Now in its 39th year, Tri-C’s annual JazzFest features another eclectic line-up of acts that could loosely be called “jazz.”
The event kicks off on Thursday night with a performance by Grammy-winning sax man Kirk Whalum, who joins Grammy-winning singer Dee Dee Bridgewater for a “Memphis-inspired” performance. Whalum co-produced Bridgewater’s latest album, Memphis…Yes, I’m Ready
, which she will perform at the festival. Expect to hear covers of songs by Otis Redding, Elvis Presley and Al Green. That show begins at 7:30 at the KeyBank State Theatre. The all-female big band DIVA will open the evening with a "wall of sound," mixing standard big band repertoire and original creations.
The festival continues on Friday when Joshua Redman performs at 6 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre, the Smooth Jazz Allstars and Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles play at 7:30 p.m. at the KeyBank State Theatre and B-3 organ master Dr. Lonnie Smith performs at 10:15 at the Allen Theatre.
On Saturday, Brazil’s Vinicius Cantuaria plays at 1 p.m. at the Hanna Theatre, Terence Blanchard, the Spirit of the Groove Band and Grace Kelly team up to play a show that takes place at 3:30 p.m. at the Allen Theatre, Snarky Puppy performs at 6 p.m. at the Ohio Theatre and rapper Common and soul singer José James perform at 8 p.m. at KeyBank State Theatre
JazzFest will also include free outdoor concerts at Playhouse Square from 3 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Those performances will feature local and regional musicians who've been selected by a jury of music industry experts.