News Blog

Quincy Jones’ QwestTV Teams up with the Atlanta Jazz Festival for Exclusive Livestream

Live stream the Meadow Stage performances on Labor Day weekend, September 5 and 6, 2021 with one month of free access to Qwest TV

Qwest TV, a premium video streaming service focused on music-related content, is joining forces with the 43rd annual Atlanta Jazz Festival as its exclusive broadcast partner. The festival, free to all for nearly half a century, unites jazz icons and newcomers for a weekend of powerful performances in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park. On Labor Day weekend, September 5 and 6, 2021, jazz lovers around the world can stream the Atlanta Jazz Festival’s Meadow Stage performances through Qwest TV’s exclusive livestream. Qwest TV will also offer fans one month of free access to its platform beginning August 4 with code “atlantajazz“ on

In addition to an inspiring lineup of emerging artists, the Atlanta Jazz Festival features multiple seasoned jazz greats. Thanks to a soaring, deeply expressive voice, Patti Austin (September 5) has effortlessly glided between the worlds of jazz and pop, collaborating with everyone from George Benson to Michael Jackson. Revered saxophone player and music scholar Archie Shepp (September 6) has innovated African-American musical lineages for decades, playing with greats like John Coltrane and Cecil Taylor, before further exploring new territory in his work with European jazz performers and spiritual master musicians from Morocco. Part of the Miles Davis Quintet, master double-bassist Ron Carter holds the world record as the most recorded bassist of all time and has won two GRAMMYs for his highly creative work.

“It truly makes my soul smile to announce that my beloved Qwest TV will be exclusive broadcast partner to the Atlanta Jazz Festival,a beacon of free culture in a city with incredibly deep and important music roots!” said Quincy Jones. “Catch true legends alongside today’s trailblazers from the festival’s AMAZING concert schedule only on Qwest TV, my HD and 4K streaming platform. It’s free to sign up and join a family of diverse music lovers.”

“The Atlanta Jazz Festival’s broadcast partnership with Qwest TV will give people around the world the opportunity to see why this is such an important event in our city,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “The concert’s popularity each year proves how culturally relevant jazz remains and exemplifies Atlanta’s ongoing commitment to the arts and culture.”

“The Atlanta Jazz Festival encapsulates everything we strive for as a streaming service dedicated to the world’s best, genre-defying music,” explained Reza Ackbaraly, co-founder and CEO of Qwest TV. “The Festival’s dedication to the community and the access provided for anyone hoping to hear high-caliber music both resonate with our mission, which is to give as many people as possible access to the best, most creative musical performances out there.”

To emphasize this spirit of arts accessibility, Qwest TV will offer Atlanta Jazz Festival fans one month of free access to its extensive, carefully curated collection of 1,300+ key concerts and performances from around the world. Beginning August 4, fans can sign up for the free trial using code “atlantajazz“ on

Qwest TV will broadcast from the Festival’s Meadow Stage on September 5 and 6 via its SVOD service and its live channel, Qwest TV Jazz and Beyond. Qwest TV will also share exciting interviews and other content focusing on the festival’s artists and their music lineages and visions. Artists featured on the broadcast will include:

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Monday, September 6, 2021

“Music, and jazz in particular, is a foundational part of Atlanta’s identity,” explains Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “We’re excited to share our event and our community with music fans around the world, thanks to this partnership with Qwest TV.”

For a full festival lineup, see

RSVP to the Facebook event here: Day 1 and Day 2.

Atlanta Jazz Festival Returns to Piedmont Park, Labor Day Weekend

After a year off, fans will delight in the sounds of legendary jazz musicians like Patti Austin and Archie Shepp along with rising stars like Jazzmeia Horn and Ryan Kilgore – as well as jazz education workshops, the Kids Zone and more!

The 2021 Atlanta Jazz Festival (AJF), occurring Sunday, September 5 and Monday, September 6, was moved to Labor Day Weekend in Piedmont Park.  Fans are welcome to come out to the park and enjoy live music, education food and fun in open spaces. For those who cannot attend, we will be live-streaming the Meadow Stage performances to jazz fans across the globe through our unique partnership with Quincy Jones’ Qwest TV.   Festival fans can use discount code “atlantajazz“ on for one month of free access!

The AJF features outstanding performances on two stages: the Meadow Stage and the Oak Hill Stage. The Meadow Stage line-up for Sunday will feature Karla Harris, Ryan Kilgore, Jazzmeia Horn, the Ron Carter Quartet and jazz, R+B, pop crossover sensation Patti Austin.

On Monday, the Meadow Stage musicians include Isaiah Sharkey, Laurin Talese, Theo Croker, Sean Jones and revered saxophonist and scholar, Archie Shepp.

On Sunday, September 5, the Oak Hill Stage will feature international jazz artists Pasquale Grasso Trio, Yuko Mabuchi, Alexey Marti and Miguel Zenon, while Monday’s performances feature Brenda Nicole Moorer, Logan Richardson, Irreversible Entanglements and Mike Phillips.

This year, the AJF will also feature an educational component with free Jazz 101 workshops that will be led by Grammy-nominated, Grammy-winning and esteemed jazz musicians, including vocalist Jazzmeia Horn, bassist Ron Carter, saxophonists Mike Phillips, Miguel Zenon and Archie Shepp, and trumpeter Sean Jones. The workshops will be held in the Greystone building at Piedmont Park. Registration is recommended due to limited seating and masks are required.

Local artist Michael Reese created this year’s official artwork, “Theories of the Lowest End,” which will be featured on a throw blanket and poster. The merchandise, along with caps, aprons and T-shirts, are available through, the Atlanta Jazz Festival’s first e-commerce store, where sale proceeds help to keep the event free of charge. This year also includes a special collaboration with Atlanta Influences Everything for a limited-edition T-shirt available through the e-commerce store as well as The Artist Market and merchant tents.

The Festival is hosting a special artist village featuring 10 local artists along with The Artist Market which delights fans with eclectic and handcrafted goods that line the park’s sidewalks, along with a variety of food and drinks available for purchase.

The Kids Zone is back in the Meadow from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday and Monday, September 5 – 6. A free interactive experience for children called “African Drums for Kids” will happen on Sunday and Monday in the Kid Zone and be led by two-time Grammy-nominated trumpeter, composer and bandleader Russell Gunn. Participating children will receive a T- shirt and a percussion instrument as keepsakes from the 30-minute workshops. There will also be a Baby Rest Stop with changing tables and a designated area for nursing mothers – all free of charge.

This year’s event sponsors include Publix, PNC Bank, Georgia Power, Tito’s Vodka, Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC, MARTA, Qwest TV, Moxy Atlanta Midtown and the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

For more details, visit the events pages at or


Know Before You Go – Park Rules & COVID-19 Precautions 

The City of Atlanta and the Atlanta Jazz Festival are following the science and recommendations for safe events. We encourage those attending the festival to be courteous to their neighbors and follow these protocols:

– Masks are strongly encouraged for all attendees, regardless of vaccination status
– Following City of Atlanta guidelines, masks are required for indoor events like Jazz 101 workshops
– Attendees are encouraged to social distance at all times

In addition, there will be enhanced sanitization at the event, including regularly disinfecting surfaces and hand sanitizer stations available to all attendees.

For a complete list of park rules, click here.

Thank you for helping us make the Atlanta Jazz Festival a fun and safe event for all!


About Atlanta Jazz Festival

The Atlanta Jazz Festival is regarded as one of the country’s largest free jazz festivals and invites music lovers from around the region to be immersed in jazz music culture. Mayor Maynard Jackson founded the festival to promote the art form that originated in the south. The Atlanta Jazz Festival is an annual musical showcase that celebrates jazz legends and features up-and-coming jazz performers with performances at Piedmont Park.

For more information, please visit and follow Atlanta Jazz Festival on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Fans also can access information on the go by visiting the mobile channel,, from their smart device.

OCA Postpones the Atlanta Jazz Festival Until Further Notice

Based on an abundance of caution due to the coronavirus pandemic and keeping the public’s safety as a top priority, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs has decided to postpone the 43rd annual Atlanta Jazz Festival previously scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend, May 23 – 24. Organizers are currently exploring alternative dates to hold the festival in 2020.

“This was a very challenging decision as the Atlanta Jazz Festival is a time honored and treasured tradition,” said OCA Executive Director Camille Love. “And while Memorial Day weekend falls beyond the shelter-in-place timeframe, large gatherings are still being discouraged. With 150,000 attendees typically attending our event in Piedmont Park, we thought it best to find other dates later this year,” she added.

Other festival programming has also been affected by the postponement, including canceling the May 22 India.Arie concert and the May 23 Late Night Jazz Jam, featuring the Irreversible Entanglements.

On a brighter note, the OCA is creating a new program called “Atlanta Jazz Festival Sessions,” which will not only celebrate the 31 Days of Jazz in May, but also give a specially-curated list of Atlanta jazz artists the opportunity to perform virtually for thousands of viewers via the Atlanta Jazz Festival social media platforms. More details will be provided soon.

Check the our website frequently for future updates and announcements.

Atlanta Jazz Festival Seeks Artists for 2020 Artist Village

Photo by Tim Mossholder

The City of Atlanta’s Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) seeks exceptional visual artworks to feature in our 2020 Art Village for the 43rd annual Atlanta Jazz Festival.

The festival will select the works of artists whose art highlights the legacy and influence of jazz, and its contribution to world culture.

Artists interested in this opportunity have until Monday, April 20, 2020, by 5 PM EST to submit their work.

To celebrate not only the music but also the visual components of jazz culture, we seek submissions for this year’s Artist Village that showcase jazz or music themes in a visually engaging way.

All visual art mediums are encouraged, including, but not limited to, drawings, paintings, mixed media pieces, photography, sculptures, digitally designed prints, and etc. Each selected artist will be assigned an artist booth to use during the jazz festival at no cost to the artist.

This booth space will include on-site power, a 10 ft. x 10 ft. tent, an 8 ft. long table, and two (2) folding chairs. Selected artists are responsible for providing additional furnishings or display materials for the space. Each booth will be placed in a location determined by the City.

To learn more about the call and eligibility requirements, download the full request for proposal (RFP) below.

The deadline to submit your work is Monday, April 20, 2020, by 5 PM EST. Submissions received after this deadline will not be considered.

If you have questions, contact Kevin Sipp via email to

Click Here to Download RFP

OCA Seeks Artist to Design Official Artwork for the 2020 Atlanta Jazz Festival

The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) is seeking an exceptional artist to create the official artwork for our 43rd annual Atlanta Jazz Festival, which will adorn the marketing collateral and festival merchandise for this year’s festival.

The selected artist will receive $1,000 for their work and a complimentary vending booth to use during the festival. The deadline to submit your proposed artwork is Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, by 5 pm.

Artists are encouraged to create an unique and visually expressive design that evokes the storied and beautiful legacy of jazz music. For full details, review the request for proposals (RFP) linked below.

For questions regarding the call, contact Kevin Sipp at

Click Here for the Atlanta Jazz Festival Artwork RFP

Submissions received after this deadline and those found to be incomplete will not be reviewed.

Proposals will be reviewed by our office, and the selected artist will be notified on February 14, 2020.

OCA and Mayor Bottoms Reveals Lineup for 2019 Atlanta Jazz Festival

Highlights include the The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra, Richard Bona, Slim Gamble and Diana Ross’ daughter Rhonda Ross & Rodney Kendrick

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms revealed the artist lineup for the 42nd annual Atlanta Jazz Festival in a video announcement today. The lineup includes a variety of jazz sounds and stylings that will delight more than 150,000 attendees on three newly-named stages: The Meadow Stage, Oak Hill Stage and Park Drive Stage.

The country’s longest running free jazz festival will take place for two days over Memorial Day Weekend: Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26, in Piedmont Park. Sunday will feature a special lineup of all Atlanta-grown artists on the Meadow Stage that will epitomize the city’s deep, rich history of local jazz talent.

The complete lineup for the 2019 festival includes:

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Park Drive Stage:

12:30 p.m. Avery Dixon, Saxophone Extraordinaire

2:30 p.m. Joel Ross ‘Good Vibes’

4:30 p.m. Christian Sands

6:30 p.m. Makaya McCraven

Oak Hill Stage:

1:30 p.m. Ofer Assaf Quartet

3:30 p.m. Delfeayo Marsalis

5:30 p.m. Takuya Kuroda

7:30 p.m. Richard Bona

Meadow Stage:

1 p.m. Alicia Olatuja

3 p.m. Stefon Harris + Blackout

5 p.m. Rhonda Ross & Rodney Kendrick

7 p.m. Marcus Strickland ‘Twi-Life’ feat. Pharoahe Monche

9 p.m. Lizz Wright

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Park Drive Stage:

12:30 p.m. Rialto Jazz for Kids

2:30 p.m. Nicole Banks Long

4:30 p.m. Slim Gambill

6:30 p.m. Michael Mayo

Oak Hill Stage:

1:30 p.m. The Kenny Banks, Jr. Trio

3:30 p.m. OKCello

5:30 p.m Freelance

7:30 p.m. Kandace Springs

Meadow Stage:

1 p.m. The Milkshake Quintet

3 p.m. Alex Lattimore

5 p.m. Gary Motley

7 p.m. Rhonda Thomas

9 p.m. The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra

In addition to the Festival on Memorial Day Weekend, the City of Atlanta’s Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs will again host 31 Days of Jazz events throughout metro Atlanta beginning on May 1. Most of the events are free and will occur in a variety of locations across metro Atlanta, including at various MARTA stations, neighborhood parks, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. More information can be found on

For companies interested in sponsoring the Atlanta Jazz Festival, please contact Jihan Ali with the City of Atlanta, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs at

About Atlanta Jazz Festival

The Atlanta Jazz Festival is regarded as one of the country’s largest free jazz festivals and invites music lovers from around the region to be immersed in jazz music culture. Mayor Maynard Jackson founded the Festival to promote the art form that originated in the south. The Atlanta Jazz Festival is an annual musical showcase that celebrates jazz legends and features up-and-coming jazz performers in venues throughout metropolitan Atlanta, culminating on Memorial Day weekend with performances at Piedmont Park. For more information, please visit and follow Atlanta Jazz Festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Fans also can access information on the go by visiting, from their smart device.

Atlanta Jazz Festival and Gallery 72 Hosts Exhibition Celebrating Jazz and African Traditions

African Jazz #10 ©1990 Michael A. Cummings Artist Collection, 1990 72×108 cotton blends, cotton fabric


The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs is pleased to present the exhibition of “The African Jazz Quilts of Michael A. Cummings” at Gallery 72 to celebrate Jazz Appreciation MonthThe exhibition opens to the public on Thursday, April 18 and runs until Thursday, June 6, 2019. An opening reception for the installation will be hosted at Gallery 72 on Thursday, April 18, starting at 6 p.m.

The exhibition coincides with 42nd Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival hosted in Piedmont Park, Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 and 26.

Michael A. Cummings, a native of Los Angeles, is a world-renowned quilt maker. Cummings uses reclaimed fabric to create new art and narratives that evoke engagement from its viewers. He has had solo exhibitions with Bates College in Maine, Hallmark Cards, New York City’s Cinque Gallery and Studio Museum in Harlem, among others.

Concerning the quilts of Mr. Cummings, Michael James, Professor of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln says “Michael Cummings has been working with the quilt form since the early 1980s. Cummings has successfully synthesized aesthetic qualities found in folk art, in African and African American art, in music (specifically, jazz), and in diverse textile and non-textile narrative traditions, to arrive at a unique and sincere expression… He’s committed to telling the stories of African-Americans across a broad historical, social, cultural, philosophical, and mythological spectrum”.

As observed and stated by author and curator Martha Sielman ‘the energy of Michael A. Cummings central applique images threatens to escape the boundaries set by his traditional pieced borders, combining elements from his African American heritage, Yoruba Mythology, and formal art training his narratives focus on subjects such as Jazz musicians, historical heroes, and the Yoruba water goddess. Cummings has produced a body of work filled with energy edginess and excitement.“

Please join the City of Atlanta in celebrating this unique and talented artist. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm. For more information, please contact the gallery curator, Kevin Sipp, for more information at 404-546-3220 or KSipp@AtlantaGa.Gov.


The Atlanta Jazz Festival Presents: The African Jazz Quilts of Michael A. Cummings

Thursday, April 18 – Thursday, June 6, 2019

Gallery 72, 72 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta GA.. 30303

Opening Reception: Thursday, April 18th 2019 at Gallery 72, from 6 pm to 9 pm.


About Gallery 72

Gallery 72 at 2 City Plaza, is a municipal gallery operated by the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs dedicated to presenting stimulating and thought provoking contemporary art and programs that focus on advancing Atlanta’s arts offering. Gallery 72 is located at 72 Marietta Street NW Atlanta Ga. 30303 and is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.

104 Marietta Street Parking Garage (176 feet NW), 79 Marietta Street Parking Garage (245 feet NE) Centennial Tower Parking Garage (332 feet NE), Paid street parking is available near the gallery.

NEARBY MARTA RAIL STATIONS: Take the Gold line to Five Points Station. Exit the station on the Forsyth street side and turn right, walk northeast on Forsyth Street, and turn left on Marietta Street. Walk one block to Fairlie Street. After crossing Fairlie Street the gallery will be on the left.


Latin Music Sensation CimaFunk Performs in Southwest Atlanta on April 13

On the heels of a critically acclaimed American debut at South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival and Fulton County Arts and Culture will host a concert featuring Afro-cuban musician Cimafunk at the Southwest Arts Center on Saturday, April 13 at 8 pm.

Dubbed the “James Brown of Cuba”, Cimafunk is a multi-talented singer and producer who has taken over Cuba’s alternative music scene. The medical student turned musician rocketed to prominence following the release of his viral debut album, “Terapia” in late 2017. His infectious fusion of funk, dance-centric Afro-cuban music and fun authentic lyrics direct from the Cuban streets turned the country upside down in 2018.

Recently named by Billboard as one of “10 Latin Artists to Watch in 2019,” Cimafunk revitalized Havana’s music scene while infusing funk into Cuban rhythms. He draws inspiration from an eclectic panel of black musicians from James Brown, George Clinton, Prince and the soul music of Al Green and Bill Withers. He also pays homage to the Cuban music movement known as of Nueva Trova, popularized by singer Beny Moré as well as Cuba’s Songo music created by the band Los Van Van.

Winner of the Lucas Award for “Most Popular Video” and named “Artist of the Year” by Vistar Magazine, Cimafunk has created a movement in Havana and throughout Cuba with sold out concert halls.

Poised for international discovery, Cimafunk believes in nothing but the power of the Groove and the cathartic communion of dancing bodies. A renaissance man, conscious of his roots and musical ancestry, Cimafunk looks to firmly inject a new century of style into Cuban and black music.

The concert is presented in partnership with Cuba Educational Travel as a part of a cultural exchange program. The visit aims at building and strengthening networks and communities involved in US/Cuba cultural exchange. Tickets for the concert are on sale now and are available at Eventbrite.

For more information on Cimafunk, visit his website at To listen to Cimafunk’s newest single “Me Voy”, below.

Atlanta Jazz Festival Receives Creative Loafing’s “Reader’s Pick” Award for “Best Free Annual Event”

Photo courtesy of Creative Loafing.

The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) is thrilled to announce that our annual Atlanta Jazz Festival was named a Reader’s Pick for Best Free Annual Event in Creative Loafing’s 2018 Best of Atlanta list.

“Receiving this recognition speaks to the passion this city has for music, especially jazz,” said OCA Executive Director Camille Russell Love. “The Atlanta Jazz Festival has brought the genre’s most beloved jazz performers to our wonderful city free-of-charge, and we’re excited to bring more superb talent for the upcoming festival.”

Creative Loafing’s annual Best of Atlanta list honors institutions, creatives, entrepreneurs, and businesses that are true to the Atlanta spirit, while showcasing the best the city has to offer.  The full list of winners can be found here.

The Reader’s Pick award follows the announcement of the 2018 lineup for the Emerging Jazz Icons Series concerts featuring Camille Thurman and the Darrell Green Trio on Saturday, November 17, followed by Joel Ross on Saturday, January 12.

Both concerts lead into the 42nd annual Atlanta Jazz Festival, hosted in Piedmont Park on Memorial Day Weekend, May 25–26, 2019.

The OCA thanks everyone who voted to recognize the Atlanta Jazz Festival for this distinction. Look for more details regarding the upcoming 42nd annual Atlanta Jazz Festival as they emerge. For additional information about the Emerging Jazz Icons Series concerts, click here.

The Emerging Jazz Icons Series Returns for the 2018 Season

The 2018 Emerging Jazz Icons Series will feature Camille Thurman (left) and the Darrell Green Trio on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, and Joel Ross (Right) on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 (Note: January’s concert has been canceled).


UPDATE: Due to unforeseen complications, our Emerging Jazz Icon Series concert scheduled for January 12 with Joel Ross has been canceled. However, Joel Ross is currently in negotiations to perform for the 2019 Atlanta Jazz Festival.

More details about his upcoming performance will be shared as they come available.


The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) and the Atlanta Jazz Festival are proud to announce the return of the Emerging Jazz Icons Series. 

Organized in partnership with Public Broadcasting Atlanta and The Woodruff Arts Center, the Emerging Jazz Icons Series promote new and up-and-coming jazz artists while introducing the art form to a new generation. 

The 2018 season of the Emerging Jazz Icons Series will feature Camille Thurman and the Darrell Green Trio on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018, and Joel Ross on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019 (January’s concert has been canceled). All concerts will take place in The Woodruff Arts Center’s Rich Auditorium and lead up to the 42nd Atlanta Jazz Festival, scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend (May 25– 26, 2019) in Piedmont Park. 

Tickets for this season of concerts will be available at and the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office. 

Tickets for the Emerging Jazz Icons Series featuring Camille Thurman and the Darrell Green Trio are now on sale. Purchase your tickets here.

About Camille Thurman
Acclaimed singer Camille Thurman has amazed audiences throughout the world with her impeccable sound, remarkable vocal virtuosity, and captivating artistry. An accomplished performer and composer, Thurman has worked with notable Jazz and R&B icons such as Dianne Reeves, Pattie LaBelle, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott, and Erykah Badu, among others. Thurman has also performed and toured throughout China, Africa, South America, Europe, and Central America with her band. She has also received multiple accolades for her talent. Most notably, Thurman was the recipient of the Martin E. Segal –Lincoln Center Award for Outstanding Young Artists.

About Joel Ross
A Chicago native, Joel Ross has performed with historic and seasoned artist such as Herbie Hancock, Louis Hayes, Christian McBride, and Stefon Harris – as well as with cutting-edge contemporaries like Ambrose Akinmusire, Gerald Clayton, Jon Batiste and many more. Twice selected as a Thelonious Monk Institute National All-Star, Ross has performed at multiple festivals including the Brubeck, Monterey, Seattle, and Chicago Jazz Festivals. Ross has just recorded his debut album “Good Vibes” and formed his own ensemble under the same name. 

OCA, Alliance Theatre, and AJF Host Night of Jazz and Theatre at the Woodruff Arts Center

Georgia State University Associate Professor Dr. Maurice J. Hobson pictured with panelists Phillip DePoy, Playwright of Nick’s Flamingo Grill, and Joe Alterman, Jazz Pianist and Director of The Atlanta Jewish Music Festival.


The “History of Jazz in Atlanta,” presented in collaboration with the Alliance Theatre and The Atlanta Jazz Festival, Inc. saw more than 120 people come together at the Woodruff Arts Center’s Rich Auditorium to engage in an enlightening panel discussion and Q&A about jazz music’s influence on the city’s culture.  The event included exclusive excerpts from the Alliance Theatre’s new musical “Nick’s Flamingo Grill,” which tells the story of two G.I.s turned jazz musicians who attempt to transport their racially mixed performance from abroad to 1950s Atlanta.  

The evening opened with remarks from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs’ (OCA) Executive Director, Camille Russell Love. The panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Maurice J. Hobson, Associate Professor of African American Studies at Georgia State University, with insights from panelists Phillip DePoy, Playwright of Nick’s Flamingo Grill, and Joe Alterman, Jazz Pianist and Director of The Atlanta Jewish Music Festival.  

The speakers shared their thoughts regarding the importance of Jazz as an art form and the cultural significance of the city’s first integrated jazz club, which inspired the play. Thanks to everyone who attended and participated in the discussion.  

Performances of Nick’s Flamingo Grill start September 29 and run until October 28 in the Alliance Theatre’s Hertz Stage. For more information, visit  

Also, look for information regarding the Atlanta Jazz Festival’s Emerging Jazz Icons Series returning this fall. 

Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Releases Annual Report

The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA), which manages the city’s multiple cultural and arts-based endeavors, recently released its 2017 Annual Report. The report highlights OCA’s efforts to spur stronger and more inclusive growth and explains the surprising economic impact the arts provide.

The report also demonstrates the collective impact of the OCA, whose subunits include Gallery 72, Chastain Arts Center, the city’s Public Art Services, and the Atlanta Jazz Festival, just to name a few, which generates surprising fiscal value for metro Atlanta in the form of approximately $15 million in economic impact to the city through its annual Atlanta Jazz Festival and ELEVATE temporary public art festival. Furthermore, the report reveals the direct and indirect benefits the OCA provides Atlantans through its various programs, such as the more than 30,000 Atlanta Public Schools students it engages annually via its Cultural Experience Project (CEP).

To view the OCA’s 2017 Annual Report, please use the following link. Follow the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest announcements.

OCA 2017 Annual Report

31 Days of Jazz Event Calendar

Of course you’re coming  out to the Atlanta Jazz Festival on Memorial Day Weekend in Piedmont Park…but come out to any of our 31 Days of Jazz events and enjoy all that the City has to offer! Check out our event calendar here!

Don’t forget to bookmark our mobile channel at for up-to-date festival and park information!

OCA Newsletter :: May 2018


May Newsletter

The Atlanta Jazz Festival is Approaching


The Atlanta Jazz Festival (AJF) is regarded as one of the largest, FREE jazz festivals in the country. An annual celebration of the music, culture and art of jazz that lasts throughout May and culminates each Memorial Day weekend with an outdoor festival in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park, featuring jazz artists from all over the world.

The mission of the AJF is to expose and entertain a diverse audience of Jazz aficionados, young Jazz enthusiasts and aspiring musicians to the rich heritage and variety of Jazz as an authentic form of American music.

The festival is produced by the City of Atlanta – Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and is FREE and open to the public. It is made possible thanks to funding from corporate sponsors and Atlanta Jazz Festival, Inc., a non-profit entity dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Atlanta Jazz Festival. For more information, visit

The Bud Light Lounge

Late Night Jazz Jam

After enjoying the jazz outdoors in Piedmont Park, contemporary jazz lovers can walk over to Park Tavern and enjoy the highly anticipated Late Night Jazz Jam on Saturday, May 26, featuring Russell Gunn & The Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra. Tickets are $40.

The Atlanta Jazz Festival’s Late Night Jazz Jam is one of the festival’s most popular events. For more information, click here.


Partners of the Atlanta Jazz Festival will host jazz events every day leading up to the Atlanta Jazz Festival on Memorial Day weekend in Piedmont Park. 

From MARTA stations, museums, jazz clubs and restaurants, our 31 Days of Jazz series provides a little something for everyone.

Click here for the 31 Days of Jazz calendar.

Neighborhood Jazz Series


Join your local City of Atlanta council members each week during our Neighborhood Jazz Series.

Each weekend, we partner with a different council member to bring jazz and fun to different corners of Atlanta. Come and enjoy great music and great times while we highlight Atlanta’s unique and historic neighborhoods! Each Neighborhood Jazz Series starts at 4 p.m.

Neighborhood Jazz Series Dates:

May 6: Neighborhood Jazz Series at West Manor Park presented by Council President Felicia Moore and Council Member Andre Dickens with performances from Gritz and Jelly Butter and Wolfpack ATL. Watch promo video here.

May 12: Neighborhood Jazz Series at Washington Park presented by Council Member Ivory Lee Young, Jr., in conjunction with the Atlanta Beltline, with performances from Latrese Bush and Lil’ John Roberts and Friends. Watch promo video here.

May 13: Neighborhood Jazz Series at John A. White Park presented by Council Member Marci Collier Overstreet with performances from EQ and Brenda Nicole Moorer. Watch promo video here.

May 19: Neighborhood Jazz Series at Wilson Mill Park presented by Council Member Andrea L. Boone with performances from Groove Centric and Julie Dexter

May 20: Neighborhood Jazz Series at Grant Park presented by Council Member Carla Smith with performances from Mabu’s Ark Band and The Milk Shake Quintet.

MARTA Mondays

MARTA Mondays feature FREE, LIVE JAZZ at a different MARTA station every Monday in May, starting at 4 p.m. These two-hour jazz concerts are a preview to the upcoming Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park on May 26 and 27.

2018 MARTA Mondays Schedule:

May 7Lindbergh Station, 4 p.m. featuring the Chris Burroughs Trio

May 14: Avondale Station, 4 p.m. featuring the Mike Walton Quartet

May 21Midtown Station, 4 p.m. featuring Grüt

Sights and Insights

Calling all artists in the Southeast! Don’t miss your chance to apply for the 2018 Southeastern Regional Art Exhibit: SIGHTS AND INSIGHTS, which will be held in the Chastain Gallery, June 18th through July 30th. Entry is open to all artists aged 18 and over who are residents of AL, FL, GA, NC, SC or TN. For more information and criteria for entry, click here. Deadline to enter is Friday, May 4th, 2018.

Summer Camp and Teen Workshops

Summer is almost here and our 2018 Art à la carte Summer Camp is a little more than a month away! Register your child or teen for our summer camp and teen workshop today. To view our Summer Camp and teen workshop schedule, please visit our website. Make sure your child or teen doesn’t miss out on all the fun! Call us today to register!

Artist Talk at Gallery 72 – Elyse Defoor
Thursday, May 17 at 7 p.m.

Our lives are meant to do something. To have a hopeful outcome is to experience joy. Some people experience life with sunken resentment. I use art to slog through the morass of obstacles set before me. Unbridled– joy, loss, rage, joy– is my treatise on the passage of womanhood from the 1950s to today. This work has moved me from collecting wedding dresses and the comments from the women who wore them, to the ongoing study of the black belt with all its meanings, to the shed skins of Exuvia and, back again, to present the empty dresses in a new way. With authentic reverence, the beauty of darkness and light holds the conflicts of joy, loss, rage and joy in the full circle of life.

Call For Panelists for 2019 Grant Cycle

Buried Truths

The Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will co-produce a concert staging of the Tony Award-winning musical Candide in Symphony Hall. In this popular adaptation of Voltaire’s satirical novel, the naïve Candide is separated from his beloved and journeys around the world to find her while fiercely retaining his mentor’s belief that “this is the best of all possible worlds” in the face of ever-increasing catastrophes. Candide will feature a cast of actors, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Atlanta Symphony Chorus in this historic Alliance Theatre/Atlanta Symphony Orchestra co-production.  

Click here to RSVP and for more information. 





The Atlanta Jazz Festival Presents A Global Concert Viewing Party for International Jazz Day at The Plaza Theatre


The Atlanta Jazz Festival will host a free viewing party of The 2018 All-Star Global Concert on Monday, April 30 at The Plaza Theatre beginning at 4 p.m. Doors will open at 3:30 p.m.

The All-Star Global Concert will feature a stellar lineup of international artists representing jazz, and many other genres of music, for a performance that spans styles, cultures and languages taking place at St. Petersburg’s famed Mariinsky Theatre, home to the internationally acclaimed Mariinsky Ballet and one of the crown jewels of a city renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The 2018 All-Star Global Concert will feature nearly three dozen acclaimed artists representing 14 countries, including many Atlanta Jazz Festival past performers. Herbie Hancock (USA) and Igor Butman (Russia) will serve as co-artistic directors, and John Beasley (USA) will serve as musical director.

Additional confirmed artists include: Cyrille Aimée (France), Oleg Akkuratov (Russia), Till Brönner (Germany), Oleg Butman (Russia), Terri Lyne Carrington (USA), Joey DeFrancesco (USA), Fatoumata Diawara (Mali), Vadim Eilenkrig (Russia), Kurt Elling (USA), Antonio Faraò (Italy), James Genus (USA), Robert Glasper (USA), David Goloschyokin (Russia), Hassan Hakmoun (Morocco), Gilad Hekselman (Israel), Horacio Hernandez (Cuba), Taku Hirano (Japan), Anatoly Kroll (Russia), Gaoyang Li (China), Rudresh Mahanthappa (USA), The Manhattan Transfer (USA), Branford Marsalis (USA), James Morrison (Australia), Moscow Jazz Orchestra (Russia), Makoto Ozone (Japan), Danilo Pérez (Panama), Dianne Reeves (USA), Lee Ritenour (USA), Luciana Souza (Brazil) and Ben Williams (USA), among others.

In the spirit of International Jazz Day, each year’s All-Star Global Concert takes place in a landmark venue with rich historical significance to the Global Host City and to the hosting nation. Long considered Russia’s cultural capital, St. Petersburg has played an important role in the popularization and development of jazz in Russia. The country’s jazz scene was born in 1927 in St. Petersburg with the appearance of the “First Concert Jazz Band” at the St. Petersburg State Capella, followed by the creation of the first jazz collective in 1929. Moreover, St. Petersburg is the only city in the country to have a Jazz Philharmonic Hall, founded in 1989.

The viewing party will be shown at The Plaza Theatre, a venue of cultural significance on the verge of celebrating its 80th anniversary. The theatre, located at 1049 Ponce De Leon Avenue, NE, was designed by architect George Harwell Bond and opened on December 23, 1939 as an art deco cinema and live theater space. In early 2013, the Plaza Theatre was sold to theatre enthusiast Michael Furlinger and has undergone extensive alterations to its original appearance, including the addition of a full-service bar with signature cocktails.

The event is free; however, registration is encouraged. Click here to register to attend the event.

OCA Newsletter :: April 2018


April Newsletter



Highlights include Jon Batiste with The Dap-Kings, Dianne Reeves, The Bad Plus and Jazzmeia Horn, to name a few.

In a video announcement released Tuesday March 27, 2018, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms revealed the artist lineup for the 41st annual Atlanta Jazz Festival. The lineup includes a variety of jazz sounds and stylings presented on three stages: The Legends Stage, The Contemporary Stage and The Next Gen Stage. The country’s longest running free jazz festival will take place for two days over Memorial Day Weekend: Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27, in Piedmont Park. For the first time in the event’s history, Saturday will feature a special all-female jazz lineup.

Restoration of Homage to St. Eom’s Pasaquan

The Office of Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce the completion of the Homage to St. EOM’s Pasaquan artwork restoration. The artwork was created by the late Eddie Owens Martin as a part of Folk Art Park during the 1996 Olympics. The piece pays homage to the original work located in Buena Vista, Ga. The Homage to St EOM’s Pasaquan incorporated large cast-concrete totems painted in vibrant colors, surrounded by brightly-painted mandala designs that vaguely reference Pacific-Islander sculpture and aboriginal artwork. The City of Atlanta provides stewardship to the piece and was made possible through the generous help of the Community Foundation, GPC Renovations, and artists: Jan Riley, Addison Adams, and Adrian Barzaga. The site is expected to be open to the public Mid-April.

Emerging Artist’s Exhibition Opening Reception

April 12th, 2018 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs presents this year’s Emerging Artist Exhibition, the opening reception  of the exhibit will be held Thursday, April 12th from 6 – 8 PM at the Chastain Arts Center. This exhibit is designed to support practicing artists residing in the City of Atlanta. The public is invited to come meet this year’s recipients: Charlina Rose Smith, Bella Dorado, and Lauren Peterson. Come out and support these local artists!

Ernest G. Welch Fellows MFA Exhibitions

April 2nd – April 6th

Maryam Palizgir’s : “Folded Mystery”
Folded Mystery project is the metaphors for how we exchange knowledge, how perception widens our perspective, and how observation deepens our understanding of the reality in which we live. I seek works of art that activate once the viewer is involved. Folded Mystery is about challenging viewers’ perception and multi-perception embodiment through 2D and 3D drawings, sculptural paintings installations focusing on the interaction of geometric abstract forms, colors, reflective objects and layering grid-like materials in space. I intend to focus on the complexity of space by making sculptural installations that allow me to look into and through things. I also bring photography into this exchange. I am preoccupied with finding new ways of seeing through the experimental cross-fertilization of drawing, sculpture, and photography, which stimulated a philosophically oriented questioning of vision and perception.

Aaron Kagan Putt’s “Another Failed Attempt”

Aaron Kagan Putt was raised in the dry heat and saguaro speckled landscape of Tucson, Arizona, not far from the border with Mexico. He ventured often between these divided territories, developing an intense interest in travel and cultural hybridity. Much of his work investigates the intersection between culture and its material manifestations on the landscape.
The works in Another Failed Attempt explores the impulse to manipulate material and forms as a means to achieve personal and societal transformation. Adopting a hybrid and nomadic form, this series of sculptures and paintings probe themes of utopian architecture, self-improvement and the human desire to memorialize.
Putt has been awarded grants by the Minnesota State Arts Board and his work has been exhibited internationally. He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia and is currently a Master of Fine Arts and Master of Art History candidate at the Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design at Georgia State University.

Elyse Defoor “Unbridled” 
April 12th –June 7th 2018

On April 12th, 2018 Artist Elyse Defoor’s exhibition “Unbridled” opens at Gallery 72.   “Unbridled” features bodies of work in sculpture, photography, and other media, that explore the emotional dichotomies of the human experience through meditations on marriage, restraint, death, rebirth and unbounded freedom. Through the creative use of ceremonial and mundane materials Defoor brings the viewer into spaces of mythic resonance and lived memory.

Art & Urban Resilience Discussion Panel and Reception
April 18th , 2018 6:30 pm to  11 pm

Over the recent years, the global community established a political and social trajectory of development known as the sustainability movement. The sustainability approach to development integrates dimensions of economic growth, social cohesion, and resilience. They are captured under 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the global community at the United Nations in September, 2015. Among the specific goals are: Goal 3 – Good health and Well-being for People, Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 12- Responsible Consumption and Production, Goal 13 – Climate Action. The goals among other embed universal ambition of preserving the world we live in for future generations.
Atlanta  is no stranger to these ambitions, in fact, it has recently joined the 100 Resilient Cities campaign and adopted a resilience strategy that pursues the vision of sustainable growth in Atlanta’s local context. What is unique about the vision is the very key role that art and culture occupy. Art and Culture become vehicles to achieve ambitions of resilience urban future of Atlanta, ready to absorb acute and chronic shocks and disasters – from environmental degradation to racial inequality, and urban sprawl. The role of art and culture in defining the progressive direction of Atlanta’s growth is very distinct from other urban centers. From civil rights movement and socio-political change to Captain Planet and the environmental movement, art held a key role in promoting grassroots driven behavioral and political change in Atlanta city context. This trend is still very much alive today among the existing artist community in Atlanta, who create public a (community) art within the local and global themes of social cohesion, development, and environmental protection.
Building on the historical contributions of art to change, the Urban Catalyst Lab and the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs is putting together a local and global expert panel to discuss the role and capacity of art to address the current global and local issues of development, and to initiate and facilitate social, behavioral and political change. Using concrete current and historic, local and global examples, the panel will explore the role of arts in building urban resilience and sustainability, and show the inherent link between art and sustainable urban growth.
The panel will include the recent local to global art community intervention in Johns Creek, a focus on the past and  current exhibitions at Gallery 72,  and the development of the upcoming art + urban resilience lab,

The panel will engage speakers from Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and Office Resilience, local and international artists to discuss how art, policy and change align to achieve sustainable urban future.

The panelists include: 
William Massey: Atlanta based artist, ColorATL
Hanif Kureshi: Indian artist, S+art Delhi Street art Festival
Kevin Sipp: Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
Michelle Wiseman: Mayor’s Office of Resilience
Lynda Smith: Johns Creek Convention and Visitors Bureau
Ruxanda Renita & Ana Gabriele Sabancevaite: Urban Catalyst Lab

Virtual Reality Art by Jessica Anderson
Music by DJ Stan Zeff 

Contracts For Arts Services Application Workshops

Call For Panelists for 2019 Grant Cycle

Contract For Arts Services Emerging Artists Award Recipients

April 12th, 2018 6:30pm – 8:00pm

On Thursday, April 12th at the Chastain Art Center Gallery from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs will recognize three Emerging Artist Award recipients in the categories of Dance and Visual Arts. The artists will be honored with a reception and an exhibition of their work.

Each year, the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs through the Contracts for Arts Services program recognizes rising stars in the arts through the Emerging Artist Award which promotes the work of professional artists of notable talent and ability living and creating are within the city of Atlanta.

This year’s recipients are:

Gabriella “Bella” Dorado
Bella Dorado is a choreographer, performing artist, educator, and producer. Her movement is characterized by a driving sinuous flow and explorations of vulnerability and the dark places full of risk and magic. Learn more about the artist by visiting her website.

Lauren Peterson
Lauren Peterson is an interdisciplinary artist who creates new systems for devalued objects, focusing on the potential ontological ramifications of a consumption-based society. Learn more about the artist by visiting her website.

Charlina “Rose” Smith
Rose uses photography for activism, to discuss social issues that reflect the present time, and to tell the story of the black experience in America. Learn more about the artist by visiting her website.

OCA Selected as Winners of KaBOOM! Play Everywhere Challege

On Saturday, March 3rd , The Play Everywhere Tour, powered by KaBOOM! and Target, visited Atlanta, bringing families and kids together for FREE, fun-filled family play. As part of the Tour, the Play Everywhere Challenge winners were announced, awarding $720,000 in total grants for creative projects that encourage play in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Miami. The City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs has been selected a Play Everywhere Challenge winner. We have been awarded a $25,000 to help support our project “John Lewis’s Ride to Freedom.” The project includes incorporating a play space on the PATH Trail in Freedom Park near “The Bridge” artwork dedicated to Congressman John Lewis. The play space will focus on the 1961 Freedom Riders Route from Washington, DC to New Orleans, LA. An artist derived play-scape on the PATH trail would consist of outlines of states the Freedom Riders traveled incorporating games and activities for kids to follow the Freedom Riders path. The second element will be a bus play structure to represent the Freedom Rider’s bus. The bus will allow for several kids to play at a time, while also engaging them in facts about the Freedom Riders and significant events along the route. The families in the area, as well as other visitors, will have a place to play and exercise while also learning about one of the greatest civil rights leaders; Congressman John Lewis. KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids the childhood they deserve through great, safe places to play. The Play Everywhere Challenge and Tour are part of a broader effort led by KaBOOM! and Target focused on engaging communities to help families make active play a part of everyday life. By the end of the year, KaBOOM! and Target will bring more than 260 new playspaces to life, reaching more than a half-million kids across

Hooked on Books
Whiskey & Ribbons

The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Human Resources hosted critically acclaimed author, Leesa Cross-Smith to introduce her first novel, Whiskey & Ribbons. Cross- Smith concluded her week in Atlanta by engaging with City of Atlanta employees in a brief conversation and book signing. She talked about the structure of the novel, how she has written it as “a fuge… a piece of music with three voices and three narrators. I’ve written the book for black women.” Whiskey & Ribbons is told in three intertwining, melodic voices: Evi in present day, as she’s snowed in with Dalton during a freak blizzard; Eamon before his murder, as he prepares for impending fatherhood and grapples with the danger of his profession; and Dalton, as he struggles to make sense of his life next to Eamon’s, and as he decides to track down the biological father he’s never known. If you missed Leesa Cross-Smith during her time in Atlanta, there is another opportunity to hear more about Whiskey & Ribbons and meet Leesa, at the Decatur Book Festival August 31 – September 2, 2018. Learn more about this wonderful author, her warm and bright spirit, and other works of fiction here.

Buried Truths

In 1948, three black farmers decided they’d had enough. They were going to vote in rural South Georgia, where white supremacists held power by suppressing the black vote. Pulitzer-Prize winning author, journalist and Emory University professor Hank Klibanoff explores the mysteries and injustices of history through civil rights cases that few have seen.  How far would white supremacists go — on the streets, in the courtrooms, in the legislatures — to preserve their racial dominance? And, most importantly, why? Who were we back then? The truth is restless, relevant and revealed.

Click here for more information. 





Jazz Appreciation Month (Learn More…)

Jazz Appreciation Month (fondly known as “JAM”) was created at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2001 to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz for the entire month of April.

JAM is intended to stimulate and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz – to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more.

Jazz Appreciation Month 2018: Jazz and Justice

This year, JAM celebrates the relationship between jazz and justice by looking beyond the music to the dynamic ways jazz has played a transformative role in social justice, musician’s rights, and equality since its birth in America. For the first time JAM will not feature a musician but instead hightlight “one of the most influential nonmusicians in jazz history,” producer Norman Granz, and his work as an innovative producer, tireless promoter for his musicians, and uncompromising advocate for civil rights.

Ways to Celebrate Jazz, Both Inside and Outside of the Classroom

Looking for ideas and other ways to celebrate jazz during April and year-round? Find the category that best suits you or your organization and read through some of our favorite ways to celebrate and participate with jazz:


Teachers | Students | Parents | Band Directors | Fans | Musicians | Historians | Collectors | Philanthropists


Libraries | Churches | Jazz Societies | Museums & Historical Societies | Performing Arts Organizations | Foundations | Public Radio Stations

2018 JAM Poster: Jazz and Justice

The 2018 Jazz Appreciation Month Poster is the second in a special three-year series featuring the center section of LeRoy Neiman’s Big Band, a large-scale painting that hangs on the first floor of the National Museum of American History. The JAM Posters from 2017 and 2019 feature the left and right side of the painting respectively, so that when all three are hung next to each other, the iconic painting can be recreated! Big Band is a gift of the LeRoy Neiman Foundation.Part Two of the Big Band JAM Poster Series (2017-2019)

This year, JAM invites all jazz fans and appreciators to look beyond the music to the dynamic ways jazz has played a transformative role in social justice, musicians’ rights, and equality. Our featured JAM artist this year, producer Norman Granz, devoted his life to civil rights and equality – within the music industry and beyond. Through numerous record labels and his iconic touring show, Jazz at the Philharmonic, he helped propel many jazz musicians to greatness. Fittingly, all the musicians featured in this section of the JAM poster had careers that overlapped or were influenced by Norman Granz: