Marquette Waterfront Festival (free)


  • Yahara Place Park 2025 Yahara Place Madison, WI, 53704 United States

East-side-festival season officially kicks off with Waterfront Fest, whose touring acts this year include omnivorous jazz guitarist Fareed Haque and Québécois folk outfit Les Poules à Colin, who are both slated for two sets. But it's also worth timing your visits to the fest around the locally based acts on the bill, and there are enough overlaps and repeat appearances to make that pretty easy. Saturday kicks off at noon with Madison duo Mal-O-Dua's mischievously charming blend of gypsy swing, French music, and Hawaiian tunes, and, on the other stage, an 11:45 a.m. set from the ambitious classical outfit Willy Street Chamber Players (who also play at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday), who will be presenting a mixed program including Mozart's "Grand Sextet" and Daniel Bernard Romain's "String Quartet No. 5: Rosa Parks." Singer-songwriter Josh Harty plays at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, and the joyful, rollicking Afro-Peruvian jazz outfit Golpe Tierra plays at 3 p.m. on Sunday. —Scott Gordon