With the demise of the spectacular and engaging West Oak Lane Jazz & Arts Festival, a number of events have emerged in recent years to fill the void. Among them is the Third Annual Center City Jazz Festival, taking place on April 19 in various venues in Center City Philadelphia as part of Jazz Appreciation Month.

According to event organizers, one ticket provides access to all performances by such nationally recognized artists as Tim Warfield Jr., Branford Marsalis’ drummer Justin Faulkner and his band; and Thumbscrew, featuring Tomas Fujiwara and avant-garde “guitar goddess” Mary Halvorson join rising stars like Stacy Dillard and Tivoni Pennicot.

“This is my dream festival lineup,” said Center City Jazz Festival director and trombonist Ernest Stuart. “My goal is to create a scene that feels like it did years ago when jazz greats would come through Philly regularly, hanging and performing with local talent.” Stuart said to expect artists to perform and socialize throughout the festival crawl with fellow musicians and audience members.

Now in its third year, the Center City Jazz Festival “celebrates Philadelphia’s jazz legacy and future by featuring leading musicians in the heart of the city.” The inaugural Festival was made possible through an innovative Kickstarter campaign, during which 188 individuals contributed $17,200. Since its inception, more than 1,500 jazz lovers and 60 bands have taken over Sansom and Chestnut streets, “reveling in the spirit of the festival crawl atmosphere.” Past performers include a diverse range of instrumentalists and vocalists, including Orrin Evans, Sean Jones, Venissa Santi, Mike Boone, Denise King and Jane Bunnett.

Tickets for the Center City Jazz Festival, made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Philadelphia Jazz Project, are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the event. For tickets and information, visit www.ccjazzfest.com.


Contact Tribune Staff Writer Kimberly C. Roberts at (215) 893-5753 or kroberts@phillytrib.com.

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