Traditionally held over Memorial Day Weekend, the Atlanta Jazz Festival will celebrate 40 years when it returns to Piedmont Park May 26 – 28, 2017. The anniversary lineup of jazz legends and up-and-coming jazz artists will be announced soon.
Established in 1978, the Atlanta Jazz Festival has become a tradition that draws music lovers from all around the region to experience the latest and greatest in jazz music culture. Mayor Maynard Jackson founded the original jazz festival with the idea to spotlight jazz in the city, because, as he said, “Jazz music is America’s only original art form, and…Atlanta, with its growing reputation as an international center of the arts and education, has both the opportunity and the responsibility to promote an art form whose roots are indigenous to the South.”
Since then, Atlanta Jazz Festival has hosted luminaries of the jazz music tradition including Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Diane Schuur, Freddy Cole, Herbie Hancock, Al Green, Pharoah Sanders, Cassandra Wilson, Chick Corea, Dianne Reeves, Mary Lou Williams, Chet Baker, Al Jarreau and many more. Recognized as one of America’s largest free jazz festivals and produced by the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Atlanta Jazz Festival has expanded over the years to include events hosted in venues throughout the city the entire month, culminating with the three-day weekend in Piedmont Park.