In the grand tradition of world-renowned Jazz & Blues festivals, the inaugural Florida Jazz and Blues Festival is bringing world-class, GRAMMY Award-winning artists, high-octane blues, lift-your-feet jazz, and some of the best international, national, regional and local Jazz and Blues artists in the world to the Capital City Amphitheater in Cascades Park, Tallahassee, Florida, September 23-25.
Scotty Barnhart, artistic director for the festival, is not shy about his intentions for the Florida Jazz and Blues Festival when he says his goal is “making it one of the best festivals in the world.” He knows the formula better than most, having played at every major jazz festival in the world at least once. And, for credentials, he has two Grammy Awards and serves as director of The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, the festival headliner.
The lineup of performers reflects his extensive contacts with internationally known jazz artists. Gary Anton, owner of the famed Bradfordville Blues Club, serves as the blues advisor, attracted some of the top performers in the genre.
Add the Capital City Amphitheater to one of the globe’s stops on this, the 81st anniversary tour of The Count Basie Orchestra, considered the gold standard in jazz performances. The festival team invites the community to “Experience Twenty acts over Three days”; featuring world-class artists, including the Freddy Cole Quartet, led by Georgia Music Hall of Fame inductee and brother of Nat King Cole; Selwyn Birchwood and Mr. Sipp “The Mississippi Blues Child”, winners of the 2013 and 2014 International Blues Challenge, respectively. Son d’ Aqui brings salsa and Latin jazz and the famed Rebirth Brass Band from New Orleans closes the show. From open to close, festival organizers promise, “Nothing will ever be the same.”
The lineup brings the mix Barnhart wants with an emphasis on quality – the foundation for success. The festival reflects on the community’s music heritage as well with a tribute to jazz greats Cannonball and Nat Adderley by the FSU and FAMU jazz faculty. The Adderleys lived in Tallahassee and performed with Ray Charles when he lived here in the 1940s.
The music begins on Friday, Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m. and continues on Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for this one-of-a-kind, historic event and may be purchased at www.FLJazzAndBlues.com. Day