The best of Northeast Ohio’s jazz talent will be livestreamed over two summer nights in a virtual edition of the 41st annual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland, presented by KeyBank.
More than a dozen local acts promise to keep the music pumping during this free event Friday, Aug. 21 and Saturday, Aug. 22. The performances will begin 7 p.m. each night and run approximately 90 minutes on various online platforms.
The virtual festival will feature pre-recorded and live performances by the artists, as well as drop-in interviews with jazz icons and footage of memorable moments from past Tri-C JazzFests.
Learn more about our lineup artists below and reserve your FREE ticket now!
Chris Coles' Gleam
Saxophonist Chris Coles was awarded a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Grant for his Nine Lives project, which is dedicated to the victims of the 2015 Charleston Church shooting. He’ll perform with Dave Morgan (bass), Holbrook Riles III (percussion/electronics), Anthony Taddeo (percussion/electronics), Joey Skoch (piano), Zaire Darden (drums) and Tommy Lehman (trumpet).
The Dan Wilson Trio
Over the past few years, Dan Wilson has toured nationally and internationally with legendary jazz figures such as Christian McBride and Joey DeFrancesco. He received a Grammy nomination for his work on Project Freedom, a 2017 release by DeFrancesco and The People. Zaire Darden (drums) and Kip Reed (bass) round out the trio.
Dominick Farinacci's Rhapsody in Blue: Revisited
Trumpeter Dominick Farinacci presents his commissioned arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue, George Gershwin’s groundbreaking masterwork from 1924. He’ll be joined by Jamey Haddad (percussion), Walter Barnes Jr. (bass), Jonathan Thomas (piano), Orlando Watson (spoken word) and Gabe Jones (drums). He is also co-hosting the virtual festival.
Evelyn Wright Quartet
Vocalist Evelyn Wright – recipient of a 2008 Cleveland Jazz Legends Award – has opened for the likes of Mel Torme, Harry Belafonte and David “Fathead” Newman. She’ll perform with Dave Thomas (B-3) Bill Ransom (drums) and Dominick Farinacci (trumpet).
Drummer Robert Hubbard leads this all-star band mixing soul, jazz, R&B and a splash of gospel. His bandmates include Vencott Palmer (keys), Johnathan Jones (bass), Roger Maple (sax) and Stacey Richardson (vocals).
Pianist Jackie Warren – recipient of a 2018 Cleveland Jazz Legends Award – has performed locally and nationally as a soloist and with groups such as the Jackie Warren Trio, DIVA Jazz Orchestra and the powerhouse 3Divas.
The brainchild of former Tri-C JazzFest artistic director Willard Jenkins, JazzWorks is an all-star octet playing classic jazz. The group includes Howie Smith, John Klayman, Aidan Plank, Joey Skotche, Daniel Spearman, Bob Ferrazza, Chris Anderson and Reggie Jackson.
Pianist Joe Hunter – recipient of a 2019 Cleveland Jazz Legends Award – has been recognized for his love of the American songbook and its relationship to the spirit of jazz. Known for his passion for Brazilian music, he has played as a solo artist and with various bands since the ‘80s.
Pianist, educator and songwriter Lafayette Carthon has production credits on projects with Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and Marvin Winans, to name a few. Carthon — who many know as senior pastor of Faith Church of Glenville — will be joined by vocalist Will Blaze.
Sammy DeLeon's Latin Jazz Sextet
Percussionist Sammy DeLeon — recipient of a 2016 Cleveland Jazz Legends Award — has performed with some of the world’s greatest Latin musicians and always rocks the stage.
Tri-C's Spirit of the Groove
Spirit of the Groove is an all-star ensemble from the Tri-C JazzFest Academy. It is comprised of nine young artists from various Northeast Ohio high schools who are committed to pursuing jazz full-time in college.
Jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin – recipient of a 2015 Cleveland Jazz Legends Award – is a product of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program at The Kennedy Center and has been a national touring artist for three decades. She will be joined by Jackie Warren (piano), Reggie Jackson (drums) and Peter Dominguez (bass).
Walter Barnes Jr. & Friends
Bassist Walter Barnes Jr. has recorded and performed with acts such as Yolanda Adams, The O’Jays and Kim Burrell while straddling the worlds of gospel and soul. He currently plays with Toni Braxton and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. He will be joined by Gabe Jones (drums), Bryan Golden (piano/keys), Jordan Wright (keys) and Willie Ross (guitar).