The 2015 Jacksonville Jazz Festival presented by AARP kicks off today with the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition presented by Keyboard Connection Piano & Organs and will last through Sunday May 24. The festival will feature over 40 performers, five stages, and a vibrant street festival atmosphere.
“AARP believes music brings people together and nurtures a sense of community,” said Ken Thomas, AARP Florida’s volunteer state president. “We are pleased to present the 2015 Jacksonville Jazz Festival and to help people from Jacksonville and all over the United States connect with wonderful music, outstanding performers and a great community.”
The festival lineup includes performances by Soul Rebels, Tito Puente Jr. Orchestra, Felix Peikli & The Royal Flush Quintet presented by the Buffet Group, Roman Street, Kellylee Evans, Spyro Gyra, Maceo Parker, Postmodern Jukebox, Jazz Attack featuring Peter White, Richard Elliot and Euge Groove, Michael Franks, The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra with Peabo Bryson, Andy Snitzer, Ignacio Berroa, Noel Freidline Quintet, and Lisa McClendon, along with local favorites.
Other festival activities include the Art in the Heart Marketplace, the official Jazz Brunch at the Omni, Youth Jazz Talent Showcase, the Off Jazz Concert featuring Fantasia, Jazz Clinic with Felix Peikli and Regina Carter, Jazz After Dark and Pulse in the Park.
During the festival there will be a special presentation to Tyanna Jones, contestant on Season 14 of “American Idol”, and a tribute to Tito Puente, Sr.
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival event footprint will include stages along Bay Street, one near Marsh Street and the Shipyards, another near Newnan Street, and one at the Jacksonville Landing. New this year, Hemming Park will host a stage featuring local musicians on Saturday, May 23.
Street closures began on Wednesday, May 20 and will continue through Sunday, May 24 at midnight. Closures include: Bay Street from Ocean Street to A. Philip Randolph Boulevard, Marsh Street, and Newnan Street from Forsyth Street to Independent Drive. The intersections at Bay Street and Liberty and Market streets will remain open to residents of the Berkman Plaza and Hyatt Regency Riverfront Hotel.
JTA is offering complimentary shuttle service from the EverBank Field parking lots to the festival site. All shuttle service will commence from Lot E that is located east of EverBank Field and will run every 10 minutes. Shuttle stops are at Lot J and the intersections of Liberty and Bay streets and Market and Bay streets.
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is produced by the City of Jacksonville’s Office of Special Events, with support from AARP, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, The Jacksonville Landing, Keyboard Connection Pianos & Organs, Buffet Group, and partner hotels Omni Jacksonville, DoubleTree and Hyatt Regency Jacksonville.
The festival is free and open to the public unless otherwise listed. VIP seating options and festival information are available at JaxJazzFest.com.