Find Your Beat at the Jacksonville Jazz Fest!
The annual Jacksonville Jazz Fest is back this year, and it will be bigger than ever!
Kicking off the festival on September 29 at the Florida Theatre, the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition presented by Keyboard Connection - The Piano Place will feature a performance by emcee Noel Freidline. Five piano finalists, accompanied by Dennis Marks and Clyde Connor, will compete for cash prizes and the opportunity to perform at the festival on October 1. Tickets to the Piano Competition are available for purchase at jacksonvillejazzfest.com/piano-competition.
The Jacksonville Jazz Festival weekend will continue October 1-3 featuring free performances at the Swingin’ Stage presented by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority at Riverfront Plaza and the Groovin’ Stage at Ford on Bay. Performers include Sheila E., Lalah Hathaway, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Najee with Special Guests Phil Perry & Bobby Lyle, Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band, Stanley Clarke and many more! Festival hours are Friday, Oct. 1 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2 from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 3 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday’s Swingin’ Stage presented by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority will honor women in music with a lineup including Sheila E., Cécile McLorin Salvant, Tia Fuller: “Diamond Cut”, Kandace Springs and Party in a Box featuring Allana.
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Saturday night will wrap up with an incredible fireworks display high above the St. Johns River between the Main Street and Acosta Bridges following Sheila E.’s performance.
While the festival is free to attend, limited upgraded premium experiences are still available for purchase. Premium experience options include VIP Full Festival Experience package, VIP Single-Day Experience package and Preferred Seating. For full details, please visit jacksonvillejazzfest.com/premium-experiences.
The Jacksonville Jazz Fest, which began in 1981, is one of the largest free jazz fests in the country. The festival is a spectacular event each and every year, but this year is extra special, as we celebrate its 40th anniversary. To read more about the history of the festival and how it evolved over time, click here.
The Jazz Fest has attracted some of the biggest names in jazz over the course of its 40 year history. Past performers have included:
- Miles Davis
- Tony Bennett
- Kenny G
- Herbie Hancock
- Musiq Soulchild
- Sebastian Mikael
- Snark Puppy
- Dr. John
- Shiela E.
- Trombone Shorty
- Dianne Reeves
- Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Important operational information about this year’s Festival:
This year's Jacksonville Jazz Festival is cashless. Guests may use their Visa, Mastercard or Discover cards for onsite purchases. American Express and cash payments will not be accepted.
Dedicated secured entry points will be established at the following locations:
- Hogan Street south of Bay Street
- Laura Street south of Bay Street
- Ocean Street west of the Main Street Bride off ramp and south of Bay Street
- Between Newnan and Market Streets along Bay Street
- Newnan Street at Independent Street next to the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront
- Boat and Water Taxi dock at Riverfront Plaza
These entry locations will be staffed with security team members who will facilitate a brief bag inspection. Guests without any bags at all may proceed through the entry point without stopping for expedited entry into the festival. There are no bag dimension limitations for entry, however, please note that larger bags take longer to search and will cause delays, so guests are asked to only bring what is necessary for their needs at the festival. For a full list of prohibited items, please visit jacksonvillejazzfest.com/faq.