Jacksonville Jazz Festival

City of Jacksonville file photo

This year’s Jacksonville Jazz Festival will be held in the fall.

Photo courtesy of Visit Jacksonville

Jazz Fest After Dark will be returning as part of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival this weekend.

Jacksonville Jazz Festival

This year’s Jacksonville Jazz Festival poster pays tribute to the city’s legendary reputation as the “Harlem of the South” in LaVilla's heyday.

Jacksonville Jazz Festival (performers) & WJCT News (Jazz Station)

Gladys Knight and Brian Culbertson will be the headliners at this year’s Jacksonville Jazz Festival that will be held on Memorial Day weekend, May 23 – 26.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

First Coast Connect was live Friday from downtown Jacksonville at Chamblin’s Uptown to celebrate the 2018 Jacksonville Jazz Festival.  We spoke with Jason Lewis, founder of Jazz Fest After Dark and Damien Lamar host of 89.9’s Taste Test.

Bill Bortzfield / WJCT News

First Coast Connect is hitting the road for Friday morning’s episode.

City of Jacksonville

All of the rain in the forecast is expected to make for a wet Jazz Festival this weekend.

DXR / Wikimedia Commons

Although it’s not officially part of this weekend’s Jacksonville Jazz Festival, The Landing has plenty of live  music planned for the holiday weekend.

Bonnie Zerr / WJCT

The smooth sounds of jazz are filling the HD Radio airwaves in Jacksonville with the launch of a new “pop-up” radio station on 89.9 FM HD4.

“We thought we do our part in getting people in the mood for this year’s Jacksonville Jazz Festival by creating a pop-up jazz station. Over 1000 songs are in rotation celebrating America’s original art form, jazz,” said WJCT Station Manager David Luckin.


Partnership for Child Health

Wednesday on First Coast Connect as part of Mental Health Awareness Month we heard about what’s being done to help children with mental disorders on the First Coast from Vicki Waytowich with the Partnership for Child Health (01:28).

Jeff Whipple / Jacksonville Jazz Festival and City of Jacksonville

Unique art has been a part of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival since 1980 with an official event poster unveiled each year.

City of Jacksonville

Sheila E, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Big Bad VooDoo Daddy will be among the performers at the 2018 Jacksonville Jazz Festival.

City of Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Jazz Festival, the inaugural concert at Daily’s Place amphitheater and a Jumbo Shrimp home stand at the baseball grounds will make getting around downtown more difficult than usual this Memorial Day weekend.

Today on “First Coast Connect,” we spoke with Operation New Hope president and CEO Kevin Gay (01:03) on U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session’s order for federal prosecutors to get tougher on drug crimes and how it could triggers more people receiving long terms in prison under mandatory minimum guidelines. Then we then spoke with President and CEO of Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center Mike Howland (34:09) about May being Better Speech and Hearing Month. Concert on the Green President Lauren Hoffman (41:52) stopped by to talk about Sunday’s concert with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, and Kerry Speckman (44:20) told us about all the other events this weekend.   

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect,” we have an update on President Donald Trump’s proposed $1 trillion transportation spending bill from the Fiorentino Group’s Marty Fiorentino (01:16), who was recently in Washington working with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on infrastructure spending. We also talked about upcoming toll roads and express lanes on the First Coast with the Florida Department of Transportation’s Mary Justino and Hampton Ray (26:54). Jacksonville attorney Michael Freed and Jacksonville Area Legal Aid President and CEO Jim Kowalski (36:35) talked about an upcoming event. The latest edition of “Moveable Feast” hosted by Leigh Court featured Dana Stallings (41:10), and WJCT music director David Luckin (49:48) discussed this weekend’s Jacksonville Jazz Festival and corresponding programing on “Electro Lounge.” 


Jacksonville Jazz Fest: An Opportunity for Unity

May 26, 2016
Sarah De Nicolais

The sounds from 2016 Jacksonville Jazz Fest will fill the streets of downtown Jacksonville this weekend.

Douglas Anderson School of the Arts junior Skyler Nolan serenaded city officials on his saxophone Wednesday morning as he helped herald the 35th annual festival.

Jacksonville Jazz Festival / Facebook

Some jazz greats are headlining the 2016 Jacksonville Jazz Festival this May.  

We discuss the week's biggest news stories with our roundtable of local journalists: Cliff Davis, Florida Times-Union reporter; Fred Matthews, Examiner blogger; and A.G. Gancarski, Folio Weekly and Florida Politics columnist.

Saphara Harrell / WJCT

This year's Jacksonville Jazz Festival poster had its unveiling at the Florida Theatre today, along with some of the artists that will be performing at the festival.

Russ Wilson is the artist who created the poster. He was chosen out of three artists who submitted sketches.

"I've always liked the guitar Jazz stuff and I like the old suits and the old, vintage feel of things and a lot of my artwork has that going on. I like neon signs. I like the old period feel of jazz from the '40s and '50s. So I just pulled a lot together and that's what I came up with," says Wilson.

Scarlet23 / Wikimedia Commons

Jazz, theater, and one huge shark are a few of your options this holiday weekend on the First Coast.

Jacksonville Jazz Festival / Facebook

The annual Jacksonville Jazz Festival will have a change of scenery this year, and local businesses have mixed reviews.


The City of Jacksonville, The Elbow and many other organizations are working together to keep the party going long after the last act at Jazz Fest has stopped playing.

David Luckin

If you love Jazz, this is your weekend with plenty of top notch Jazz performances in Downtown Jacksonville. But there are a good deal of things to do this weekend other than Jazz. Here are some suggestions. Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend and don't forget the sunscreen.

City of Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Jazz Festival kicks off Thursday night with the annual Jazz Piano Competition at the Florida Theatre.

The annual Memorial Day weekend event brings tens of thousands of people into downtown Jacksonville. It began in Mayport Village in 1979 under Mayor Jake Godbold, but it quickly became too popular to be housed in the small village and was moved to Metropolitan Park which had just recently been open.