Singer-songwriter, R&B super-producer and 12-time Grammy winner Babyface will headline the Jacksonville Jazz Festival on Sunday night, October 3. Born Kenneth Brian Edmonds, Babyface get his start as a multi-instrumentalist for prominent funk acts in the late ’70s and ’80s before making his mark as a songwriter and producer working with pop and R&B acts including Bobby Brown, Karyn White and Sheena Easton. His label, LaFace Records launched the careers of some of the biggest music stars of the ’90s including Usher, Toni Braxton, Outkast and Goodie Mob. TLC’s CrazySexyCool, which Babyface contributed to as both a writer and producer, is one of the best-selling albums of all time.
Babyface continues to release albums as a solo artist and collaborator, and remains one of the most sought-after producers and musicians in the world.
Originally held in the Mayport Fishing Village, and known as the Mayport And All That Jazz Festival, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival has grown into one of the largest free jazz (not Free Jazz) events in the world. A list of past performers reads like a who’s who of jazz legends: Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Branford Marsalis, Buddy Guy, Harry Connick, Jr., Mavis Staples.
This year the Jacksonville Jazz Festival celebrate its 40th year, with performances from a heavy hitting lineup of jazz standard bearers and top-tier musicians, including grammy nominated singer-songwriter Jeffrey Osborne, percussionist and famed member of Prince’s rhythm section Sheila E. and jazz-guitar phenom George Benson, along with trumpeter Theo Croker and vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant. Jax-based New Orleans jazz group Let’s Ride Brass band provides local support.
The event kicks off on Friday, October 1, with performances across two stages in Downtown Jacksonville and runs through Sunday, October 3. Premium Experience tickets are available for purchase.