The Jacksonville Jazz Festival returns September 29 and October 1 – 3 and will feature several award-winning artists with free performances at two stages along the St. Johns River and a beautiful fireworks display to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the festival.
Kicking off the festival on September 29 at the Florida Theatre, the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition presented by Keyboard Connection - The Piano Place will feature a performance by emcee Noel Freidline. Five piano finalists, accompanied by Dennis Marks and Clyde Connor, will compete for cash prizes and the opportunity to perform at the festival on October 1. Tickets to the Piano Competition are available for purchase at jacksonvillejazzfest.com/piano-competition.
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival weekend will continue October 1-3 featuring free performances at the Swingin’ Stage presented by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority at Riverfront Plaza and the Groovin’ Stage at Ford on Bay. Performers include Sheila E., Lalah Hathaway, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Najee with Special Guests Phil Perry & Bobby Lyle, Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band, Stanley Clarke and many more! Festival hours are Friday, Oct. 1 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2 from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 3 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday’s Swingin’ Stage presented by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority will honor women in music with a lineup including Sheila E., Cécile McLorin Salvant, Tia Fuller: “Diamond Cut”, Kandace Springs and Party in a Box featuring Allana.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Saturday night will wrap up with an incredible fireworks display high above the St. Johns River between the Main Street and Acosta Bridges following Sheila E.’s performance.
While the festival is free to attend, limited upgraded premium experiences are still available for purchase. Premium experience options include VIP Full Festival Experience package, VIP Single-Day Experience package and Preferred Seating. For full details, please visit jacksonvillejazzfest.com/premium-experiences.
More festivities include the Jazz Clinic, Jazz Jam presented by HOT 99.5, Second Line Jazz Parade presented by V101.5, Jazz Marketplace and the Sacred Jazz Brunch. The Sacred Jazz Brunch will feature Camille Thurman & the Darrell Green Quartet and tickets are available for purchase at jacksonvillejazzfest.com/brunch. Details regarding the full festival event schedule presented by PRI Productions can be found on the Jacksonville Jazz Festival website.
This year’s 40th anniversary commemorative poster was created by local artist, Michael Barnhart, a respected design professional in Northeast Florida. According to Barnhart, the 2021 poster design “represents the grace and talent of the jazz performer, but in a setting of energy and light that evokes the spirit of joy and excitement the event has brought to Jacksonville for so many years.” Order your own signed & numbered or unsigned poster at store.jacksonvillejazzfest.com for pick-up at the Official Jacksonville Jazz Festival Store.
Important operational information about this year’s Festival:
This year's Jacksonville Jazz Festival is cashless. Guests may use their Visa, Mastercard or Discover cards for onsite purchases. American Express and cash payments will not be accepted.
Dedicated secured entry points will be established at the following locations:
- Hogan Street south of Bay Street
- Laura Street south of Bay Street
- Ocean Street west of the Main Street Bridge off ramp and south of Bay Street
- Between Newnan and Market Streets along Bay Street
- Newnan Street at Independent Street next to the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront
- Boat and Water Taxi dock at Riverfront Plaza
These entry locations will be staffed with security team members who will facilitate a brief bag inspection. Guests without any bags at all may proceed through the entry point without stopping for expedited entry into the festival. There are no bag dimension limitations for entry, however, please note that larger bags take longer to search and will cause delays, so guests are asked to only bring what is necessary for their needs at the festival. For a full list of prohibited items, please visit jacksonvillejazzfest.com/faq
Road closures and restricted street access will begin on Monday, Sept. 27 and will continue through Tuesday, Oct. 5.
- Monday, Sept 27th 6:00 AM (to end Tuesday 10/5 12:00 AM)
- Hogan St from Water St to the riverwalk
- Tuesday, Sept 28th 6:00 AM (to end Tuesday 10/5 12:00 AM)
- Continue with previous closure
- Independent Dr from Hogan St to Laura St
- Liberty St from Bay St to the riverwalk, with Berkman resident and guest access from Bay
- Wednesday, Sept 29th
- Thursday, Sept 30th 6:00 AM (to end Monday 10/4 12:00AM)
- Continue with all previous closures
- Water St from Pearl St to Hogan St, access to Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts and Hotel from Pearl St
- Hogan St from Bay St to riverwalk, access to VyStar parking garage from Bay St
- Laura from Bay St to Independent Dr, access to Wells-Fargo parking garage from Bay St
- Independent Dr from Hogan St to Newnan St
- Main Street Bridge northbound exit ramp to Independent Dr, Main Street Bridge northbound to remain open with access to Ocean Street
- Friday, Oct 1st (to end Monday 10/4 12:00AM)
- Continue with all previous closures
- Southernmost lane of Bay St from Hogan St to Catherine St
Street parking will begin to be suspended for both sides of the roads in and around the festival on 9/26/21 at 6pm and will resume beginning 10/4/2021, unless otherwise specified. Please do not park within these following areas. Vehicles are subject to ticketing and towing if improperly parked.
- Sunday, Sept 26th beginning 6:00PM
- Hogan St from Bay St to the riverwalk (resume Tuesday 10/5)
- Liberty St from Bay St to the riverwalk (resume Tuesday 10/5)
- Monday, Sept 27th beginning 6:00 PM
- Independent Dr from Hogan to Main St Bridge
- Newnan St from Bay St to Independent Dr
- Market St from Bay St to Courthouse Dr
- Wednesday, Sept 29th beginning 6:00 PM
- Laura St from Independent Dr to Bay St
- Bay St from Hogan St to Catherine St
- Newnan St from Bay St to the riverwalk
For those attendees who are planning to attend HAMILTON
and Jacksonville Symphony events at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts on October 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, please plan to arrive to downtown no later than one and a half hours prior to the show time. Attendees should anticipate heavy traffic and road closures due to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival which is taking place just east of the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. Please consider the following routes to best access parking surrounding the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts:
- Drivers coming downtown from I-95 north should take exit 348 to the Acosta Expressway Bridge to Water Street and avoid the Main Street Bridge.
- Drivers coming downtown from I-95 south should take exit 353A to Forsyth Street.
- Drivers coming downtown from I-10 east should merge onto I-95 North (Downtown) and take exit 352B to Forsyth Street.
If attendees do not already have pre-purchased parking for events at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, we encourage them to use the Water Street Garage at 514 Water Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202. This lot is $10 per car payable by credit card. Once attendees arrive early for events at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts, they are encouraged to spend their time checking out the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, which is free to attend. The nearest festival entrance to the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts is at the corner of Hogan and Water streets.
Stay tuned to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival social media channels, @JacksonvilleJazzFestival on Facebook and @jaxjazzfest on Instagram and Twitter, and website jacksonvillejazzfest.com
for further announcements and updates.
About the Jacksonville Jazz Festival: The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is a free, multi-day music festival produced by the City of Jacksonville Division of Sports and Entertainment. The festival welcomes residents and visitors to enjoy live music performances, food, drinks and activations throughout the weekend in Downtown Jacksonville along the St. Johns River. The Jacksonville Jazz Festival includes two stages of great music, Piano Competition, Sacred Jazz Brunch, Jazz Marketplace, Jazz Clinic and more. For updates and information, please visit jacksonvillejazzfest.com.
About the City of Jacksonville Division of Sports and Entertainment: The City of Jacksonville Division of Sports and Entertainment attracts, hosts and creates opportunities that drive economic impact, accelerate the Jacksonville brand and improve the quality of life and cultural engagement for visitors and residents. Jacksonville hosts hundreds of diverse events each year making Northeast Florida a premier destination with rich tradition and world-class hospitality. For more information, visit events.coj.net.