The 38th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival is closing in. This year will feature artists such as Pharaoh Sanders, Diane Schuur, The Rad Trads, and some of Atlanta’s hottest local musicians. We’ll present music every day in May, and culminate with a huge festival weekend in Piedmont Park from May 22-24.
Here’s an overview of the 38th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival concerts and events:
Bank of America Youth Jazz Band Competition
The Bank of America Youth Jazz Band Competition will take place on Saturday, March 21 from 9 am to 4 pm and is being hosted by the Georgia State University School of Music in their Kopleff Recital Hall. Ten Atlanta area high school jazz bands will compete for scholarships and an opportunity to perform at the festival in Piedmont Park. The competition is open to the public, but seating is on a first come, first served basis.
31 Days of Jazz
There will be Jazz events every day in May. Here is just a sampling of what you can experience.
MARTA Mondays are back! Last year’s partnership was a huge success and patrons were surprised and delighted with live jazz concerts in stations during their commutes. Here’s this year’s schedule: April 27 at H.E. Holmes Station, May 4 at College Park Station, May 11 at Lindbergh Station and May 18 at Midtown Station. Music will be presented from 3-5 pm.
Friday, May 1 will be the festival kickoff party at the Westside Cultural Arts Center.
Saturday, May 2 the much anticipated Jazz Under The Stars Concert returns to Clark Atlanta University.
Friday, May 8 jazz will be featured at Martinis & IMAX at Fernbank Museum of Natural History.
Sunday, May 10 Jamal Ahmad will host his popular show, the S.O.U.L. of Jazz, live at The Music Room.
Friday, May 15 the Friday Jazz series will celebrate the Atlanta Jazz Festival at the High Museum of Art.
Thursday, May 21 there will be a new “Jazz Crawl” at various venues on Edgewood Avenue downtown.
Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park
The festival returns to historic Piedmont Park with three days of music over Memorial Day Weekend from Friday, May 22 through Sunday, May 24.
- ADMISSION. The event is FREE and open to the public.
- DATES & HOURS. Festival hours in Piedmont Park are Friday, May 22 from 6 -11 pm; Saturday, May 23 from 11 am-11 pm and Sunday, May 24 from 11 am-11 pm.
- MULTIPLE STAGES. Enjoy music featuring Local, National and International Artists.
- KIDZONE. The KidZone area will offer games and interactive play for all ages.
- SHOPPING & FOOD VENDORS. A wide variety of food vendors will tempt your taste buds with BBQ, gyros, burgers, Caribbean foods and more! Browse the booths for unique items including art, clothing and jewelry.
- PARK RULES. There will be NO GRILLING, NO PETS and NO STAKING OF TENTS allowed in Piedmont Park during the festival.
- LOCAL TRANSPORTATION. The easiest way to come to the festival is to take MARTA: www.itsMARTA.com.
Featured Artists in Piedmont Park
Grammy Award winning musician Pharoah Sanders possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz. Harmonically rich and heavy with overtones, Sanders’ sound can also be raw and passionate. He made his name with expressionistic, nearly anarchic free jazz in John Coltrane’s ensembles of the mid-’60s, but Sanders’ later music is guided by more graceful concerns. Sanders made his first record as a leader in 1964. After John Coltrane’s death in 1967, Sanders worked briefly with his widow, Alice Coltrane. From the late ’60s, he worked primarily as a leader of his own ensembles.
Long regarded as one of Contemporary Jazz’s leading vocalists, Diane Schuur is as eclectic as she is brilliant. Born in Tacoma, Washington in 1953, Schuur was blind from birth; but she was gifted with perfect pitch and initially taught herself piano by ear. With a distinguished career that includes two Grammy awards (Timeless and Diane Schuur and The Count Basie Orchestra on GRP Records), Schuur’s music has explored almost every corner of the 20th Century musical landscape. Her musical collaborations include those with Barry Manilow, B.B. King, Ray Charles, and Jose Feliciano.
Based in New York City, The Rad Trads are quickly gaining an international following. Their influences range from early jazz to New Orleans brass band, R&B, Chicago and delta blues, and rock & roll. Featuring four powerful horns, a driving rhythm section, and three captivating lead vocalists, The Rad Trads consistently win over audiences with their relentless energy and enthusiasm. The band performs regularly in NYC at The Blue Note and BB King’s when they’re not touring the USA and Europe.
Find more on the Festival’s Social Media Pages: