Go | The best concerts in Jax this week

All that (Jacksonville) Jazz (Festival)

Babyface Jazz Fest
Jacksonville Jazz Festival's Sunday night headliner Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds | Credit: Image courtesy of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Jazz Fest is upon us. And beyond the action of the two Downtown Jacksonville stages, music will be pouring out of venues across the city. 

There’s a lot going on. Here’s what the JME team has their ears on this week. 

NOTE: The CDC recommends wearing a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission even if you are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others. In areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

Piano Virtuosity

Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition – Wednesday, September 29

Florida Theatre | DT Jax

A tradition for more than three decades, the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition will serve as a kickoff to one of the largest FREE jazz festivals in the world: the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. Five finalists, chosen through blind judging in July, will show off their piano virtuosity, competing for a monetary prize and a chance to perform at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival on Friday, October 1. Doors at 7 p.m.




Jazz jam at Wildcrafters Ulysses
Ulysses Owens, Jr. leads the Wldcrafters Jazz Trio at Manifest Distillery on Thursday | Credit: Photograph by Felicia Renée

Ulysses Owens, Jr. – Thursday, September 30

Manifest Distillery | DT Jax

Grammy winning Jax native, topnotch drummer and pillar of the city’s jazz-jam scene will lead a group of top-tier local players (the Wildcrafters Jazz Trio) at Downtown Jacksonville distillery, Manifest. The event serves as the official Jacksonville Jazz Festival pre-party. Music starts at 5:30 p.m.

This is a free event



Rambler Kane – Friday, October 1 

The Bier Hall at Intuition Ale Works | DT Jax

Earlier this year, JME Contributors singled out Jax-based singer-songwriter Rambler Kane’s debut single “Heart’s on Fire” as one of the best local songs released in 2021 (so far). On Friday, the ultra-talented purveyor of Americana plays Intuition Ale Works’ Bier Hall to celebrate the release of his first full-length. Doors at 7 p.m.




Longineu Parsons – Friday, October 1

Justice Pub | DT Jax 

A relatively new tradition when compared to the Jacksonville Jazz Festival’s four-decades-long run, Jazz Fest After Dark has certainly emerged as a value-added proposition for fans of live music. Nearly a dozen venues across the city will participate this year, providing a stage for locals performing in various genres. Trumpeter and FAMU professor Longineu Parsons brings his ensemble to Bay Street’s Justice Pub, after hours on Friday. Singer-songwriter rickoLus, performing with Angel Garcia, opens the show. DJ 3 Clops I kicks things off at 9 p.m. Whether you’re taking in the official Jazz Fest in the streets of Downtown or at Intuition Ale Works for Rambler Kane’s set, you’re going to want to head over to Justice Pub afterwards. 

This is a free show



Jacksonville Jazz Fest Sheila E.
Renowned percussionist Sheila E. returns to the Jacksonville Jazz Fest

Jacksonville Jazz Festival – Friday, October 1 – Sunday, October 3

Two Stages | DT Jax

The Jacksonville Jazz Festival returns to Downtown Jacksonville to celebrate its 40th year, kicking off on Friday with Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Jeffrey Osborne and local support from Jax-based New-Orleans-style jazz group Let’s Ride Brass band. Percussionist and famed member of Prince’s rhythm section Sheila E. headlines Saturday night. Jazz-guitar phenom George Benson, vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant and R&B super-producer Babyface all perform on Sunday. 

This is a free event

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