Sure, Cleveland's got notoriety for its status as a rock ‘n' roll capital. But, few jazz aficionados are unaware of its stature as a hotspot for some of the best jazz in the nation. The Tri-C JazzFest is recognized as one of the most diverse jazz festivals in the country — and it's right here in CLE.
Founded in 1980, the three-day event brings internationally renowned artists to town for special engagements at Playhouse Square's opulent stages — and even enlists some of these acts to help teach area students the ins and outs of jazz.
What You'll See:
- For one, you're about to watch the crème de la crème of jazz vocalists and instrumentalists. Past performers include Ella Fitzgerald, Sun Ra, Sarah Vaughan, Esperanza Spalding, Bill Frisell and Miles Davis — so, you know, nbd.
- In keeping with the festival's mission to "nurture the future of jazz," each year's lineup also features a mix of up-and-coming and established R&B, soul, blues and gospel acts.
- It's not all jazz. Outside on the U.S. Bank Plaza, a stage brimming with the sounds of Cleveland's musical talent, you'll hear everything from soul and funk to reggae and R&B.
What Else To Do:
- Even if your kids aren't avid jazz aficionados, they're still likely to have a blast. Musical arts and crafts, drum lessons, face painting, games and magicians are regular kid-friendly fixtures at the 'Fest.
- All that grooving is going to work up an appetite, so it's a good thing there'll be no shortage of food trucks along with cooking demos hosted by the Tri-C Hospitality Management center. Thirsty? Head to the Beer Tent and cool off.