First time to Charlotte Jazz Festival? Check it out with these 5 free events

Charlotte Jazz Festival is taking the city by storm April 18-23 and is bringing some of the biggest names in jazz to one incredible long weekend. If you’re not sure where to start or just appreciate keeping some spontaneity in your weekends, here are five free events you can enjoy sans tickets.

(1) Lunch Hour Jazz

Pop over to the Levine Center for the Arts plaza for a lunch break with free entertainment. Get the lineup of artists hereMondayApril 18 – Friday, April 22, 11:30 a.m – 1 p.m. 

(2) Friday Happy Hour

Happy hour will be hosted at the Levine Center for the Arts plaza, 4 p.m to 7:15 p.m. on Friday, April 22.

Friday Happy Hour Schedule of Performances
4:00 – 5:15 PM · Calvin Edwards Trio (Blues)
5:30 – 6:30 PM · Machine Gun Preacher (Progressive/Modern)
6:30 – 7:15 PM · FAT FACE (Traditional)

late jams jazz fest

(3) Late Night Jams

Wrap up the night at sophisticated SoCo Bar at the Westin, with guest appearances by the members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23 at 11 p.m. 

(4) Free Fun on the Plaza

The Pavilion stage at Levine Center for the Arts will offer up free performances on Saturday so you can get a taste of everything. Saturday, April 23, 12 – 7 p.m. Do not miss the New Orleans style Second Line Parade leaving from the plaza at 4:30 p.m.! 

Schedule of Free Stage Performances
12:00 – 1:15 PM · JAI All-Stars (Straight Ahead)
1:30 – 2:45 PM · UNC Charlotte Jazz Faculty (Modern)
3:00 – 4:15 PM · Larry Draughn Ensemble (Straight Ahead)
4:30 – 6:00 PM · Mark Rapp Quintet (Standards/Modern)
6:15 – 7:15 PM · Tenya Coleman Duo (Vocal/Standards)

(5) Loonis McGlohon Young Jazz Artist Competition

Seven finalists in 8th grade through 12th grade will be accompanied by professional jazz musicians as they compete to win scholarships provided by the Leon Levine Foundation. They’ll be judged by members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Cheer on the students (or just enjoy the free show) at the Stage Door Theater, April 23 at 2 p.m. 

For the full Charlotte Jazz Festival lineup of events, click here.