As you may recall, I grudgingly chose to miss last year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival. As much as I wanted to be there, I took the advice of family, friends and doctors to stay close to home a little while longer as I recuperated from cancer surgery. Well, a year has gone by and thank God, I’m feeling GREAT. So the fam and I will be back in Piedmont Park this Memorial Day weekend, attending the best free jazz festival in the country and maybe the world.
A few things will be different this year than in the recent past. The organizers have scrapped the performances on Memorial Day Monday. Instead they are kicking things off in a big way on Friday night with Roberta Gambarini and Roy Hargrove on The Main Stage. Saturday will bring Russell Gunn’s latest group and Christian Scott. On Sunday the wonderful Freddy Cole and the exciting young chanteuse Cyrille Aimee will be performing simultaneously on two different stages (touch choice!) but all will be back at the Main Stage later that evening as the legendary Ahmad Jamal closes out the festival.
Also new this year will be The Locals Stage, which will feature some of the best jazz artists that are working in the ATL. Thankfully, one of my favorite locales, The International Stage, will be going strong on Saturday and Sunday.
All in all, the lineup is strong as usual, with a true international flair. As someone who prefers to check out new and unfamiliar artists in addition to the recognizable, the 2014 AJF has a lot to offer for me and I plan to sample as much as possible.
As we get closer to May, we’ll start with our usual preview reports and video clips. We’ll also drop some “live” videos from the festival and maybe some interviews with the artists. Hopefully we’ll see some of y’all in Piedmont Park Memorial Day Weekend as we make our triumphant return!
Visit the AJF 2014 Website for more info: http://atlantafestivals.com/
Atlanta Jazz Festival 2014 – The Lineup
Friday, May 23
- 5:00PM: NORTH ATLANTA CENTER FOR THE ARTS JAZZ BAND
- 7:00PM: ROBERTA GAMBARINI QUARTET
- 9:00PM: ROY HARGROVE QUINTET
Saturday, May 24
- 1:00PM: TRI-CITIES HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ BAND
- 3:00PM: RIALTO YOUTH JAZZ ORCHESTRA
- 5:00PM: ESTER RADA
- 7:00PM: RUSSELL GUNN’S KRUNK JAZZ ORKESTRA
- 9:00PM: CHRISTIAN SCOTT
- 1:30PM: EDMAR CASTAÑEDA TRIO
- 3:30PM: SOMI
- 5:30PM: ELDAR TRIO
- 12:30PM: J.C. YOUNG MIDDLE SCHOOL JAZZ ORCHESTRA
- 2:30PM: WILLIE ZIAVINO AND THE C.O.T. BAND
- 4:30PM: BRIAN HOGANS QUARTET
Sunday, May 25
- 1:00PM: MILTON HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ ENSEMBLE
- 3:00PM: AIRMEN OF NOTE
- 5:00PM: FREDDY COLE QUARTET
- 7:00PM: BILL FRISELL’S GUITAR IN THE SPACE AGE FEATURING GREG LEISZ, TONY SCHERR AND RUDY ROYSTON
- 9:00PM: AHMAD JAMAL
- 1:30PM: ALI AMR
- 3:30PM: DIEGO FIGUEIREDO TRIO
- 5:30PM: CYRILLE AIMÉE
- 12:30PM: RIALTO JAZZ FOR KIDS
- 2:30PM: DARREN ENGLISH QUINTET
- 4:30PM: KEMBA COFIELD QUARTET