Big jazz festival planned for downtown Johnson City in May

Contributed To The Press • Updated Apr 18, 2017 at 4:51 PM

The inaugural Johnson City Jazz Festival, a three-day showcase of live jazz music, is scheduled for May 18-20 at three locations in and around downtown.

The event is being produced by volunteers to promote live jazz in the region. The schedule includes a free Thursday night jam at Carnegie Hotel, a free Friday night concert at Founders Park, and the main event on Saturday — a ticketed concert at TVA Credit Union Ballpark (formerly Cardinal Park) featuring six different artists.

"We have some great jazz artists in our region but there just aren't that many opportunities to see live jazz," said Steve Scheu of Time & Pay, coordinator and major sponsor. "This new festival showcases the amazing talent we have around here, plus it features some very talented artists from outside our area. And we've worked hard to make it affordable for everyone."

Shelley Crowe, another of the event organizers, said the festival includes a lot of ways to enjoy the music.

"Jazz fans around here may already know about the weekly JC Jazz Jam on Thursday night at Wellington’s in Carnegie Hotel. For the festival, we’ve created a special edition session featuring four groups," Crowe said. "On Friday, Matt Hall, an amazingly talented trombone player and his band will put on a free show in Founders Park for the Founders After Five summer music series. And it'll be really exciting to see the main event at TVA Credit Union Ballpark with six different bands.”

"There's never been a jazz festival like this in Johnson City. We have three different events in three different venues over three days. It should be a lot of fun for anyone who enjoys live music."

The event schedule includes:

JC Jazz Jam – Special Edition at Carnegie Hotel

Thursday, May 18, 8-11 p.m.


  • Maureen Renihan and Richard Shulman
  • Hot Club of the Mountains
  • Bill Perkins Quartet with Tom Peterson
  • The Funky Truth with Danny Farmer and Martin Walters

Cost: Tip for the bands

Jazz at Founders After Five

Friday, May 19, 6-8 p.m., Founders Park

Matt Hall Boptet

Cost: Free

Main Event

Saturday, May 20, 1-10 p.m.

TVA Credit Union Ballpark


  • Tri-Cities Jazz Orchestra
  • Michael Jefry Stevens Quartet
  • Rick Simerly Sextet
  • Keith Brown & Blueprint
  • Rahsaan Barber and Everyday Magic
  • Dan Wilson and DTC Organ Trio

Tickets through May 19 -- $20 general admission, $40 VIP (limited and not available at the gate).

Tickets day of show -- $25 general admission, $10 students with ID

Kids ages 12-under get in free.

The main event on Saturday is the only one that requires a ticket. The organizers are working with Tyler Parsons at the TVA Credit Union Ballpark to make Saturday fun and enjoyable, featuring a stage at second base so fans can relax in the field or enjoy the music from the stands. Food and beverage will be available for purchase, including a special Johnson City Jazz Festival beer created by JRH Brewing.

In addition to Time & Pay, other sponsors include TVA Credit Union Ballpark, Bank of Tennessee, Albert’s Pawn, Carnegie Hotel, Dunham & Deitel, Holston Distributing and Christian Schmid.

For details about the festival and to buy tickets, visit www.johnsoncityjazzfestival.com and follow the festival on Facebook (Johnson City Jazz Festival) and Instagram. (johnsoncityjazzfestival).

For more information, contact Joan Scheu at 423-854-8860 or email admin@johnsoncityjazzfestival.com.

Recommended for You

    Johnson City Press Videos