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Atlanta Jazz Festival Celebrates 35 Years


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Karen Hatchett



Atlanta Jazz Festival Celebrates 35 Years

Of Southern Hospitality And World Class Jazz!

“We are reaching an important milestone as the Atlanta Jazz Festival celebrates 35 years,” states Camille Russell Love, Director of the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. “We take our stewardship of the festival seriously and salute the leaders whose vision and hard work created this preeminent cultural event, featuring well-known jazz legends and exciting new artists. For the entire month of May, through the performances in Piedmont Park over Memorial Day weekend, we’ll continue the rich tradition of presenting world class jazz, combined with southern hospitality. Whether you like your jazz traditional or contemporary, smooth or eclectic, with big band swing or a Latin beat, we’ll have something to excite your senses and soothe your soul. We invite jazz enthusiasts of all ages to join us for an unforgettable experience.”

This year’s schedule includes jazz greats Roy Ayers, Cyrus Chestnut Trio, Tito Puente Jr. & Orchestra, Robert Glasper Experiment, Russell Gunn, Edy Martinez and Kathleen Bertrand. Newcomers include the Grace Kelly Quintet and Yolanda Rabun.

Here’s an overview of the 35th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival:

“31 Days of Jazz”

Every day throughout the month of May there will be jazz performances in parks, restaurants, clubs and venues around Atlanta as part of this year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival. Activities will include live jazz in Underground Atlanta, Martinis & IMAX at Fernbank Museum, Jazz Under the Stars at Clark Atlanta University, Friday Jazz at the High Museum and Fiesta Atlanta in Centennial Olympic Park. The entire “31 Days of Jazz” schedule will be available online at www.atlantafestivals.com. You can also pick up a brochure with the schedule at participating partners and enter the Passport Program contest to win prizes and a special VIP Festival Experience.

AJF Weekend Evening Concerts

This year there will be three concerts at the Loews Atlanta Hotel, located at 1065 Peachtree Street, in the heart of Midtown.

  • Ojeda Penn will perform on Thursday, May 24 from 8-10 pm in Bar Eleven. Admission is free.
  • Johnny O’Neal will perform in the AJF35 Kickoff Cabaret on Friday, May 25 in the Mercer Ballroom. Opening performance by Jennifer Freeman. Doors open at 7 pm for an 8 pm performance. Tickets prices are $35 per person or $200 for a reserved table for 4. Tickets are available at www.ticketalternative.com.
  • AJF Late Night Jazz Jam with Friends will be hosted by Jason Orr on Sunday, May 27 from 10 pm-2 am in the Ellington Ballroom. Tickets are $35 per person and are available at www.ticketalternative.com.

AJF35 @ Piedmont Park

The festival is back in beautiful Piedmont Park this year with three days of music over Memorial Day Weekend from Saturday, May 26 through Monday, May 28.

  • Piedmont Park will be open each day during the festival from 11 am - 11 pm. The event is open to the public and it is FREE.
  • Two stages will feature live music all three days from 1 pm - 11 pm.

  • Two KidZone areas will offer family-friendly fun from Noon – 6pm each day. Activities will include sports like soccer and basketball, a cooling tent where popular cartoons will be screened each day, face painters, inflatables and the ever popular hula hoops! The KidZones are sponsored by Cartoon Network and Publix Super Markets.
  • Go Green Jazz Eco Village will further environmental education. The Atlanta Jazz Festival is partnering with the City of Atlanta Office of Sustainability and additional organizations whose missions relate to eight areas of sustainability concern: Air quality, Land use, Transportation, Energy, Water conservation, Sustainability planning, Human health & community vitality and Waste. Their goal is not only to reduce the festival’s environmental impact during the festival, but to encourage sustainability planning beyond the festival weekend. Partners like Zipcar, Boxcar Grocer and the Department of Watershed Management will present information and demonstrations to help festival-goers learn ways to positively impact their lives, their communities, and the environment.
  • A wide variety of food vendors will tempt your taste buds with BBQ, gyros, burgers, Caribbean foods and more! Browse among the booths for unique items including art, clothing and jewelry.

Sponsors for this year’s festival are The Coca-Cola Company, Publix Super Markets, PNC Bank, Clear, Cartoon Network, Chick-Fil-A, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Loews Atlanta Hotel, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Cayrum, Central Atlanta Progress, Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, MARTA, Southern Pianos, Lanier Parking, Atlanta Inquirer, Atlanta Tribune, INsite Atlanta’s Entertainment Monthly, The Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Uptown Magazine, Atlanta Daybook, Rolling Out, JS108Atlanta.com, V103, 1380 WAOK, WCLK Jazz 91.9 and 89.3FM WRFG.

The 35th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival is presented by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. Join us on Facebook at AtlantaJazzFestival or follow us on Twitter @AtlantaJazzFest. For a complete listing of events for “31 Days of Jazz” and the full performance schedule in Piedmont Park, please visit the official festival web site at www.atlantafestivals.com.

*Here’s a photo link for images of the performers and Piedmont Park. If you right click to save the photo it will give the name of the artist. Photos you save will have photo IDs on them.


If you have any problem downloading these, let me know and I can email you a few.


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