City Prepares to Continue a Downtown Tradition

May 20, 2019  
man playing the drums at jazz fest 2015

The Jacksonville Jazz Festival to take place over Memorial Day weekend

The tradition continues as the 2019 Jacksonville Jazz Festival returns to Downtown Jacksonville over Memorial Day weekend, May 24-27. With an impressive lineup of award-winning performers, the festival will bring music lovers from across the nation to Jacksonville for the 39th year.
 
“The Jazz Festival is such an exciting tradition for Jacksonville, bringing the best jazz artists year after year, straight to the heart of our city,” says Mayor Lenny Curry. “It’s an honor to provide this free and fun entertainment for the thousands of music fans that come from around the country and make this part of their Memorial Day weekend.”
 
The free festival will feature a number of award-winning artists including Gladys Knight, Brian Culbertson, Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective, Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, Monty Alexander, Ledisi, Avery*Sunshine, Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet, The Sax Pack with Steve Cole, Jeff Kashiwa, and Kim Waters, Jamison Ross, the Alfredo Rodriguez Trio, Marcus Johnson, Greg Adams and East Bay Soul, Jazmin Gehnt, the Camila Meza Quartet, Moonchild, Brass-A-Holics, and more regional and local artists. The full schedule can be found at www.JacksonvilleJazzFestival.com.
 
The layout for the festival will feature two stages this year; the Swingin’ Stage, presented by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, will be located on the front lawn of the Duval County Courthouse and the Groovin’ Stage, presented by First Coast Acura Dealers, returns to Hemming Park.
 
Kicking off the festivities at The Florida Theater on Thursday, May 23, the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition presented by Keyboard Connection Piano & Organs, showcases five finalists chosen by a blind panel of judges. They will compete for a cash prize and a chance to perform on the main stage at this year’s festival. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the competition begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase through the theater box office or online at Floridatheatre.com.
 
The street-festival opens to patrons Friday, May 24 at 6 p.m. with performances from 6:15 p.m. to 11 p.m. On Saturday, May 25, the festival opens at 3 p.m. with performances from 3:15 p.m. to 11 p.m. The final day of the festival, Sunday, May 26, opens at 3 p.m. with performances from 3:15 p.m. to 10 p.m.
 
Other festival activities include the Omni Sacred Jazz Brunch, presented by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association & VISIT FLORIDA, featuring GRAMMY nominee and Jacksonville native Jamison Ross; the Jazz Jam presented by HOT 99.5 and hosted at Breezy Jazz Club; the Jazz Clinic at the historic Ritz Theatre and Museum; the Second Line Jazz Parade presented by V101.5, the Jazz Marketplace; and the Official Jazz Store. Further details, including dates, times and ticket pricing can be found on the Jacksonville Jazz Festival website.
 
Road closures and restricted street access will begin on Wednesday, May 22 and continue through Monday, May 27. For a full list of road closures, visit www.JacksonvilleJazzfest.com.
 
The festival is free and open to the public unless otherwise listed. Attendees are able to enhance their time at the festival with an all-new VIP Experience presented by First Coast Acura Dealers. Information regarding festival details, VIP packages, and more can be found at JaxJazzFest.com. 
 
About the Jacksonville Jazz Festival: Founded in 1981, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival is produced by the City of Jacksonville Office of Special Events with support from the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, First Coast Acura Dealers, AARP, Keyboard Connection Pianos & Organs, National Endowment for the Arts, Omni Jacksonville Hotel, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and VISIT FLORIDA, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Hotel, Heineken, PepsiCo Beverages North America, V101.5, WJXT Channel 4, Jacksonville Business Journal, Rubenstein Law, Atlantic Self Storage, fhi360, Lipton, T-Mobile, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, HOT 99.5, Action News Jax, WJCT, (904) Happy Hour, Breezy Jazz Club, Nuera, PRI Productions, SMG, The Florida Theatre, The Ritz Theatre & Museum, and JEA.
 
About the City of Jacksonville Office of Special Events: The City of Jacksonville’s Office of Special Events 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 SpecialEvents.coj.net.