San Antonio’s official jazz festival bebops back into downtown this fall

San Antonio’s official jazz fest bebops back into downtown this fall

Mike Sailors
Broadway musician and trumpeter Mike Sailors. Courtesy of the San Antonio Parks Foundation
Kandace Springs
Blue Note/Capitol recording artist Kandace Springs. Courtesy of the San Antonio Parks Foundation
Dirty River Band
Local faves The Dirty River Jazz Band. Courtesy of the San Antonio Parks Foundation
Mike Sailors
Kandace Springs
Dirty River Band

The City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Parks Foundation are pretty jazzed about the rebirth of a nearly 40-year-old music festival returning to downtown this fall.

The 38th annual Jazz’SAlive Festival, the city’s official jazz fest, blows into town September 24-25 with an expanded event footprint that includes a stage at Legacy Park, as well as the main stage area at Travis Park and the Jefferson Street stage.

For the first time ever, Jazz’SAlive will offer limited priority “patron seats” at the main stage for music lovers wanting to jazz up their experience. Tickets for Jazz’SAlive go on sale Friday, July 23

The Travis Park main stage, presented by San Antonio’s Majestic Theatre, will feature a lineup of nationally acclaimed jazz talent, as well as some new and familiar local faces. Artists include:

  • Triple Grammy Award-winning artist John Scofield.
  • World-renowned Blue Note/Capitol recording artist Kandace Springs.
  • Broadway musician and trumpeter Mike Sailors.
  • Premier vocal jazz group New York Voices, who’ll be joined by the United States Air Force Band of the West, Dimensions in Blue.
  • Flutist-ethnomusicologist Dr. Katchie Cartwright.
  • UTSA-grown jazz fusion collective Xenobia.
  • Traditional jazz outfit The Dirty River Jazz Band, led by drummer Chris Alvarado.
  • Latin jazz group José Amador and Terra Nova.

The Travis Park Jefferson Street stage, presented by Trinity University’s part-time jazz radio station KRTU 91.7 FM, will feature:

  • Kevin Nabors Quartet.
  • Michelle Garibay-Carey.
  • Toro Flores Quartet.
  • The Fellowship.

The lineup of jazz artists performing at Legacy Park — a 1.2-acre outdoor space outfitted with a promenade, an event lawn, and anchored by Pinkerton’s Barbecue — will be released soon.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a devastating collective experience, leaving people craving community and human interaction. We hope to play a part in bringing people back together again,” says David Robinson Jr., director of parks and recreation at Weston Urban, which owns and operates the new Legacy Park in downtown San Antonio.

In addition to adding Legacy Park as an event venue, some special Jazz’SAlive concerts by youth and adult performers will take place at the Woodlawn Theatre, including a show from the Woodlawn Theatre Academy’s elite youth performance group.

The 2021 Jazz’SAlive VIP package ($40-$2,500), sold as a table for eight or as individual table seats, includes complimentary beverages and bites curated by chef Rene Fernandez of Azuca Nuevo Latino for both nights, as well as VIP open seating, access to air-conditioned restrooms, spots in the designated seating area in the Hopscotch Jazz’SAlive Lounge, and a complimentary reservation to the neighboring Hopscotch Immersive Art Experience.

Additionally, from 10:30 pm-12:20 am on September 24, Hopscotch will host the official Friday night after-party, which is free and open to the public and will feature DJ and KRTU host of “The Cool Out,” Gibby Diaz.

The official Saturday night after-party takes place from 10:30 pm-1:30 am on the St. Anthony Hotel’s rooftop terrace.

And if all that isn’t enough to strike the right chord with music lovers, Jazz’SAlive’s unofficial kickoff includes a gospel brunch hosted by San Antonio poet laureate Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson, on Sunday, September 19 from 11 am-2 pm. It will include a special brunch service catered by Mark Outing, owner of the East Side eatery Mark’s Outing, as well as performances by Gospel Billboard-charting artist Kara Nichole and DJ Sermon, and a soulful set from contemporary gospel singer-songwriter David Jacobe featuring Sanderson.