North Omaha Music & Arts is bringing back its festival for a second straight year

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By Taylor Johnson

Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 3:50 PM MDT

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Native Omaha Days are bringing hundreds, old and new, to North Omaha for a special reunion.

While they’re here, they can hear the sounds of incredible artists through North Omaha Music & Arts’ NOMAFest, which starts Thursday.

For Dana Murray, music runs through his veins.

“Without music, focusing my attention on something positive, I could have gone a different direction,” Murray said. “I know the power of music and art.

After spending years in New York City as a jazz musician behind notable artists like Wynton Marsalis, Murray brought his love for music back home to Omaha.

Now, he’s the Executive Director of North Omaha Music & Arts.

“But it’s more than that,” Murray said. “It’s a collaborative space. It’s a place to bring creative artists together to build and develop their skillsets.”

The stage is being set for this year’s second annual NOMAFest, which falls during Native Omaha Days.

Murray says it’s his first year experiencing the North Omaha homecoming, so it makes the festival even more special.

“It’s a great outlet for the community and it’s also something to invite the rest of Omaha down to this part of town to partake in what we have to offer,” Murray said.

And some of that includes performances, where the public can see Murray live on the drums and the mic.

“Any opportunity we have to endear the spirit of NOMA to the community at large and to people that are from North Omaha, that’s very pivotal for us,” Murray said.

NOMAFest kicks off Thursday evening and goes through Sunday, with a viewing party Saturday night for the championship boxing match between Omaha’s Terence Crawford and Errol Spence, Jr.

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