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40th Annual North Carolina Jazz Festival

Nicki Parrott (photo by Brian Wittman)


Hotel Ballast 1561550062
301 N Water Street
Wilmington, North Carolina 28401 United States
(910) 793-1111



January 23, 2020 @ 7:30 pm - January 25, 2020 @ 12:00 am EST



One of the oldest jazz festivals in the country, the North Carolina Jazz Festival, will celebrate its 40th anniversary January 23, 24, 25, 2020. 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 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 7:30 p.m., Thursday is a 3-hour concert, while Friday and Saturday concerts go until midnight.

Ticket prices are Thursday, $40 general admission, Friday and Saturday $60 g/a. Each night $25 military, $15 students. Patron tickets are $200. and include Friday and Saturday evening concerts plus a special patron brunch at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning, where the all-star musicians will play and socialize with 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. Tickets may be purchased from our website, E-Tix or at the AudioLab at 5732 Oleander Dr., Wilmington. For more information please check our website, e-mail to [email protected] or call 910-793-1111.