Atlanta Jazz Festival Celebrates 44 Years in Piedmont Park Over Labor Day Weekend
After a year off, fans will delight in the sounds of legendary jazz musicians including Patti Austin and Archie Shepp along with rising stars like Jazzmeia Horn and Ryan Kilgore, as well as jazz education workshops, the famous Kid Zone and more
ATLANTA – August 12, 2021 – The Atlanta Jazz Festival is returning after a year off and plans to be one of the best jazz festivals in history. The ever-popular free event was moved to Labor Day Weekend, and will present entertainment, education, food and fun. The 44th Atlanta Jazz Festival, occurring Sunday, September 5 and Monday, September 6, will entertain and educate music lovers of all ages in Piedmont Park. Presented by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, The Atlanta Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival in the country — and is known for discovering talented up-and-coming artists, as well as making the work of jazz legends accessible to residents of and visitors to the city, and this year – around the world.
The 2021 Festival features two stages: the Meadow Stage and the Oak Hill Stage. The Meadow Stage line up for Sunday will feature Karla Harris, Ryan Kilgore, Jazzmeia Horn, master double-bassist Ron Carter Quartet and jazz, R+B, pop crossover sensation Patti Austin. On Monday, the Meadow Stage musicians include Isaiah Sharkey, Laurin Talese, Theo Croker, Sean Jones and the revered saxophonist and scholar Archie Shepp. In addition, for the first time in festival history, the Meadow Stage performances will be live streamed to jazz fans across the globe through a new partnership with Qwest TV. If people cannot attend, Qwest TV is offering fans one month of free access to its platform beginning August 4 with code “atlantajazz“ on qwest.tv/atlantajazz.
On Sunday, September 5, the Oak Hill Stage will feature international jazz musicians Pasquale Grasso Trio, Yuko Mabuchi, Alexey Marti and Miguel Zenon, while Monday will feature the jazz sounds of Brenda Nicole Moorer, Logan Richardson, Irreversible Entanglements and Mike Phillips.
This year’s festival will also feature an educational component with free Jazz 101 workshops that will be led by Grammy-nominated, Grammy-winning and esteemed jazz musicians, including vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, bassist Ron Carter, saxophonists Mike Phillips, Miguel Zenon and Archie Shepp, and trumpeter Sean Jones. The workshops will be held in Greystone at Piedmont Park and registration is recommended due to limited seating.
“After a year off, we are incredibly excited to return to Piedmont Park and showcase a range of jazz talent, as well as provide educational workshops by the performing artists themselves. There is no other jazz festival quite like the one we produce in Atlanta,” said Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “And for the first time, we will be broadcasting the Atlanta Jazz Festival into the homes of music lovers around the world with our unique partnership with Quincy Jones’ Qwest TV. I can’t think of a better way to hold our event this year,” she added.
Local artist Michael Reese created this year’s official artwork, “Theories of the Lowest End,” which will be featured on a throw blanket and poster. The merchandise, along with caps, aprons and T-shirts, are available through shop.atlantafestivals.com, the Atlanta Jazz Festival’s first e-commerce store, where sale proceeds help to keep the event free of charge. This year also includes a special collaboration with Atlanta Influences Everything for a limited-edition T-shirt available through the e-commerce store as well as The Artist Market and merchant tents.
The Festival is hosting a special artist village featuring 10 local artists along with The Artist Market which delights fans with eclectic and handcrafted goods that line the park’s sidewalks, along with a variety of food and drinks available for purchase.
Once again, the famous family-friendly Kid Zone makes a return to the Meadow featuring activities and games hosted by Georgia Power, Atlanta United FC and the Atlanta Falcons. Special interactive experiences for children called “African Drums for Kids” will happen on Sunday and Monday in the Kid Zone and be led by two-time Grammy nominated trumpeter, composer and band leader Russell Gunn. Participating children will receive a T-shirt and a percussion instrument as keepsakes from the 30-minute workshops. There will also be a Baby Rest Stop with changing tables and a designated area for nursing mothers – all free of charge. The hours for the Kid Zone are 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday, September 5 – 6.
This year’s event sponsors include Publix, PNC Bank, Georgia Power, Tito’s Vodka, Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC, MARTA, Qwest TV, Moxy Atlanta Midtown and the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Leading up to the holiday weekend, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs also promotes free jazz performances throughout metro Atlanta, including performances at various MARTA stations, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and more. For more details, visit the events pages at AtlantaFestivals.com or ATLJazzFest.com.