The weeks leading up to Jazz Week are jam-packed with great music, much of it free, and Boston's own Roy Haynes (photo, left) provides two of the highlights. The legendary drummer, who will be a Jazz Master in Residence at Harvard University April 15-18, is participating in "A Conversation with Roy Haynes" moderated by writer Bob Blumenthal on Friday, Apr. 17, at 4 p.m. at Harvard's Lowell Hall. That sets the table for a tribute concert on Saturday, Apr. 18, at 8 p.m. at Sanders Theatre featuring Haynes with special guest, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, and the Harvard Jazz Bands. Go to the Harvard box office for ticket info.
Colleges and universities are offering myriad freebies in April. The Tufts Jazz Orchestra presents "Habanera in Spain," interpreting Chano Pozo, Mario Bauza, and others, on Thursday, Apr. 16, at 8 p.m., at the university's Goddard Chapel, while Tufts' Small Jazz Bands, directed by Paul Ahlstrand and Scott Aruda, perform their spring concert at Tufts' Granoff Music Center on Monday, Apr. 20 at 8 p.m.
New England Conservatory hosts the East Coast premiere of the Nils Lindberg Jazz Requiem on Apr. 20, at 8 p.m. at Jordan Hall.
NEC has a number of other free jazz events, including the Keller Jazz Series of student performances in the Keller Room at 290 Huntington Ave. at 7 p.m. on Apr. 6, 7, 8, 14, and 23; and the NEC Jazz Composers' Workshop Orchestra, conducted by Frank Carlberg, on Tuesday, Apr. 21, at 8 p.m. at Jordan Hall. Click here for the full NEC schedule.
Berklee College of Music's Cafe 939 hosts "KidsJam: Jazz Songs," on Monday, Apr. 6, at 11 a.m., part of an entertainment series for children ages 3 to 5. Reservations are required. Click here for details.
Pianist and singer Carolyn Wilkins is featured on Tuesday, Apr. 21, a 1 p.m. at Cafe 939's new lunchtime concert series showcasing Berklee faculty members.
For something completely different, check out the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble Trio on Friday, Apr. 24, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Miller Street Studios in Somerville, part of the Miller Street Studios open studio event. For details, click here.