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Rain Or Shine: Jacksonville Jazz Festival Kicks Off This Weekend

Nikeya Heath

The 35th annual Jacksonville Jazz Festival returns this weekend, running from Thursday through Memorial Day.

Mayor Lenny Curry said this week’s rainy weather is expected to clear just in time for the event.

“I encourage people to bring your families out, your lawn chairs and dancing shoes,” he said. “You will likely not see me dancing, but you will see me in and around the event. So let's have a fun weekend and enjoy our city, friendship and family.”

The fest kicks off Thursday with a piano competition at the historic Florida Theater.

The free event’s line-up features 40 live musical acts, including six Grammy-award winners. Stages will be throughout the heart of downtown Jacksonville, including at Hemming Park, on the corner of Main and Adams street and the Landing.

At the same time, the new Daily’s Place Amphitheater next to EverBank field is expected to host its first concert.

Jacksonville Jaguars Vice President Chad Johnson said crew-members are on schedule to complete construction.

“Daily’s Place will be open up this Saturday with Tedeschi Trucks Band,” he said. “We are three short days away and we have a great crew working to put the final touches on what will be one of the best — if not the best — boutique amphitheaters in the country.”

Several roads will be closed throughout downtown to accommodate the weekend events. For more information, visit the event’s web site.

Nikeya Heath can be reached at or on Twitter at @Nikereports