Jazz Festivals Can Supercharge Your Teaching

Thomas Palmatier • Jazz FocusMay 2023 • May 11, 2023

Great locations, terrific music, and heck, you may be able to write it off as professional development (repeat LOUDLY after me, Tom is not a tax advisor, he’s just a tuba player). Here’s a list of upcoming jazz festivals along with pertinent information.

New Orleans Jazz Festival, April 28-May 7, 2023

The list of performers at this festival goes on for pages and includes all genres of jazz, R&B, and funk. They include Dead & Company, Ed Sheeran, Lizzo, Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, Santana, Jon Batiste, Jill Scott, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Kane Brown, H.E.R., Steve Miller Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gary Clark Jr., Leon Bridges, and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue.


Jacksonville (FL) Jazz Festival, May 25-28, 2023

Fantastic line-up that includes Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Palmieri, Carmen Lundy, Marcus Miller, Larry Carlton, and my personal favorites, the U.S. Army Jazz Ambassadors.


Atlanta Jazz Festival, May 27-29, 2023

Atlanta Jazz Festival is regarded as one of the largest FREE jazz festivals in the country. It’s an annual celebration of the music, culture, and art of jazz. Lots of variety and the headliners are the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Ruben Blades. Also, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Palmieri, and Kenny Barron.


Newport Beach (CA) Jazz Festival, June 2-4, 2023

Great music by the beach. Need we say more?


Capital Jazz Festival, June 2-4, 2023

Located in Columbia, MD, this festival would partner well with a visit to Washington, DC with its many free museums, attractions, and concerts by the Nation’s premier military bands.


Hollywood Bowl Jazz Festival, June 17-18, 2023

Artists include Kamasi Washington, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Samara Joy, Aziza, Poncho Sanchez, Lionel Loueke and Gretchen Parlato, Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance Ensemble at UCLA, and LACHSA Jazz.


Rochester (NY) Jazz Festival, June 23-July 1, 2023

The Rochester International Jazz Festival (RIJF)is one of the world’s leading jazz festivals, presenting more than 1750 legendary performers, familiar favorites, rising stars, and new discoveries from around the world in 320+ shows. Performers include Pat Metheny, Bonny Raitt, and Bruce Hornsby. Many of their shows are free.


Twin Cities (MN) Jazz Festival, June 23-24, 2023

The Twin Cities Jazz Fest is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission of bringing communities together to enjoy and appreciate the art form of jazz and inspire new generations of youth. This year’s performers include Christian McBride.


Winter Park (CO) Jazz Festival, July 15-16, 2023

Jazz is coming back to Winter Park. The 2023 event line-up is still being developed.


Newport (RI) Jazz Festival, August 4-6- 2023

The Newport Jazz Festival has a storied history rivaling that of any other American festival hosting artists like Herbie Hancock, Led Zeppelin, Frank Sinatra, Muddy Waters, The Allman Brothers, and Miles Davis


Telluride (CO) Jazz Festival, August 11-13, 2023

This laid-back showcase features the best in jazz, funk, soul, and world music all with the beautiful Telluride aesthetic as the background. A great line-up with one of my faves, Tower of Power.


Long Beach (CA) Jazz Festival, August 11-13, 2023

The Long Beach Jazz Festival features a line-up from classic R&B to hot summer night jazz. It’s the only Southern California Jazz Festival staged on a gorgeous grassy knoll in a beautiful waterfront setting. 


San Jose (CA) Jazz Festival, August 11-13, 2023


Chicago Jazz Festival, September 1-4-2023

The Chicago Jazz Festival promotes all forms of jazz through free, high-quality music programming. The festival showcases Chicago’s local talent alongside national and international artists to raise awareness and appreciation for one of the city’s most beloved art forms.


Detroit Jazz Festival, September 1-4, 2023

For over 40 years, the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation has celebrated Detroit’s rich history of jazz music by organizing one of the world’s largest free jazz festivals, featuring world-class talent, over Labor Day weekend.


Monterey (CA) Jazz Festival, September 23-24. 2023

Home to an area holding some of the biggest names in festival history, Monterey Jazz Festival was founded in 1958 by jazz DJ icon, Jimmy Lyons. The festival features dozens of acclaimed acts, well-known jazz musicians and other rising stars in the industry to the Monterey County Fairgrounds. 


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