Beantown Jazz Festival Returns September 29, 2018

The Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival offers jazz, Latin, blues, funk, and kids' music for free.

August 20, 2018

The Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival, Boston’s biggest block party, returns Saturday, September 29, from noon to 6:00 p.m., with three stages of free music at the intersection of Massachusetts and Columbus avenues.

Berklee faculty, students, alumni, and special guests will perform jazz, Latin, blues, funk, and kids' music. Food vendors will offer a variety of international flavors, and local merchants will sell goods along the concourse. Check for updates and a full schedule of events.

Faculty member Terri Lyne Carrington B.M. ’83 ‘03H, a Grammy Award-winning drummer and composer, curated this year’s event. Appearing will be Diego Joaquin Ramirez B.M. '12 and SULA, Darcel Wilson B.M. '86, Gregory Lewis Organ Monk Trio, Tia Fuller's Diamond CutRina Yamazaki Trio featuring Dave Santoro and Neal Smith, Jason Palmer, Marco Pignataro's Almas Antiguas Quartet featuring Eddie Gomez, Ralph Peterson's Aggregate PrimeCatherine Russell, and Gerschlauer/Fiuczynski’s MikroJazz with Giorgi Mikadze, Drew Gress and special guest Jack DeJohnette.

The Kids’ Zone will feature KidsJam, an interactive program led by Berklee’s Music Education Department that introduces children to a variety of musical activities, including singing, sound exploration, and playing rhythm instruments, as well as creating, listening, and responding to music. Also in the Kids’ Zone will be Debbie and Friends, with children's entertainer Debbie Cavalier B.M. '87, senior vice president of Online Learning and Continuing Education, who uses her original songs to tell stories that children know and love.

This year's Beantown Jazz Festival features two preshows. The first, Berklee’s Signature Series' The Art of the Tenor: Celebrating Bill Pierce, is Wednesday, September 26, at the Berklee Performance Center (BPC). In honor of renowned saxophonist and educator Pierce B.M. '72 , chair emeritus of Berklee’s Woodwind Department, his former students Javon Jackson B.M. '87, Mark Turner B.M. '90, Antonio Hart B.M. '91, and Melissa Aldana B.M. '91 are returning to perform with him on stage. Carrington is the concert’s producer. Tickets are available at the Berklee Performance Center box office or online.

The second preshow, on Thursday, September 27, features jazz singer and pianist Sarah McKenzie B.M.'15 at the Red Room at Cafe 939 for The Checkout – Live at Berklee webcast on Greater New York’s Advance tickets are available at the BPC box office or online. Remaining tickets will be available at the Red Room on the night of the show.

For the ninth year, the Beantown Jazz Festival will be supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In awarding the prestigious Art Works grant to Berklee, the NEA cited the festival as a celebration of Boston’s diversity as reflected in the attendees, music, food, and crafts.

Berklee is also pleased to welcome Tufts Medical Center as this year’s wellness sponsor. Visit them at the Wellness Corridor during the festival.

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