CENTER CITY JAZZ FESTIVAL RETURNS TO DOWNTOWN PHILADELPHIA
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Philadelphia (Wednesday, March 8) – The Center City Jazz Festival (CCJF) will be back for its ninth year after Philadelphia-area jazz fans clamored for its return. Forced to go dark for three years due to the pandemic, CCJF will be back on Saturday, April 22, in an electrifying multi-venue extravaganza that showcases some of today's most accomplished talent.
CCJF is one of the most anticipated annual events on Philadelphia's music calendar. Exceptional artists slated to appear include Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Jeannie Brooks; Louis Fouché, saxophonist with The Late Show Band on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”; 2019 winner of the “Downbeat” critics poll in the category of "Rising Star bassist" jazz double bassist Dezron Douglas; Professor Brent White, trombonist and Director of the Jazz Orchestra and Jazztet at Drexel University.
Also performing will be an impressive line-up of homegrown talent including saxophonist/vocalist Max Swan and Chris Beck, noted world-renowned drummer.
The festival provides eclectic offerings sure to please all jazz aficionados and anyone who appreciates good music. Coinciding with Philadelphia Jazz Appreciation Month, CCJF presents nearly 20 acts at multiple venues, all within walking distance of one another in the heart of Center City.
Because the festival has sold out in previous years, it is highly recommended that patrons purchase their tickets in advance at www.ccjazzfest.com. An all-access pass is only $20 in advance ($25 day of the event) and allows admission to all events at the one-day event.
"We couldn’t be happier to return to downtown Philadelphia and bring live music to jazz enthusiasts. We wanted to do something extra-special this year to commemorate this occasion," said the festival’s founder/artistic director, Ernest Stuart. "For the first time, we will have events presented by CCJF starting the Thursday before the festival. We think the fans are going to be very excited with what we have in store. The lineup is still being finalized, so fans should check the festival’s website for details.”
CCJF is sponsored by WRTI 90.1, a public radio station licensed to serve Philadelphia and is a service of Temple University. Producing sponsors for the event include Jazz Philadelphia, PECO and Turtle Studios.
Center City Jazz Festival
The inaugural Center City Jazz Festival took place in 2012 with music lovers turning out in large numbers for a celebration of outstanding music. Featuring 17 musical acts from Philadelphia and New York, the festival set the tone for future events by providing easy access with four venues located within blocks of one another in the bustling downtown area. Made possible through a visionary Kickstarter campaign, the first festival raised more than $17,000 from individuals passionate about the future of jazz and its role as a major cultural force in Philadelphia. From that start, the festival has continued to grow, with more than 100 acts having performed before thousands of fans. The event offers a true festival atmosphere, with spirited crowds enjoying the cool vibes and sheer joy of good music. The Center City Jazz Festival has always presented an eclectic lineup, with past performers including BigYuki, Jeff Bradshaw, Diane Monroe, Tony Micelli, Dave Kikoski, Marcus Strickland, Ben Schachter, Steve Coleman and the 5 Elements, Orrin Evans, Sean Jones, Venissa Santi, Mike Boone, Denise King, Tim Warfield Jr., Justin Faulkner, Mary Halvorson, Janie Bunnett, The Huntertones, Surface to Air, Aerial Photograph and The West Philadelphia Orchestra.
Ernest Stuart is the Founder/Artistic Director of the Center City Jazz Festival. A native of Philadelphia, Stuart attended Temple University, where he developed his art as a versatile trombonist, proficient in countless genres of music, including jazz, salsa, R&B, neo-soul and hip-hop. After receiving his degree in jazz performance from the school, he moved to New York City, where he kept busy as an in-demand musician, performing at notable clubs including, The Village Vanguard, The Iridium, Smoke and The Blue Note, among many others. Never far from his roots, he recorded his debut CD, Solitary Walker, in Philadelphia, which was released in 2011. He followed that up with the EPs, Love/Loss in 2014 and Same Walking Animals in 2015. In addition to his work as a soloist, Stuart is a member of the Brooklyn bhangra band, Red Baraat. Ernest earned his Master’s Degree in non-profit management in 2021 from Columbia University.
Event at a Glance
Ninth Annual Center City Jazz Festival
Date and Time: Saturday, April 22 from 1:00pm – 7:30pm
Venues: Franky Bradley’s, Chris’ Jazz Café, Fergie’s Pub, TIME Restaurant
Tickets: $20 in advance and $25 day of festival
Tickets and more info at www.ccjazzfest.com