City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Atlanta Jazz Festival announces performers

Musicians Russell Gunn and Kathleen Bertrand attended the preview party Thursday night for the 35th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival. Photo credit: Robb Cohen

Musicians Russell Gunn and Kathleen Bertrand attended the preview party Thursday night for the 35th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival. Photo credit: Robb Cohen

Roy Ayers, the Robert Glasper Experiment,  Kathleen Bertrand and the Tito Puente Jr. Orchestra are among the acts that will anchor the 35th annual Atlanta Jazz Festival.

While the headliners will perform May 26-28 in Piedmont Park and a May 25 kickoff show with Johnny O’Neal will take place in the Mercer Ballroom at Loews Atlanta Hotel, the festival is breaking open the celebration with “31 Days of Jazz.”

Every day in May, jazz performances will occur in parks, restaurants, clubs and venues around Atlanta, including live jazz in Underground Atlanta and at Martinis & IMAX at Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

But the main weekend event – which is free – will showcase traditional and contemporary jazz on two stages from 1 to 11 p.m. each of the three days.

Along with music, a Go Green Jazz Eco Village will be in place to educate concertgoers about air quality, water conservation, transportation and other environmental concerns.

Other acts performing during the May weekend are Ojeda Penn, Grace Kelly and Cyrus Chestnut.

Three winners of the Atlanta Festival Youth Jazz Band Competition, being held April 28 at Georgia State University, will perform as the opening act of the festival at 1 p.m. each of the three days in Piedmont Park.

For more information about the schedule, visit

29 comments Add your comment

SWAT Native

April 6th, 2012
4:26 pm

This is a cool lineup. Can’t wait ro see Robert Glasper Experiment, Roy Ayers and Tito Puente!


April 6th, 2012
4:50 pm

Wow. A jazz festival with actual jazz performers.


April 6th, 2012
4:57 pm

I love this event! we look forward to it every year!


April 6th, 2012
5:35 pm

I went to last year’s festival after an absence of over 20 years. It was good to soak up the crowd’s vibe and hear great music. I’ll be there this year and I hope for good sunny weather.

Jazz Fan

April 6th, 2012
6:30 pm

Looking forward to this weekend!


April 6th, 2012
6:33 pm

Love the Atlanta Jazz Festival event! Gotta see if we have anything close to this in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

muddy waters

April 6th, 2012
6:33 pm

Cyrus Chestnut is fantastic. Woo hoo!


April 6th, 2012
10:18 pm

Another all jazz festival is Seabreeze Jazz Festival in Panama City Florida, April18-22


April 6th, 2012
11:52 pm

…and the best on the east coast is the Capital Area Jazz Festival in the MD/VA burbs


April 7th, 2012
2:14 am

Love the Jazz Festival

Incognito Lover

April 7th, 2012
6:58 am

The youth jazz last year was great. Looking forward to great weather again this year.


April 7th, 2012
9:07 am

wow…good line up and I will echo a previous poster..real Jazz artists at a Jazz festival!


April 7th, 2012
9:13 am

it would be even nicer if festival goers would leave their cars and take Marta instead of clogging up the intown neighborhood streets. but it is simply too much to hope for that people actually show a little respect for the people who live intown and must deal with this horrific mess.

B White

April 7th, 2012
11:15 am

Good times !

Julia – Marta can take up to two hours on the weekend ! Chill out – any city has clogged streets when a jazz festival is there !

Birthday Sex

April 7th, 2012
11:47 am

Piedmont is ALWAYS clogged on weekends.

Anyway, can’t wait! :-p

muddy waters

April 7th, 2012
12:30 pm

Wow. You live next to the biggest park in the city and then whine when they have events there because “your” neighborhood gets crowded with your fellow citizens (whose tax dollars help pay for the park.) For, like, a few days a year. People can be SO insensitive! Boo hoo hoo.


April 7th, 2012
12:33 pm

i ove he ATL but the Jacksonville Jazz is much ebetter the same weekend


April 7th, 2012
1:46 pm

Missing the ATL: I get it. I lived in Big D for 4 years and couldn’t wait to get back to the southeast. But don’t get me wrong, DFW is great in many respects. As far as classical art ( museums, symphony) DFW is three times stonger than Atlanta. The Van Cliburn alone is a greater musical event than any held in ATL.


April 7th, 2012
3:55 pm

You can hear more jazz and soul music at the Elks Aidmore Music Festival on April 28th at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers. Headlining the festival is jazz violinist, Ken Ford. Visit


April 7th, 2012
6:22 pm

@ SWAT Native – I’d like to see Tito Puente too, but he died about 12 years ago.


April 7th, 2012
7:34 pm

As long as Kenny G and Yanni are not there, I’m ok.


April 8th, 2012
12:47 am

@ntoumi, JazzLvr & Deepdiver… this year is going to be the best yet. Atlanta Jazz Festival is going to make a huge come back with Trumpeter Melvin Jones & Mace Hibbard – Saxophonist. Son Jazz – Latin Jazz Group, Laura Coyle, Trombone/Vocalist Saunders Sermons, EC3 Latin Jazz Drummer Ernest Coleman – this show is going to be amazing. these are major talents and a guaranteed awesome show!!! Big show for one of the largest Jazz Festivals in the country. I am thrilled they picked these artist! I really can’t wait to see this show this year. Not to mention Grace Kelly, Roy Ayers, Robert Glasper and a slew of others. @Steve – TITO PUENTE, Jr. – He is awesome!


April 8th, 2012
4:40 am


Justin Case

April 8th, 2012
9:50 am

Who pays for this?


April 8th, 2012
1:38 pm

Julia- Piedmont park was a crowded corridor before you ever moved there. You thought somehow your presence would make all visitors to the park stop coming or use public transit? Grow up or move. You knew where you were moving to.

johnny t-bone

April 8th, 2012
2:15 pm

Those are the Anchors? That is beyond weak. Why even bother having a Jazz Festival if you can’t bring in some acts of substance?

Darryl V. Lee

April 10th, 2012
4:40 pm

Enter your comments here

Darryl V. Lee

April 10th, 2012
4:45 pm

Okay folks, y’all let up on Julia. Just ask her which activity would she rather have in the park? What about having “FREAKNIK” at the park? Well, nevertheless, the show will go on despite of personal feelings and opinions. Overall, this is the best event to kick off the summer, and most of all, it is free, fun, and friendly.


April 13th, 2012
1:35 am

And….another reason to leave town on Memorial Day Weekend!