1. Media Center
  2. News & Updates

Jazz in the Park is back! Free Huntsville concert series opens Sunday, Sept. 4

Published on September 1, 2022

Jazz in the Park, one of Huntsville/Madison County’s hottest concert series, will soon return to live audiences for the first time since 2019.

The City of Huntsville’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ODEI) and presenter Cynthia Joiner Real Estate Group will kick off the 2022 series of Jazz in the Park on Sunday, Sept. 4, at Big Spring Park East. Headlining the show will be Atlanta-based flautist, vocalist and songwriter Ragan Whiteside, with additional performances by artist, composter, writer and instrumentalist John Stoddart and The PitchPockets.

Held every Sunday in September, the concerts are free to the public. Since Jazz in the Park’s inception in 2015, ODEI has hosted 42 top-tier jazz artists, reaching a diverse crowd of about 6,000 people per concert.

With Huntsville Music Month also happening in September, ODEI Director and Concert Promoter Kenny Anderson said there’s never been a better time to host Jazz in the Park.

“Jazz in the Park was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, and we had a virtual event in 2021, so I’m happy we are returning to in-person entertainment this year,” he said. “We’re looking forward to a great concert series and invite the whole community to come see what Jazz in the Park is all about!”

Continuing the legacy

Jazz in the Park began as a collaboration between the City’s ODEI, formerly the Multicultural Affairs Office, and Magic City Smooth Jazz (MCSJ), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting free concerts and cultural activities under the leadership of late Executive Director Bernard Lockhart. The Huntsville event began as a spinoff of the popular Jazz in the Park summer series hosted by MCSJ in Birmingham and other selected cities.

In addition to music from accomplished artists as well as local middle and high school jazz bands, Anderson said this year’s event will help establish the Bernard Lockhart Music Education Scholarship in honor of Lockhart, who died in 2020 from complications of COVID-19.

“We are doing everything we can to continue his legacy of providing high-quality, free concerts to the community,” he said.

The schedule of performers is as follows:

Sunday, Sept. 4 – Big Spring Park East

5 p.m.: The PitchPockets

6 p.m.: John Stoddart

7:30 p.m.: Ragan Whiteside

Sunday, Sept 11. – The Orion Amphitheater

5 p.m.: Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind Band

6 p.m.: Jeff Ryan

7:30 p.m.: Matthew Whitaker

Sunday, Sept. 18 – Big Spring Park East

5 p.m.: Columbia High School Jazz Band

6 p.m.: Gino Rosario

7:30 p.m.: Adam Hawley

Sunday, Sept. 25 – Big Spring Park East

5 p.m.: Grissom High School Jazz Band

6 p.m. Dee Lucas

7:30 p.m. Phil Denny

For more information, visit the Jazz in the Park-Huntsville Facebook page.