"HIGH POINT, N.C. - The Fifth Annual John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival (JCIJBF) is expanding to a two-day event, Sept. 5-6, during the Labor Day Weekend at Oak Hollow Festival Park.
“It was always our intention to move to a multi-day festival from the beginning,” said Joe Williams, co-founding member of the Friends of John Coltrane. Williams is the person in charge of talent acquisition and promotions and serves as the festival’s operations manager. “For the growth of the festival we always felt like it was necessary,” he continued. “The second day will give visiting guests more time to spend in our area, which will help support the local and regional economies.”
Jazz vocalist Patti Austin headlined the inaugural festival and Coltrane’s son, Ravi, an esteemed saxophonist in his own right, also christened the first event with his stellar performance. In the subsequent three years, many of the top names in jazz and blues have headlined the festival including Stanley Clarke, George Duke, the master of Latin Jazz - Poncho Sanchez, Al Jarreau, and the ultimate smooth jazz saxophone quartet led by Dave Koz which featured Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot. George Benson and Boney James headlined last year’s festival.
The festival has introduced the Piedmont to many up and coming artists including trumpeter Christian Scott, vocalist Morgan James and guitar phenomenon Andreas Varady.
The expansion to a two day festival is a celebration of its growth and stability. The additional day will allow headlining artists more performing time.
“It is an opportunity to bring in additional artists, to expose a broader array of talent and to give artists adequate stage time,” Williams explained. “So we’re not pushing a lot of talent in one day -- it gives the festival the ability to breathe.”
The announcement next month of the line-up of artists for the 5th Coltrane Jazzfest will coincide with the new website launch.
About the Friends of John Coltrane:
The Friends of John Coltrane, Inc. officially formed during the summer of 2009. The committee is an outgrowth of the individuals who worked for several years to raise funds to commission the John Coltrane statue that was erected in High Point, N.C. in 2006 along with a kiosk in 2008. In 2009, the group decided to work towards the creation of an annual International John Coltrane Jazz and Blues Festival. At that point, it was decided to file to become a 501(c)3 organization and to begin staging events to raise money and awareness. In August 2010, the IRS recognized the organization as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization."
- A Press Release