Fayetteville is in for a s’wonderful treat this weekend. Strap on your dancing shoes and get ready for the third annual Fayetteville Jazz Festival on April 23, 24 and 25.

Featured guest artists include saxophonist Alexa Tarantino (Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Cecile McLorin Salvant Quintet, Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra), trumpet player Rodney Block (Kirk Whalum, Ellis Marsalis, Doug E. Fresh), vocalist Carmen Bruner, and organist Jeremy Thomas (Joey Defrancesco, Arturo Sandoval, David Sanborn), with pianist Reggie James, drummer Anthony Ball, guitarist Jake Hertzog, vocalist Lauren Nicole Clare, bassist Kyth Trantham, drummer Chris Teal, moderator Dr. Jeffery Murdock (University of Arkansas), musicologist Dr. Kimberly Hannon Teal (University of Arkansas), music theorist Dr. Joon Park, and the University of Arkansas Jazz Orchestra directed by Dr. Rick Salonen.

The University of Arkansas Community Music School, Institute for Creative Music (IfCM), and Fayetteville Public Library will host festival events throughout the weekend. This event features performances, a panel discussion, school performance clinics, and workshops on jazz history, theory and improvisation. All festival events are free to the public and will be held with a combination of outdoor performances at Prairie Street Live and live streaming events from Fayetteville Public Library, according to the event’s website.

Regional college, high school, middle school, and junior high school jazz bands are invited to participate in performance clinics with Alexa Tarantino and other world-renowned jazz musicians. The performance clinics will take place remotely in the two weeks leading up to the festival through live-streaming workshops during the school day. School groups can register for a 30-minute live feedback session based on their 20-minute pre-recorded performance at https://forms.gle/HxvSicUc5ajGuTJn9 for $100 per group. The Institute for Creative Music (a registered 501c3 non-profit) will award several scholarships to the 2021 IfCM Jazz and Creative Music Camp to high-performing students who participate in the school performance clinics.

Music Moves promotes the extraordinary contribution of African Americans to music of all genres including jazz and this will be their first year of collaboration with the festival. Music Moves is committed to educating and engaging the community by making high-quality performances of Black music and educational materials accessible to everyone. The organization has partnered with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, Walton Arts Center, Crystal Bridges, NWA Council, the University of Arkansas, and other NWA organizations to bring live performances to the Northwest Arkansas community and to make programming available to a broader audience online. You can find more information at the Music Moves website and Facebook page.

All events shall require social distancing and face covering and will comply with all applicable COVID-19 directives of the ADH, state of Arkansas and U of A. Visit https://health.uark.edu/coronavirus/returning-to-campus/index.php for more information.

Festival Schedule:

*All events free and open to the public unless marked otherwise but individuals must register in advance through the links below:

Friday, April 23: Day 1 at U of A Greek Theatre and Prairie Street Live

University of Arkansas (UA community only, will be recorded and streamed after the events):

  • 10 a.m.-10:50 p.m: Alexa Tarantino workshop with UA flute students

  • 11 a.m.-11:50 a.m: Alexa Tarantino workshop with UA saxophone students

  • 12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m: U of A Jazz Ensemble Performance

  • 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m: Panel discussion on “When Swing was King” with Rodney Block, Alexa Tarantino, Carmen Bruner, and Dr. Kimberly Hannon Teal. Moderated by Dr. Jeffery Murdock from the U of A Music Department

  • 3 p.m.-3:30 p.m: Alexa Tarantino performance with Jake Hertzog, Kyth Trantham, Chris Teal

Prairie Street Live (Free and open to the public):

Saturday, April 24: Day 2 at U of A, Fayetteville Public Library, and Prairie Street Live

University of Arkansas (closed to the public, will be recorded and streamed after the event):

  • 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m.: Alexa Tarantino performance workshop with UA/CMS jazz students

Fayetteville Public Library (live streamed but closed to the public because of COVID-19 restrictions):

Prairie Street Live (Free and open to the public):

Sunday, April 25: Day 3 at Christian Life Cathedral and Prairie Street Live

Christian Life Cathedral (Free and open to the public):

  • 10 a.m.-11 a.m: Jeremy Thomas at Christian Life Cathedral

Prairie Street Live (Free and open to the public):