaho, and in neighboring states—including the Gene Harris Jazz Festival Superband and the Boise State Jazz Ensemble—who come together to jam out and perform in front of hundreds of people in the Boise area. It is a celebration of jazz music and is a festival that gives education about jazz music to anyone who attends. There are jazz musicians and educators who attend, as well as clinicians. Each year, there is a talented, accomplished musician who headlines the event. This year, the Gene Harris Jazz Festival will have David Liebman headline. He is a composer, as well as an educator and a master at the saxophone. He has toured with big names, such as Miles Davis and John Abercrombie. The event is filled with music, fun, and artistic relevance. This year, the Gene Harris Jazz Festival took place on April 1st and 2nd, 2017. Mark you calendars for 2018, and don't miss this festival next Spring. 

Concert Houses

There are many concert houses in the Boise area. The Knitting Factory, Taco Bell Arena, Revolution Concert House, and the Nampa Civic Center are all popular concert venues in the Treasure Valley. There are others as well, such as The Venue (which typically features local artists), but these four are the most well-known and where big names typically gather, such as Carrie Underwood, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Justin Bieber, Avenged Sevenfold, and countless others of all genres and for all age groups. Whatever type of music you like, you are sure to find a place to enjoy live entertainment and splendor in the Boise area, whether it’s at a music festival or in a concert house.

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