North Carolina Jazz Festival: North Carolina Jazz Festival

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( Thu., Jan. 23, 2020 - Sat., Jan. 25, 2020 )

Hotel Ballast (formerly Wilmington Hilton Riverside), 301 North Water Street, Wilmington, NC 28401-3934


The North Carolina Jazz Festival Celebrates 40 Years of World Class Jazz in Wilmington
One of the oldest jazz festivals in the country, the North Carolina Jazz Festival, will celebrate its 40th anniversary in January.  This 3-day event, held in the ballroom of the Hotel Ballast (formerly The Wilmington Hilton Riverside), features internationally known jazz musicians from across the U.S., Australia, and Italy.

Thursday is Special Event Night featuring different styles of jazz.  Opening the event will be Wilmington’s Jon Hill Ensemble.  The second set will showcase song stylist Veronica Swift accompanied by the Emmet Cohen Trio. Acknowledged as one of today’s “rising young stars”, Veronica is often a headliner at New York’s Birdland and Lincoln Center. Her repertoire is built on the Great American Songbook, plus bebop and vocalese classics.  The Thursday Evening All-stars, led by Adrian Cunningham, will close out the evening with a bit of Traditional Jazz.

On Friday and Saturday nights we will have thirteen jazz all-stars playing 7 sets of traditional and classic jazz each night, with a different leader on each set.  These musicians will include “rising young stars” Champian Fulton, Chris Gelb, and Ben Polcer playing with all-stars including as Houston Person, Chuck Redd, Rossano Sportiello, and Nicki Parrott.  All concerts begin at 7:30pm, Thursday is a 3 hour concert, while Friday & Sataturday concerts go until midnight.
The North Carolina Jazz Festival has an extensive jazz education program, taking our All-Star musicians to local schools, plus giving 8 free master classes to students during this weekend.  During the school year we also take local jazz musicians to schools to introduce them to this style of music called JAZZ, which is truly our American Heritage.


Ticket prices are Thurs. $40 general admission, Fri & Sat. $60 g/a. Each night $25 military, $15 students.  Patron tickets are $200. and include Fri. & Sat. evening concerts plus our special patron brunch at 10:30 Sat. morning, where the all-star musicians will play and socialize with our patrons, then patron/musicians will be invited to “sit in” with the all-stars.  Patrons receive preferred, reserved seating plus their names in the program.  The $225 patron tickets include all of the above plus tickets to Thursday evening’s Special Event. 


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More information

Tickets may be purchased from the NCJF website, E-Tix, or at the AudioLab at 5732 Oleander Dr., Wilmington. For more information please check our website www.ncjazzfestival.org, e-mail to ncjazzfest@yahoo .com or call 910-793-1111.


  • Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 7:30 PM
  • Friday, January 24, 2020 at 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 7:30 PM