Jazz In The Park Returns

Large green trees in the foreground, a brick path leads into the distance along the edge of a calm stream with masonry steps for pedestrians to sit by the edge of the water. In the distance, a large gathering of seated people in folding outdoor chairs and under popup tents for shade. They are gathered in front of a music stage set with Jazz musicians, in downtown Huntsville's scenic Big Spring Park.

By Kenny Anderson
Director Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
City Of Huntsville

Jazz in the Park- Huntsville (JITPH) has become one of the hottest summer concert series in Huntsville-Madison County. JITPH began as a collaboration between the City of Huntsville Office of Multicultural Affairs (now Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) and Magic City Smooth Jazz (MCSJ), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting free concerts and cultural activities under the leadership of Executive Director Bernard Lockhart. JITPH began in 2015 as a spinoff of the popular Jazz in the Park summer series hosted by MCSJ in Birmingham and other selected cities. Jazz in the Park- Huntsville is held every Sunday in September from 5-9 pm in Big Spring Park East, and the concerts are free to the public. Since its inception, we’ve hosted 18 concerts featuring 42 artists (including local, national recording and Grammy award winning artists) reaching a diverse crowd of about 6000 people per concert. The 2020 JITPH concert series was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic, and we had a virtual event in 2021, but I’m happy to inform you that we will be returning to Big Spring Park East (for 3 shows) and the Orion Amphitheatre (for one show) this year!

The 2022 series will kick off on Sunday, September 4, 2022 in Big Spring Park East, followed by a September 11 bonus concert at the Orion Amphitheatre before returning to Big Spring Park East on September 18 and 25. We will once again look for music from our local middle and high school jazz bands, music education masterclasses by some of our opening and headline performers and the establishment of the Bernard Lockhart Music Education Scholarship in honor of Bernard, the founder of Jazz in the Park, who died from COVID in December 2020. We are doing everything that we can to continue his legacy of providing high quality, free concerts to the community, and I am inviting you to partner with us on the success of this effort.

The schedule of performers is as follows:

Sunday, Sept. 4 – Big Spring Park East
• 5 p.m.: Jemison High Jazz Band
• 6 p.m.: John Stoddart
• 7:30 p.m.: Ragan Whiteside

Sunday, Sept 11. – The Orion Amphitheater Guest Celebrity MC- Jonathan Slocumb

• 5 p.m.: Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Band
• 6 p.m.: Jeff Ryan
• 7:30 p.m.: Matthew Whitaker

Sunday, Sept. 18 – Big Spring Park East
• 5 p.m.: Columbia High School Jazz Band
• 6 p.m.: Gino Rosaria
• 7:30 p.m.: Adam Hawley

Sunday, Sept. 25 – Big Spring Park East
• 5 p.m.: Grissom High School Jazz Band
• 6 p.m. Dee Lucas
• 7:30 p.m. Phil Denny

There will be food trucks, and all concerts are free!

For information: Kenny Anderson at kenny.anderson@huntsvilleal.gov

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