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Festival to showcase 20-time Grammy Award winners, top local jazz groups, educators and students.

CHARLESTON, SC – November 7, 2016 – The highly anticipated Charleston Jazz Festival is back for its THIRD year in the Holy City with a star-studded line-up. The annual festival brings together thousands of jazz lovers from across South Carolina to celebrate the Holy City’s rich jazz heritage and thriving jazz scene. The festival will take place January 20 – 22, 2017, with events at multiple locations throughout downtown Charleston, including the Gaillard Center, Sottile Theatre, American Theater, and Barsa Tapas Lounge and Bar.

The 2017 line-up is expected to draw over 3,500 people. This year’s roster will feature The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, two of the most acclaimed, award-winning vocal groups touring today. The two groups boast a remarkable 20 Grammy Awards between them, and a range of styles that covers nearly every genre of popular music; from jazz to swing, from gospel to R&B. Manhattan Transfer band members Janis Siegel, Alan Paul, and Cheryl Bentyne will honor founding member, Tim Hauser, as they tour with their newest member, Trist Curless.
They join Take 6, a sextet recognized as the pre-eminent A cappella group in the world, featuring vocalists Claude V. McKnight III, Mark Kibble, David Thomas, Joey Kibble, Khristian Dentley and Alvin Chea. The Charleston Jazz Orchestra (CJO), led by Music Director Charlton Singleton, will open the Saturday headliner with a performance of classic big band favorites from their Season 8.
Other Featured Performers:

Matt White and the Super Villain Jazz Band: Trumpeter Matt White delivers a fun musical journey with jazz as his band explores life’s unique twists and turns. Their debut album received 4 stars in Downbeat Magazine.

Heather Rice and Friends: A dynamic jazz singer and songwriter, Heather Rice delivers color and beauty with her passionate and versatile voice. Her quintet includes many of Charleston’s top jazz musicians.

Charleston Latin Jazz Collective: Loved for their unique, high-energy sound, the Charleston Latin Jazz Collective captures the essence of traditional Cuban dance music as well as contemporary Latin jazz.

Cameron Handel and Friends: An extremely versatile trumpet player and singer, Cameron Handel appears regularly with the Charleston Jazz Orchestra and has toured with Michael Bolton and performed with Adele.

The Todd Beals Group: Accomplished trumpet player, Todd Beals was a long time member of the critically acclaimed Sam Rivers and RivBea Orchestra and now performs at establishments throughout Charleston.

The Jazz Professors: Featuring five talented teachers and instructors from the Charleston County School District, The Jazz Professors, led by CJO saxophonist, Jon Phillips, are working musicians who, when not teaching, “profess” their love of jazz during their weekends and evenings. Their motto is “You should always pursue what you love to do, whether you love sports, the arts, reading or even Jazz! Just get out there and keep doing it!”

Charleston All-Star Youth Jazz Orchestra: Launched by Jazz Artists of Charleston in 2016, this all-star band is comprised of Charleston’s top youth jazz musicians hand-picked by area high school band directors. The All-Star Orchestra is led by CJO trumpeter and long-time music educator Stephan Berry.

Charleston School of the Arts Jazz Band: Known as “SOA JAZZ,” this elite high school band led by Band Director Basil Kerr, has performed at several prestigious events including the East Carolina University Jazz Festival, the Savannah Music Festival, the Spoleto Festival, and the South Carolina Music Educators Convention.

“The Charleston Jazz Festival has a spirit all its own. It’s a 3-day jazz celebration offering up a range of jazz styles as well as a mix of world-class talent and up-and-coming stars,” said Mary Beth Natarajan, Executive Director at Jazz Artists of Charleston. “Proceeds from this festival funnel back into our ever-expanding jazz education endeavors.”

2017 charleston jazz festival schedule

Friday, January 20, 2017
American Theater / 446 King Street / Charleston, SC / 29403
Matt White and the Super Villain Jazz Band (5:30 p.m.)
Heather Rice and Friends (7:00 p.m.)
Charleston Latin Jazz Collective (8:30 p.m.)

Barsa Tapas Lounge and Bar / 630 King Street / Charleston, SC 29403
JAZZ JAM led by Cameron Handel and Friends (10:00 p.m.) Admission is free.

Saturday, January 21, 2017
The Gaillard Center / 94 George Street / Charleston, SC / 29401
VIP Cocktail Party – By Invitation Only – (6:00 p.m.)
The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 (7:30 p.m.)
(Opening Performance By The Charleston Jazz Orchestra)

Barsa Tapas Lounge and Bar / 630 King Street / Charleston, SC 29403
JAZZ JAM led by the Todd Beals Group (10:00 p.m.) Admission is free.

Sunday, January 22, 2017 – Family Jazz Day

The Sottile Theatre / 44 George Street / Charleston, SC 29401
The Jazz Professors (3:00 p.m.)
Charleston All-Star Youth Jazz Orchestra (3:45 p.m.)
Charleston School of the Arts Jazz Band (4:30 p.m.)
Admission is free for youth 18 years and under.

About the Charleston Jazz Festival: The Charleston Jazz Festival is produced and presented by Jazz Artists of Charleston (JAC), a South Carolina-based nonprofit organization incorporated to foster a professional environment for jazz musicians, artists, students and enthusiasts in the Charleston area. Its mission is to develop, promote, and support a vibrant and creative jazz culture through concerts, special outreach events, and educational programs. JAC endeavors to preserve and bolster Charleston’s rich musical history and legacy as it explores the various realms of jazz in terms of how it is created as well as its stylistic expressions.

To schedule an interview or media appearance or for hi-resolution images, please contact [email protected].

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