The Jazz Festival has become a celebrated part of Jacksonville’s history and 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 music 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 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.
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, 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.
Since its inception in 1981, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival has presented itself with striking visual imagery in the form the official poster. Over the years, talented local artists have contributed their unique touch to this much anticipated and collectible piece of marketing and memorabilia. The festival is proud to present this year’s poster design by local artist and designer, Karen Kurycki.
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.
Music and art are so entwined in my life that I was especially honored when I was selected to create the 2016 Jacksonville Jazz Fest poster. Growing up, family parties always centered on guitars, accordions, piano, clarinets and everyone singing. My first experience of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival was when my family attended to watch a close family friend play on The Landing stage. Now, as an artist based in Jacksonville, I always work with music in the background. Hearing a certain song can take me right back to a moment in my life or history, and I’m grateful for that inspiration. Music-inspired art and design elicits a visceral response from me; I’m drawn to the brighter color and simple shapes in album art and band posters.
When I think of Jacksonville I am drawn to the beautiful skylines and the architecture of its bridges, and the river that is central to its identity. In coming up with a concept for the poster, I wanted to somehow combine Jacksonville the City with an element of Jazz the Music to be symbolic of that merger during the festival. I chose bright, vibrant colors to represent the energy and atmosphere the event brings to our city. Like Jazz, which can be quite unpredictable, I worked in watercolor — a medium that often surprises the artist in how the colors interact with one another while drying. I hope the poster conveys the feelings I have for the City and for the Music.
Posters can be purchased online and at the Official Jacksonville Jazz Festival Merchandise Store with limited editions, signed and numbered by the artist, also available.