For the past six years, Okka Fest has brought some of the world’s most talented improvisational and free jazz artists to Milwaukee’s doorstep. The brainchild of Palm Tavern and Sugar Maple owner Bruno Johnson, the festival has served as a showcase for acts affiliated with Johnson’s Okka Disk label, as well as an accessible celebration of the oft-misunderstood improv genre itself. That mission remains the same for 2014, but the fest’s ambitions have grown: Beginning Friday, June 20 and running through Sunday, June 22, Okka Fest will play host to 17 sets of music performed by 14 different artists, spread across two bars, two record stores, and one coffee shop.

Where past Okka Fests have mostly been limited to Palm Tavern and Sugar Maple, the sixth installment will feature a Saturday afternoon “Music Walk” that will find solo acts performing at Rush-Mor Records, ACME Records, and the Bay View Anodyne Coffee. A DJ set at The Sugar Maple will cap off each night.

Tickets for Okka Fest 2014 are $10 per set, $35 per day, or $20 for The Palm only. A full pass is $100. All Music Walk shows are free.

Friday, June 20, The Sugar Maple
7 p.m.: Elisabeth Harnik solo (Austria)
8 p.m.: Joe McPhee & Joe Morris duo
9 p.m.: Jim Baker, Kent Kessler, Dave Rempis trio
10 p.m.: Boneshaker (Kent Kessler, Paal Nilssen-Love, Mars Williams) (United States/Norway)
11 p.m.: DJ Ken Vandermark

Saturday, June 21, The Palm Tavern
3 p.m.: Joe McPhee & Paal Nilssen-Love duo (United States/Norway)

Saturday, June 21, Music Walk
4:30 p.m. (Anodyne): Mars Williams solo
5:30 p.m. (Rush-Mor): Nate Wooley amplified trumpet solo
6:30 p.m. (ACME): Jim Baker solo

Saturday, June 21, The Sugar Maple
7 p.m.: Agusti Fernandez solo (Spain)
8 p.m.: Kent Kessler, Joe Morris, Jen Paulson trio
9 p.m.: Elisabeth Harnik & Paal Nilssen-Love duo (Austria/Norway)
10 p.m.: The Chicago Reed Quartet (Nick Mazzarella, Dave Rempis, Ken Vandermark, Mars Williams)
11 p.m.: DJ Bruno Johnson

Sunday, June 22, ACME
3 p.m.: Brian Labycz solo

Sunday, June 22, The Sugar Maple
4 p.m.: Jim Baker solo
5 p.m.: Ken Vandermark & Nate Wooley duo
6 p.m.: Brian Labycz, Joe McPhee, Jen Paulson trio
7 p.m.: Agusti Fernandez, Joe Morris, Nate Wooley trio (Spain/United States)
8 p.m.: DJ Paal Nilssen-Love

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.