Jazz has been a big influence in the music scene since emerging in the early 20th century. As time goes on, jazz has continued to evolve and can still be heard today. As Louis Armstrong once said, “At one time they were calling it levee camp music, then in my day it was ragtime. When I got up North I commenced to hear about jazz, Chicago style, Dixieland, swing. All refinements of what we played in New Orleans…There ain't nothing new.” Even in Jacksonville, there are a lot of great jazz concerts.
The Ritz theatre and museum was constructed in 1999 over the location of the Ritz Theatre movie house, built in 1929. This theatre gives off a great energy that is sure to make any concert there something to remember. On August 22, go check out Gina Saputo. Saputo has made a name for herself on the international jazz scene. She has a great voice that you need to hear to believe. If you happen to miss Gina Saputo in August, make sure you catch Poncho Sanchez on September 5th. Poncho Sanchez is a latin jazz band that you should not miss. They won a Grammy in 2000 for best Latin Jazz.
Another place where you can catch a jazz show is at the Florida Theatre. This theatre opened in 1927 as a movie theatre and a live stage theatre. The original owners of the theatre did not believe that people would come for just movies, so they included a live stage area and lavish interior. As the years went on, people started drifting away from the theatre to go to places more modern. In 1983 the theatre reopened with new modernizations while keeping the architectural beauty from its beginnings. On September 25th, you and your friends can check out this amazing place while listening to Boney James play. Boney James is a famous jazz saxophonist who was named Billboards no. 3 Contemporary Jazz artist of the Century back in 2009.
If you are up for a little bit of a drive, then on Sep. 25 -27, check out the New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival. This is the 15th year that this Jazz festival will be happening. As of right now there are over 18 jazz bands playing. This is a great way to spend you weekend listening to jazz music and enjoying the parties and art that happen at this festival.