By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Center City Jazz Festival kicks off next weekend. It’s part of Jazz Appreciation month festivities throughout April.
Jazzheads and newbies alike can see 16 bands at four Center City venues over the course of six hours.
“It’s about getting people who weren’t already interested in Jazz just interested and give them a reason to come out,” says Ernest Stuart, a trombonist who founded the Center City Jazz Festival three years ago with $17,200 in crowd funding.
Last year, the festival was multiple days, with several headliners. This year the festival is streamlined and features a headliner-free lineup featuring heavy hitters like John Raymond & The Roots Trio, Steve Coleman and saxophonist Tim Warfield.
“He’s one of the baddest dudes I know, period, hands down,” says Stuart of Warfield, “but we a number of equally talented artists.”
The festival takes place at Chris’ Jazz Cafe, Time Restaurant, Fergie’s Pub and Milkboy and one ticket will get you into all of the venues. Stuart says attendees will get to check out the genre of music in its purest form.
“A lot of the other jazz festivals I was experiencing would have like Billy Joel headlining,” says Stuart, “he’s cool and all, but I don’t consider Billy Joel to be jazz.”
Stuart says besides being able to hear real jazz, you could increase your cool quotient.
“It definitely makes you cooler,” says Stuart, “about 10 percent cooler for every hour you stay there.”
The Center City Jazz Festival is Saturday, April 19th.