The Jacksonville Jazz Festival’s Impact Is Being Felt Citywide – Action News Jax
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – All weekend, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival drew tens of thousands of locals and tourists to the River City.
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Sunday is the last day, but the hustle and bustle downtown has given the whole area extra attention.
“It’s a good environment,” Jacksonville resident Dr. Kenyatta Lee said. “So I think that will help Jacksonville grow.”
He and his wife, LaQuita, say they have attended several Jacksonville jazz festivals over the years.
“I don’t know how many cities have free jazz events like this,” LaQuita said. “I think it’s amazing that Jacksonville offers this type of event for free to the community.”
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Action News Jax also spoke with Keith Phelps, one of the touring keyboardists, for Patti LaBelle.
“I think post-COVID is really exciting,” Phelps said. “It’s great that people can get out there, get back to the music and come together and the things that make us feel good.”
Phelps said he loves seeing how jazz music brings people together and looks forward to an exciting final day.
“I will close the festival with her tonight,” Phelps said.
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The line up attracts tens of thousands of people every day.
Anthony Raters is the house manager at Downtown kitchen and baran already busy venue just a mile from the activity of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival.
“We love it,” Raters said. “We like to bring that life back to the city. Downtown needs more. We love that these events come to fruition.
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Executive Chef Kevin Williamson brought major New Orleans flavor to the restaurant; it’s something new and loyal customers have been delighted with it, including this weekend.
“It’s being in contact with people who come to eat at this restaurant because they’ve been looking for something like this for a minute,” Williams said. “So my passion and their love for food makes it one big happy family coming together.”
Tourists and locals alike say they are optimistic about the city’s future.
Keith Hunt traveled from Clermont with his family and said he saw an incredible performance by Stephanie Mills.
“Jacksonville is a wonderful city,” Hunt said. “I would love to come back and see more of the city and see what Jacksonville has to offer.”
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Organizers claim the Jacksonville Jazz Festival is one of the largest free music festivals in the country.
“It’s right on the river,” Kenyatta said. “The backdrop is simply incomparable. Having this as a resource really brings the community and the city together. It’s quiet, clean and family-friendly. It was an awesome experience.”
District 7 Councilman Reggie Gaffney shared his thoughts on Sunday.
“I’m so excited that the last three days have been a great success,” Gaffney said. “Tonight is going to be even better. I just love what the City of Jacksonville is doing when it comes to figuring out what it takes to bring our community together. I believe we need to do more.
The last day of the festival will take place on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
To learn more about the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, CLICK HERE.
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