Van Buren will host a jazz festival on April 20-21 to feature area school bands and headlined by the Jake Hertzog Trio as the final act of the event.

The festival will be held at Freedom Park in downtown Van Buren and is free. Those attending are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.

Hertzog’s career has spanned nine albums as a bandleader across jazz, rock and classical music styles. He has toured throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and India.

His projects included the Jake Hertzog Trio with Harvie S and Victor Jones, a jazz/rock group which has released five albums and has headlined venues such as The Blue Note in New York and Salo Jazz Festival in Finland.

“People can expect a unique blend of modern jazz and rock, with influences from Pat Metheny and Ornette Coleman to Steve Vai and Jimi Hendrix,” Hertzog said.

He has recently released “Well Lit Shadow” in 2016. It’s a classical suite for solo electric guitar “celebrating themes and images in particle physics.” Hertzog has recorded another album with guitarist Yishai Fischer.

Hertzog recorded three albums as the co-leader and co-songwriter of the rock band The Young Presidents along with bassist Mitch Kaneff. Hertzog also got a boost into the pop arena as the musical director and stood in as the lead guitarist for Nickelodeon’s The Naked Brothers Band stars, Nat and Alex Wolff. He did two national tours with the band.

Hertzog joined the music faculty at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. He also taught master classes and clinics around the world. Under the alias Hey Jazz Guy, Hertzog has contributed over 30 articles to “Guitar Player” magazine’s Lessons section.

The festival begins with Fort Smith Kimmons performing at 3:30 p.m., followed by jazz ensembles from Mena, Farmington, Southside, and Prairie Grove. The UAFS Jazz Cats will wrap up the first night with its performance at 8:30 p.m.

The festival continues the following morning starting with Booneville followed by Northside and Ramsey. The UAFS Big Band performs at noon with the combined Van Buren Middle School bands at 1 p.m. and the Van Buren High School at 2 p.m.

Pea Ridge and Bentonville will finish the schedule of area high school bands performing. The Jake Hertzog Trio is slated to close out the festival starting at 5 p.m.

Arkansas Jazz Festival

Van Buren Freedom Park

April 20-21

Friday, April 20

Kimmons - 3:30 p.m.

Mena High School - 4:30 p.m.

Farmington High School - 5:30 p.m.

Prairie Grove High School - 7:30 p.m.

UAFS Jazz Cats - 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 21

Booneville High School - 9 a.m.

Northside - 10 a.m.

Ramsey - 11 a.m.

UAFS Big Band - noon

Van Buren Middle School - 1 p.m.

Van Buren High School - 2 p.m.

Pea Ridge High School - 3 p.m.

Bentonville High School - 4 p.m.

Jake Hertzog Trio - 5 p.m.