Lineup Announced for 39th Annual Tri-C JazzFest
A diverse artist roster brings excitement to Cleveland, June 28-30
Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) has announced the lineup of ticketed concerts for the 39th annual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland, presented by KeyBank, June 28-30 at Playhouse Square.
This year’s festival features eight shows inside Playhouse Square’s historic venues and showcases an eclectic lineup including Tony Award winners who dazzled on Broadway; a hip-hop artist blending jazz and rap; and musical legends with decades of hits.
The diverse lineup demonstrates the all-encompassing “big tent” that is jazz, said Terri Pontremoli, director of JazzFest.
“While some may choose to define jazz as just one thing, the music constantly evolves to push the envelope while honoring the tradition,” Pontremoli said. “I know the audience will revel in the spirit of openness this year.”
Here is the concert lineup, with show times and locations:
Thursday, June 28
Leslie Odom Jr./Dee Dee Bridgewater/DIVA Jazz Orchestra — 7:30 p.m., KeyBank State Theatre
Opening night features two Broadway stars and Tony Award winners — Leslie Odom Jr. and Dee Dee Bridgewater — who are also luminaries in the jazz world. The all-female DIVA Jazz Orchestra opens the night with a power-packed big band performance.
Friday, June 29
Joshua Redman — 6 p.m., Ohio Theatre
Legendary saxophonist Joshua Redman brings his Still Dreaming quartet to Cleveland. The group features trumpeter Ron Miles, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade — three of the most inventive artists in contemporary jazz.
Brian Simpson’s Smooth Jazz All Stars/Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles – 8 p.m., KeyBank State Theatre
Keyboardist Brian Simpson hits the JazzFest stage with Maysa, Kenny Lattimore, Kim Waters and Paul Taylor as part of the Smooth Jazz All Stars. Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles whip up a blend of blues, soul, R&B, Afrobeat, gospel and jazz while blurring genres and upending expectations at every turn.
Dr. Lonnie Smith – 10:15 p.m., Allen Theatre
A master of the Hammond B-3 organ, Dr. Lonnie Smith has been featured on more than 70 albums and recorded with the giants of jazz, blues and R&B over a career spanning five decades. No wonder he is hailed as a legend and living musical icon.
Saturday, June 30
Vinicius Cantuaria – 1 p.m., Allen Theatre
Cantuaria is a well-known Brazilian musician in the sphere of bossa nova and jazz. Leader of the rock band “O Terco,” he released six albums in Brazil in the ‘80s and became a pioneer of neo-Brazilian music with his 1996 album, “Sol na Cara.”
Terence Blanchard/Grace Kelly – 3:30 p.m., Ohio Theatre
American trumpeter Terence Blanchard will perform his Jazz in Film project with the Spirit of the Groove Big Band, led by Dominick Farinacci. Saxophonist, singer and composer Grace Kelly meshes the heart and passion of an old soul with the genre-bending zest of youth.
Snarky Puppy – 6 p.m., Ohio Theatre
Three-time Grammy Award-winning band Snarky Puppy represents the convergence of black and white American music culture with various accents from around the world. The jazz and funk collective features as many as 25 members in its regular rotation.
Common with José James opening – 8 p.m., KeyBank State Theatre
Common is an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Emmy and Grammy-winning actor and musician. He released his 11th studio album, Black America Again, in 2016.New York City-based vocalist José James will perform his latest project, Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers.
Festival passes – which offer VIP seating to all eight ticketed concerts, plus other perks – are now on sale for $250. Call 216-640-8800 to purchase.
Individual tickets will go on sale April 2 through the Playhouse Square Box Office.
The 2018 JazzFest will also include free outdoor concerts at Playhouse Square from 3 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday on festival weekend. The popular performances will feature local talent selected by a jury of music industry experts.
The festival typically draws tens of thousands of people downtown for the three-day experience. For a full roster of Tri-C JazzFest events — including free community concerts in the months leading up to the festival — visit www.tri-cjazzfest.com.
Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland is presented by KeyBank and made possible by Cuyahoga Community College, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, Strassman Insurance Services Inc. and a growing list of donors and vendors.
January 25, 2018
John Horton, 216-987-4281 firstname.lastname@example.org