Philly-based trombonist, Ernest Stuart, has a lot on his plate with touring, teaching and performing these days, but still finds time to give back to the Philadelphia music community with the Center City Jazz Festival.
“I started Center City Jazz festival back in 2012 with a Kickstarter campaign,” Stuart says. “I was complaining about how the scene was going in a downward spiral — we lost a lot of jazz venues like Ortlieb’s Jazz House. It was where a lot of students in college would hear a lot of the local greats perform.”
For the seventh year in a row, the event takes place from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 29 at five different Center City venues, all within walking distance of each other.
“We’ll be at Milkboy, Fergie’s Pub, Time, Franky Bradley’s and Chris’ Jazz Cafe,” he says. “You get one wristband and you can go wherever you want to go. The festival sells out so it’s great to be in these packed rooms with people who love the music.”
A nod to April being Jazz Appreciation Month, 20 different acts will be performing the Center City Jazz Festival this year, and the lineup features a number of notable players like pianist Dave Kikoski, who’s played with Pat Matheny, Ravi Coltrane and Chick Corea, and guitarist Dave Manley, who’s toured and recorded with artists including Herbie Hancock, Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff and Dave Chappelle.
Stuart is particularly excited about trombonist Jeff Bradshaw performing.
“He’s one of the first trombonists I ever heard live. It’s so cool that he’s performing at my festival,” he says. “I first heard him at the Willingboro festival. My dad used to live across the street where the festival was held. It’s nice to have it come full circle in this way.”
Bradshaw is a trombone legend who’s performed with Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire and Patti LaBelle.
Given that the past three years have sold out, it’s strongly advised to buy your wristbands in advance to the Center City Jazz Festival, which cost $20 in advance. In the event there are some available the day of the festival, the cost jumps to $25.
For more information, visit: ccjazzfest.com.
The full line-up of artists is listed below.
1214 Sansom St.
1:00 p.m.-2:00 V. Shayne Fredericks
2:30-3:30 Diane Monroe & Tony Miceli Duo
4:00-5:00 Lena Seikaly
5:30-6:30 Ken Fowser
1100 Chestnut St.
1:00-2:00 Luke O’Reilly
2:30-3:30 Marcus Strickland And Twi-Life Delta
5:30-6:30 Dai Miyazaki
Chris’ Jazz Cafe
1421 Sansom St.
1:15-2:15 Nicole Saphos
2:45-3:45 Sharel Cassity
4:15-5:15 Arturo Stable
5:45-6:45 Dave Kikoski
1320 Chancellor St.
1:30-2:30 Ella Gahnt
3:00-4:00 Lucas Brown Quartet
4:30-5:30 Yuhan Su
6:00-7:00 Danny Janklow
1315 Sansom St.
1:45-2:45 Yesseh Furaha-Ali
3:15-4:15 Dave Manley
4:45-5:45 Chrome Els
6:15-7:15 Jeff Bradshaw Quartet