A New Orleans band will bring a blend of jazz, rock and hip-hop to Turner Park on Thursday night as the first act in this year’s Jazz on the Green series.

Big Sam’s Funky Nation will stop in Omaha as part of an ongoing tour. The group has released five albums and has performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Bonnaroo, and appeared on the popular PBS television series “Austin City Limits,” among other gigs.

Frontman “Big Sam” Williams has more than two decades of experience playing trombone and performing vocals. With the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, he performed 300 shows a year and has played backup for Widespread Panic and the Dave Matthews Band in the recording studio. He also toured with Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello, and had a recurring role on the HBO series “Treme.”

Omaha’s B.E.D. Trio will open the show at 6:30 p.m., and Big Sam’s Funky Nation will follow at 7:30.

Seating in the grassy circular area of Turner Park, with a direct view of the stage, is permitted at 5 p.m. Spaces outside that area are available earlier in the afternoon. During the event, from 5 to 11 p.m., parking in Midtown Crossing garages is free. Free Mutual of Omaha surface lots at 36th and Dodge Streets, between 35th Avenue and 34th Street off Dodge and at 35th and Farnam Streets are open to the public beginning at 5.

Concession stands will sell food and beverages, but picnics also are permitted. Beer, wine and champagne are allowed, but not hard liquor. Pets on leashes are welcome.

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Betsie covers a little bit of everything for The World-Herald's Living section, including theater, religion and anything else that might need attention. Phone: 402-444-1267.

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