THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
Jazz fans will have a new view to elevate their experience at this year’s Jacksonville Jazz Festival. Held May 24-27 in downtown Jacksonville, the event provides a stage where new, emerging artists can come together with legendary names in jazz.
Performers including headliners Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, who will close out the four-day festival Sunday, will perform on the festival’s main stage which has relocated for the first time to the Duval County Courthouse lawn. As Special Events Manager of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Brent Fine says this new venue offers lush accommodations with views of the artists and expansive parking in the courthouse parking garage, as well as a secondary garage nearby. “The biggest change is the main stage,” says Fine. “[The stage] is facing west strategically to allow more patrons to enjoy the free festival.”
Every year, the lineup at the festival is curated with all genres of jazz in mind, from regional and national artists with traditional, contemporary and Latin notes. “This year is no exception. From beginning to end, we have some stellar talent,” says Fine. The new generation of young musicians will be able to reach audiences. Performers will include jazz ensembles from the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and the University of North Florida. “Everyone is represented. The influence goes well beyond the jazz genre….We want everyone to be able to come down and experience the artists that they love or artists that they are being exposed to for the first time,” says Fine.
Many of the favorite events will also return this year, though Fine says the demand for tickets has been strong and many, such as the Piano Competition and the Sunday Jazz Brunch, are nearly sold out. A few tickets are still available for the popular brunch with a mix of jazz and gospel by local legend Noel Friedline and Maria Howell.
A free jazz clinic is also available to musicians to receive professional instruction–whether to improve their skills or learn new ones–at the Ritz Theatre. Registration is available on the city’s web page. While the festival is free, VIP tickets are available for jazz lovers to upgrade their experience and enjoy the music up close in an air-conditioned area. The four-day lineup was recently announced, and Fine says the response is a great indicator of the continued success of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival.
“It is a great quality-of-life event,” he says. “Hopefully people will be able to come out and experience live music with friends and enjoy the holiday weekend in Downtown Jacksonville.”
2018 Festival Map
(Click on Map to see larger version)
Local artists, makers and vendors intermingle with existing downtown establishments at the Jazz Marketplace. Shop til you drop for unique wares such as clothing, jewelery, original art and other handcrafted items you can only find in Jacksonville. Equal parts Art Walk and street bazaar, the Jazz Marketplace is an exciting new addition to the festival this year and with so many vendors to explore there’s guaranteed to be a little something for everyone.
2018 Jazz Marketplace Vendors
|Aboriginal Bling Blam||EL Dorado Gold & Silver||Pure Shea Store|
|African Art Marketplace||Guanajuato Gardens||Respected Roots|
|AkuaCo||If Eye Ever||Sherika Originals|
|All 4 You/Sistah Soldier Gift Shop||International Flair||SoulSeed Tees|
|Amazing & Beautiful Butterflies||JSL Fine Arts and Gifts||TK Beauty Essentials|
|Amethyst Prince||Lularoe Season||TNTWORLDWIDE|
|B.L.A.C.K.||Marvelous Creations by Madonna||Tropic Pots & More|
|Bee Friends Farms||MBellish by CharMega||Unity Flagz|
|Body & Soul||Melanin Too Rich|