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37th annual Winter Park Jazz Fest brings big names, fresh faces

The 36th annual Winter Park Jazz Festival kicked off on Saturday morning at Hideaway Park.
McKenna Harford / mharford@skyhinews.com

Soulful saxophonists and smooth R&B crooners pack the lineup for this weekend’s 37th annual Jazz Festival in Winter Park.

The Jazz Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Hideaway Park with Boyz II Men headlining Saturday and Dave Koz on Sunday. Catherine Ross, executive director of the Winter Park-Fraser Chamber of Commerce, said they try to make each year’s lineup better than the last.

“We feel like we did accomplish that this year,” Ross said, adding that they also try to change it up each year.

Lineup

July 20

11 a.m. – Tony Exum, Jr.

12 p.m. – The Sax Pack

1:30 p.m. – Kindred

3 p.m. – Kirk Whalum

4:30 p.m. – Boyz II Men

July 21

11 a.m. – Darren Rahn

12 p.m. – Eric Roberson

1:30 p.m. – Adam Hawley and Marcus Anderson

3 p.m. – Ledisi

4:30 p.m. – Dave Koz and Friends Summer Horns

 

With so many variations of jazz, Winter Park’s festival likes to feature a number of styles, including R&B, smooth jazz and contemporary jazz, to draw crowds of all ages. Many of the performers are also crowd favorites, such as Eric Roberson and Dave Koz, and fresh faces, like Ledisi and Tony Exum, Jr. 

Other performers include The Sax Pack, Kindred, Darren Rahn and Adam Hawley and Marcus Anderson. Rounding out the tunes will be food, drinks and retail vendors at the park.

Returning audience members will note that the festival has a new system for serving alcohol. This year, guests will purchase beer, wine or cocktail tokens that can be redeemed at the Idlewild bar on site.

The event expects to draw 3,500-4,000 people each day, Ross said. She added that it sees a loyal audience each year and the chamber is grateful for the support.

“We love the music and we love showing off Winter Park and sharing it with our guests,” she said.

Tickets are still available online.


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