Smokey Robinson Leads Tri-C JazzFest Lineup

The organizers for the 32nd annual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland have announced an extensive lineup of jazz, blues and R&B artists for this year's event.

Smokey Robinson, the King of Motown, plays JazzFest for the first time, crooning selections from his seemingly endless arsenal of Top 40 hits. Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Cleveland Orchestra salute Ella Fitzgerald, the First Lady of Song, plus Orchestre National de Jazz, straight from France, pays tribute to drummer and vocalist Robert Wyatt.

From April 28 to May 8, JazzFest heats up Cleveland with a dizzying array of the best in jazz. The always popular Smooth Jazz All-Stars return with an award-winning cast, including Dave Koz and Brian Simpson, and "avant-groove" group Medeski, Martin & Wood highlight a jam-band evening of free jazz, funk and hip hop. New Orleans legend Trombone Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue kick off the festival with their rollicking "Supafunkrock" sound at the House of Blues.

JazzFest continues its tradition of spotlighting up-and-coming artists with the "Debut Series," this year featuring trumpet players Ambrose Akinmusire and Maurice Brown and saxophonist Tia Fuller. "Women in Jazz" salutes singer Betty Carter, the Godmother of Jazz, while local great Ernie Krivda and an all-star band of Midwestern artists pay homage to jazz from the Heartland. For the young, and young at heart, Joe Hunter reprises his "Jazz for Kids" series at the Children's Museum of Cleveland, while MOCA hosts versatile pianist Robert Glasper, who effortlessly connects jazz and blues to contemporary urban sounds.

Wednesday, April 27, 8:00 p.m. Special JazzFest Preview for the Community: The Eddie Baccus Organ Summit with Special Guest Bobby Floyd, Karamu House

Thursday, April 28, 5:00 p.m. Kick Off Day: Mardi Gras Parade, Tower City Center

Thursday, April 28, 7:00 p.m. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, House of Blues

Friday, April 29, 8:00 p.m. A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald with Dee Dee Bridgewater and The Cleveland Orchestra, Severance Hall

Friday, April 29, 8:00 p.m. Orchestre National de Jazz: The Robert Wyatt Project, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Saturday, April 30, 1:00 p.m. Women in Jazz A Tribute to Betty Carter, Olivet Baptist Church

Saturday, April 30, 8:00 p.m. Smooth Jazz All-Stars Featuring Mindi Abair, Rick Braun, Dave Koz, Kenny Lattimore, Ray Parker, Jr. and Brian Simpson, State Theatre at PlayhouseSquare

Sunday, May 1, 4:00 p.m. Debut Series with The Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet and The Tia Fuller Quartet, East Cleveland Public Library

Sunday, May 1, 8:00 p.m. Debut Series with Maurice Brown, Nighttown

Monday, May 2, 6:30 p.m. Sammy DeLeon y su Orquesta at the International Children's Festival, "Celebrating the Music of Tito Puente", State Theatre at PlayhouseSquare

Monday, May 2, 7:00 p.m. The Dave Sterner Quintet and the Tri-C Jazz Studies Performance Combo, Brothers Lounge

Tuesday, May 3, 7:00 p.m. Ernie Krivda's "Thunder from the Heartland", The Hermit Club

Wednesday, May 4, 8:00 p.m. The Robert Glasper Trio, MOCA Cleveland

Thursday, May 5, 8:00 p.m. "Miles & Trane @ 85 Re-Imagined" TCJF Soundworks with special guests NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson and drummer Ndugu Chancler, Tri-C Metro Auditorium

Friday, May 6, 6:00 p.m. DownBeat Invitational The Tri-C JazzFest High School All-Stars, Music of Benny Golson and Bobby Watts, Tri-C Metro Theatre

Friday, May 6, 7:00 p.m. "Tri-C JamFest" Three Bands-One Jam: Medeski, Martin & Wood, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Will Bernard, State Theatre at PlayhouseSquare

Saturday, May 7, 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. Jazz for Kids, Children's Museum of Cleveland

Saturday, May 7, 3:00 p.m. Gospel Jazz with Present Day and special guest Sean Jones, Antioch Baptist Church

Saturday, May 7, 8:00 p.m. Smokey Robinson, State Theatre at PlayhouseSquare

Sunday, May 8, 10:30 a.m. Oikos Ensemble - Jazz Vespers, Pilgrim United Church of Christ

Sunday, May 8, 3:00 p.m. Regina Carter's "Reverse Thread", Gartner Auditorium, Cleveland Museum of Art

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