2016 Jacksonville Jazz Festival Returns to the Downtown Core

Downtown Core Main Stage

With more than 30 years of history, the Jazz Festival has become a celebrated part of Jacksonville’s culture. This year, the City of Jacksonville is excited to announce that the 2016 Jacksonville Jazz Festival is returning to the downtown core on Memorial Day weekend, May 26 – 29.

The free festival will feature three stages of entertainment. 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. The Groovin’ stage will be located in Hemming Park, while The Breezin’ Stage will be located at The Jacksonville Landing. This year’s festival will feature performances by Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Snarky Puppy, Yellowjackets, Cyrille Aimee, Jamison Ross, The Longineu Parsons Ensemble, The Dizzy Gillespie Band & Afro Cuban Experience with Machito Jr., The Benny Golson Quartet, Generation NeXt featuring Nicholas Cole, Somi, Christian Scott and more.

“We’re thrilled about the exciting changes with the 2016 Jacksonville Jazz Festival,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “The Jazz Festival is a signature event for the city with a rich history and a bright future. We are grateful for the many community stakeholders, sponsors, volunteers and patrons who share our passion for its success.”

In addition to great entertainment, the festival will feature the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, presented by Keyboard Connection, Thursday night at the historic Florida Theatre; the Jazz Clinic, Saturday morning in the Ritz Theatre and Museum; and the Omni Sacred Jazz Brunch, hosted by the Omni Jacksonville Hotel, Sunday morning. New this year will be a Jazz Marketplace incorporating street vendors, downtown Jacksonville shopping, street fair performances, food and drink options.

The 2016 commemorative poster designed by Jacksonville illustrator and designer Karen Kurycki embodies the desired renewal the city is looking to inject into the event. Kurycki is well-known and admired in the Jacksonville community where she has served as the president of Jacksonville’s AIGA chapter and has worked with clients including The Washington Post, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Nike and McDonald’s. While creating the concept for the poster, Kurycki’s vision was to combine Jacksonville, the city, with an element of jazz, the music. She chose bright, vibrant colors to represent the energy and atmosphere the event brings to our city. Like jazz, which can be quite unpredictable, she worked in watercolor — a medium that often surprises the artist in how the colors interact with one another while drying.

The Jacksonville Jazz Festival has served as a catalyst for this city by showcasing its deep-seeded history and love for jazz. The festival is the stage for one of the largest jazz festivals in the nation, attracting residents and tourists from throughout the country to celebrate the rhythm and culture of jazz and our city. The festival is free and open to the public Friday through Sunday. Attendees are able to enhance their festival experience with all new VIP and drink package options. Information regarding festival details, VIP packages, and more can be found at JaxJazzFest.com.

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, UF Health, Keyboard Connection, AARP, Action News Jax, Coca-Cola, Heineken, Buffet Crampon, Lowe’s, The Omni Jacksonville, Burrito Gallery, Farrah & Farrah, Hemming Park, The Florida Theatre, and The Jacksonville Landing. For information on the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, visit www.JaxJazzFest.com.

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.