DUVAL COUNTY, Florida – The highly anticipated Jacksonville Jazz Festival returns after a year off due to the pandemic.
This year it celebrates 40 years of jazz music and its impact on history and society.
You can catch Sheila E, Stanley Clark, Bob James and more, to name a few.
The biggest change this year is that everything will be cashless, so you’ll want to take your credit cards.
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Unlike in previous years, you will notice that this event, although it is still free, will be closed.
Jazz Fest takes place at the Riverfront Plaza with the Swingin ‘Stage and Ford on Bay at the Groovin’ Stage, near the Hyatt Regency and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The city says the two locations where the stages are set have plenty of space to walk around and check out the vendors and see the performers.
Grammy-nominated trumpeter, composer and producer Theo Croker takes the stage on Friday.
He has been playing music for over 20 years.
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“I grew up listening to Stevie Wonder and Sly Stone and my grandpa and Dizzy Gillespie and Gloria Estefan, OutKast and Bjor, all of those kinds of things,” Croker said.
The Jazz Fest normally attracts hundreds of people, but last year the event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Croker said this weekend was a great excuse to get out of the house and make up for lost time.
“The music is very powerful and very healing and it’s very unifying and that’s what we’re here to do,” he said.
This gifted musician learned to play music at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville.
It is also there that he found his lifelong passion which he will share with everyone tonight.
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“I’m really looking forward to bringing this music back to the full circle of people,” said Croker.
Sian-Day Lewis normally attends Jazz Fest, but this year will be the first time she has participated as a salesperson.
You can see her selling some of her mixed art works.
“It would actually be one of the biggest events I have ever hosted, so I thought it would be a good opportunity as an artist to showcase my work,” said Sian-Day Lewis.
Jazz Fest is free for everyone.
For the complete schedule of performances, you can click on HERE.
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