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Jacksonville Jazz Fest to Return This Fall

After a forced hiatus last year due to COVID-19, Jacksonville Jazz Fest will be back this fall for its belated 40th-anniversary celebration.

The city announced the return of the popular annual festival, which will run from September 29 to October 3, earlier today via social media. The multi-day event will kick off on the night of Wednesday, September 29, with the Jazz Fest Piano Competition taking place at the Florida Theatre, which has received interior upgrades since the start of the pandemic including new seating. The competition will be presented by Keyboard Connection – The Piano Place.

The festivities will then continue into the weekend with two outdoor stages featuring top jazz musicians from Friday to Sunday, along with many of the usual vendors including local food, drinks, shopping, and more.

This year’s festival will be the first Jazz Fest since 2019. Last year’s festival – which was set to feature Jeffrey Osborne, the Ron Carter Quartet, Mindi Abair, and the Kurt Elling Quartet featuring Danilo Perez – was canceled almost exactly a year ago due to the rise and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its return represents a long-awaited revival of official live music events in the Bold City, along with the ongoing Jax River Jams concert series.

As always, the festival will be presented free of charge by the city. It’ll be celebrated as the 40th anniversary of the event, though that milestone technically came and went last year for the event, which first launched in 1980.

More announcements about the event, including headlining acts and information about the Sacred Jazz Brunch, Jazz Jam, and VIP packages will be coming in the near future. For more information and future updates, check out jacksonvillejazzfest.com.