Meet the Feestet

Feestet (pronounced “Feest-tet”) is a Madison-based jazz ensemble fronted by vocalist Helen Feest. They can be found in many sizes – from an intimate duet all the way to a groovy sextet. Representing the same musical fabric in each of their forms, they are known simply as Feestet.

Formed in 2021, their blend of arranged jazz classics and originals pay tribute to the sounds and stories that withstand the test of time.

Latest Release

Our debut original is, “Does Anyone Have the Time”, is live.

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Does anyone have the time by Feestet, album artwork


Helen Feest

Helen’s vocal training includes classical, musical theater and jazz styles. Her formal education included a minor in music from Southern Illinois U – Carbondale. She’s performed in the Madison scene from the time she was 15, and in 2014 earned “Female Youth Vocalist of the Year” from the Madison Area Music Awards.

Ari Smith

Ari is a bassist and composer active in the Wisconsin jazz, contemporary classical, an experimental music scenes. While working to complete his Ph.D. at UW Madison, he has shared the stage with such names as Vincent Davis, Jim Baker, Hanah Jon Taylor, and Isaiah Collier, and has been commissioned to compose pieces for performers such as Trace Johnson and Joe Connor.

Anthony Utehs

Anthony is originally from Portland, Oregon. During his time there, he studied and performed with jazz musicians Dan Balmer, John Stowell, Randy Porter, Mel Brown, and Gerald Wilson. Since moving to Madison, he has performed with the Paul Dietrich Jazz Ensemble, Darren Sterud’s NOLA Tribute Band, John Christensen, Jonathan Greenstein and more.

Frank McKearn IV

Former trumpet player Frank McKearn IV has transferred his talents over to a new sound: the Electronic Valve Instrument. Frank, a native of Beloit, WI, made his foundation playing with Darren Sterud, Tony Barba, Fareed Haque, John Christensen, and many other Madison greats, and is excited to return to Madison with the Feestet, bringing the sound of the EVI with him. 

Greg Riss

Jack Johnson

Recent Show Snippets

North Street Cabaret, May 2023 – Featuring Frank McKearn IV on the EVI.
Thanks Akikazu Hashimoto for capturing!
The Pyramid on October 21, 2021 – Featuring Alex Gold on Trumpet

Quarantine Jams

Featuring Lucas Simpson, Paul Hastil, Aaron Gochberg & Jim Huwe. Video by Sam Olson.

Featuring Aaron Gochberg. Video by Sam Olson.

We love to play cocktail hours, pool parties, and jazz clubs.