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The 37th Atlanta Jazz Festival: ‘One of the best yet’

By Stan Washington | 5/16/2014, 12:25 p.m.
If Camille Russell Love’s assessment of the 37th Atlanta Jazz Festival is anything close to being accurate metro Atlanta jazz ...
Freddie Cole, May 25, 5 p.m. Piedmont Park

If Camille Russell Love’s assessment of the 37th Atlanta Jazz Festival is anything close to being accurate metro Atlanta jazz lovers are in for a treat.

“This year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival is going to be one of our best,” said Love, Director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “We will present a diverse lineup of artists from around the world, and because we are blessed with a wealth of talent here in Atlanta, we’ve added a third stage in Piedmont Park just for local artists.”

The other big change is that the finale schedule in Piedmont Park will end on Sunday instead of Monday, Memorial Day as it has in the past. Grilling will not be allowed in the park this year and the park will reopen for normal public use on Monday, May 26, Russell-Love said.

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Ahmad Jamal, May 25, 9 p.m. Piedmont Park

Headlining in the park will be two masters of the jazz piano Ahmad Jamal and Atlanta-based Freddie Cole. And on Friday, master of the trumpet Roy Hargrove. Hargrove will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. with his quintet. Jamal and Cole will close out the festival on Sunday. Jamal takes the stage at 9 p.m. while Cole hits the bandstand with his quartet at 5 p.m. on the Main Stage.

But if you think the jazz festival is only happening in Piedmont Park then you haven’t been paying attention to the news. The festival runs for 31 days in May and you have already missed quite a bit so here’s a look at what’s coming down the pipe before the music culminates in the park.

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Somi, May 24, 3:30 p.m. Piedmont Park

Friday, May 16

Friday Jazz at the High Museum of Art from 5-10 p.m. features Louis Heriveaux. Get there by 6 p.m. get a seat. 1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309. Cost $19.50

Saturday, May 17

Neighborhood Jazz Concert Presented by Councilmember Ivory Lee Young in Washington Park from 1-8 pm. This event is being produced in partnership with Atlanta Beltline’s Play Day and will feature adult and kids’ games and activities from 1-5 pm, such as rugby, softball and kickball, followed by a live jazz concert at 5 pm. 1125 Lena Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30314. Free admission.

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Ester Rada, May 24, 5 p.m. Piedmont Park

Sunday, May 18

Neighborhood Jazz Concert Presented by Councilmember Alex Wan at McClatchey Park from 4-8 p.m. 152 Westminster Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30309. Free admission.

Monday, May 19

MARTA Monday at the Midtown Station featuring performances by SG4 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. 41 Tenth Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309. Free admission.

Jazz on Myrtle at Top For featuring the sultry sounds of vocalist Melle and the Jacob Deaton Trio, starting at 9 pm. 674 Myrtle Street, Atlanta, GA 30308. Free admission.

Thursday, May 22

Cocktails in the Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden featuring live jazz from 6-9 p.m. 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309. Free for Garden Members, $18.95 for Non-Members.

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Brian Hogan Quartet, May 24, 4:30 p.m

Friday, May 23 – Sunday, May 25

Atlanta Jazz Festival concerts at Piedmont Park featuring Roy Hargrove, Ester Rada, Christian Scott, Bill Frisell, Freddy Cole, Somi, Ahmad Jamal and others.1320 Monroe Drive NE, Atlanta, GA. Take MARTA and get off at the Midtown Station on Tenth Street. You can walk from there. Check times and schedule at festival web site. Free admission.

Monday, May 26

Memorial Day Jazz with Luis Carreras and Friends at Erosol aka. Department Store starting at 3 pm and including performances by Lil’ John Roberts, Mastery (featuring Mamaniji, Russell Gunn, Kenah Boto, & Kenny Banks Jr.), The Emrah Kotan Group, Jeff Coffin and Future Man from Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. 465 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312. Cost $20.

Wednesday, May 28

WindDown at Centennial Olympic Park featuring Marcell McCoy and Joey Summerville from 5:30-8:30 p.m. 265 Park Ave W Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30313. Free admission.

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Christian Scott, May 24, 9:00 p.m

Thursday, May 29

Soul Sista’s Juke Joint at Southwest Performance Art Theater featuring Kathleen Bertrand, Gwen Bunn, Grace Kisa, Jhelisa, Marian Mereba  and Ursula Kendall starting at 8 pm. Address: 915 New Hope Road SW, Atlanta, GA 30331. Cost $25.

Saturday, May 31

Neighborhood Jazz Concert Presented by Councilmember Felicia Moore at Grove Park from 4-8 pm.  Address: 709 Hortense Place NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. Free admission.