The City of Jacksonville is excited to release the full entertainment lineup and schedule for the 2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival. The free annual festival will be held Memorial Day weekend, May 25 – 28, in the core of Downtown Jacksonville.
“As one of the biggest jazz showcase events in the nation, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival strengthens our city’s reputation as a premier destination for art, culture, and entertainment,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “We attract thousands of people – near and far – with this signature event hosted in our beautiful and thriving downtown.”
The festival kicks off Thursday, May 25 at The Florida Theatre with the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition presented by Keyboard Connection Piano & Organs. Hosted by Courtney Lewis, music director for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the competition features 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 will open at 6 p.m. and the competition will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase through the theatre box office or online at Floridatheatre.com.
The festival will open to patrons on Friday, May 26 at 4 p.m. with performances beginning at 5 p.m. and ending at midnight. On Saturday, May 27, the festival will open at 1 p.m. with performances beginning at 2 p.m. and ending at midnight. The final day of the festival, Sunday, May 28, will open at 1 p.m. with performances beginning at 2 p.m. and ending at 11 p.m.
The free festival will feature three stages of entertainment Friday through Sunday. The Swingin’ Stage, presented by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority, is the main stage and will be located at the corner of Main and Adams streets. Audiences can enjoy artists including Lucky Chops, Joey Alexander, Kamasi Washington and GRAMMY® Award winners Gregory Porter, Chick Corea Trio, and The Commodores.
“The Jacksonville Aviation Authority is proud to sponsor the 2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival Swingin’ Stage,” said Steve Grossman, CEO, Jacksonville Aviation Authority. “We extend a warm welcome to everyone joining us from around the world. Thank you for flying Jacksonville International Airport, voted #1 in North America for customer satisfaction.”
The Groovin’ Stage presented by Aetna, will be located in Hemming Park, featuring The Rippingtons, and GRAMMY® Award winners Jane Monheit, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Lalah Hathaway, and more!
“Aetna is proud and excited to be a part of a culturally enriching experience that brings together people from all walks of life to the heart of Jacksonville,” said Christopher Ciano, president of Aetna’s Florida Market.
The Breezin’ Stage will be located at The Jacksonville Landing with performances by The Katz Downstairz, Eric Carter, Marcus Anderson and more. For the full schedule of performances visit jacksonvillejazzfest.com/schedule.
Other festival activities include: the Jazz Jam presented by HOT99.5 with the Kelly/Scott Quintet, the Jazz Clinic with Elio Piedra, Jazzmeia Horn, and Eric Carter, the Omni Sacred Jazz Brunch featuring the Noel Freidline Quartet with vocalist Maria Howell, the Second Line Jazz Parade presented by V101.5, the Jazz Marketplace and the Official Jazz Store. In addition, Jazz After Dark will be returning from Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at numerous locations throughout the First Coast.
The festival is free and open to the public unless otherwise listed. Attendees are able to enhance their festival experience with all-new enhanced VIP package options. 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, Aetna, AARP, UF Health, Action News Jax, Keyboard Connection, The Omni Jacksonville, Lowe’s, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Coca-Cola, Heineken, Little Black Dress, Miller Lite, V101.5, WJCT, SunPass, Hot 99.5, Jacksonville Business Journal, Camping World, JEA, JTA, SMG, The Florida Theatre, The Jacksonville Landing, Jacksonville Tourist Development Council, and Visit Jacksonville. For information on the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, visit www.JaxJazzFest.com.
About the City of Jacksonville Sports and Entertainment Office
The City of Jacksonville’s Sports and Entertainment Office 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. The Sports and Entertainment office includes the Office of Special Events and the Film and Television Office. For more information, visit www.coj.net.
About the Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA)
The Jacksonville Aviation Authority (JAA) operates Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) and the city’s three general aviation airports – Cecil Airport, Jacksonville Executive at Craig Airport (JAXEX) and Herlong Recreational Airport. The JAA, funded through user fees and not local taxes, contributes over $3 billion annually to the local economy. For more information about the Jacksonville Aviation Authority’s airports, please visit www.flyjacksonville.com.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 44.9 million people with information and resources to help them make better-informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers’ compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com and learn about how Aetna is helping to build a healthier world. @AetnaNews