Traditionally held over Memorial Day Weekend, the Atlanta Jazz Festival will celebrate 40 years when it returns to Piedmont Park May 26-28, 2017. The anniversary lineup of jazz legends and up-and-coming jazz artists includes:
Fri. May 26: Robert Glasper Experiment and The Pedrito Martinez Group
Sat. May 27: Charles Lloyd Sky Trio; Rene Marie and Experiment in Truth; Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Quintet; Regina Carter: Simply Ella; and The Allan Harris Band on the Legends Stage. Macy Gray, Nicholas Payton Afro-Carribean Mixtape, Nik West; and Moonchild on the Contemporary Stage. Marquis Hill Blacktet; Deva Mahal; Harriet Tubman: The Band; and Little Tybee on the Next Gen Stage. The Miles Davis Electric Band Tribute All Star Jam with Lil’ John Roberts feat. Russell Gun and Miles Davis band member Mino Cinelu at the Late Night Jazz Jam at Park Tavern/Piedmont Park.
Sun. May 28: Freddy Cole; The Ojeda Penn Experience with Jean Carne; The Joe Gransden Big Band with Alexandra Jackson; Celebrating Sarah: Kathleen Bertrand & Friends Honor Sarah Vaughan; Joe Jennings & Howard Nicholson’s Life Force; and Dwight Andrew on the Legends Stage. Mausiki Scales & Common Ground featuring Giwayen Mata; Russell Gunn & African Drums Meets Kebbi Williams’ Wolf Pack; Mamanigi Azanyah & Mastery; Julie Dexter and Jacob Deaton Duo featuring Rasheeda Ali; Cleveland P. Jones; Darren English; Kemba Cofield; and Frank House on the Contemporary Stage. Tivon Pennicott Quartet; Brenda Nicole Moorer; Danii Roundtree; and Rialto Jazz for Kids on the Next Gen Stage.
Established in 1978, the Atlanta Jazz Festival has become a tradition that draws music lovers from all around the region to experience the latest and greatest in jazz music culture. Mayor Maynard Jackson founded the original jazz festival with the idea to spotlight jazz in the city, because, as he said, “Jazz music is America’s only original art form, and…Atlanta, with its growing reputation as an international center of the arts and education, has both the opportunity and the responsibility to promote an art form whose roots are indigenous to the South.”
Since then, Atlanta Jazz Festival has hosted luminaries of the jazz music tradition including Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Diane Schuur, Freddy Cole, Herbie Hancock, Al Green, Pharoah Sanders, Cassandra Wilson, Chick Corea, Dianne Reeves, Mary Lou Williams, Chet Baker, Al Jarreau and many more. Recognized as one of America’s largest free jazz festivals and produced by the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Atlanta Jazz Festival has expanded over the years to include events hosted in venues throughout the city the entire month, culminating with the three-day weekend in Piedmont Park.