Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival pays homage to namesake

This year’s Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival, March 26-27 at the University of Montana, pays tribute to “Our Buddy,” the jazz legend and festival namesake, who died Dec. 24. Expect fresh new arrangements of classic jazz tunes, original pieces, a guest appearance by jazz clarinetist Eddie Daniels on Friday, and other surprises. Lance Boyd, former director of the UM Jazz Program, describes the pioneering bebop clarinetist as “a jazz giant.” Read more



“Strum and Drum” concert supports guitar classes at Salish Kootenai College

“Strum and Drum,” a benefit concert to support the launch of a new guitar education program at the Salish and Kootenai College, is slated for 7-9 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at the Johnny Arlee/Victor Charlo Theatre on the SKC campus in Pablo. The program features many leading musicians from Northwest Montana, including Jack Gladstone, Rob Quist and Halladay Quist, Tim Torgerson, Kevin Van Dort and Mike Murray. Read more



Greg Johnson directs MCT’s production of “The Rainmaker”

The Missoula Community Theatre presents "The Rainmaker," N. Richard Nash’s charming play about love, family, drought and forgiveness, through March 29. Greg Johnson, artistic director for the Montana Repertory Theatre, is the guest director of this romantic comedy, set on a Midwestern farm during the Great Depression. "The Rainmaker" is a story about the Curry family and the chances we take when we release ourselves of fear, habit and routine. Read more



Fourth of July Creek wins Montana Book Award

The 2014 Montana Book Award winner is Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson. His debut novel is escribed as "a timely and unflinching meditation on freedom, community, paranoia, dignity, rugged independence, and the reverberations of brutality and neglect in the lives of the most innocent." The three honor books are Astoria by Peter Stark, Blood Will Out by Walter Kirn and The Ploughmen by Kim Zupan. Read more



Art Auction 47 | Festive event celebrates artists and the YAM

The Yellowstone Art Museum celebrates its 47th annual art auction March 7 at the museum in Billings. The YAM’s most significant fundraising event generates proceeds to support exhibitions and educational programming for the entire year, while supporting artists living and working in the region.  Festivities begin at 5 p.m. March 7 and feature a dinner and dessert buffet catered by Thomas Nelson Catering. Live auction bidding begins at 7:30 p.m. Read more



Runners head to Great Falls for Ice Breaker Road Race

Join more than 4,100 runners, joggers and fitness walkers who participate in the Ice Breaker Road Race each year. The 36th annual race, April 26 in Great Falls, features three courses: a five-mile race for competitive runners certified by TAC-RRCA, a three-mile race/run for competitive and recreational runners, and a one-mile run/walk course for families. Events begin at 1 p.m. at the Civic Center. Read more