The 2015 Franklin Jazz Festival is celebrating its 25th year with an all day festival of music, including performances by middle Tennessee high schools and professional jazz bands on Saturday, April 18th at The Factory. The festival has the distinction of being not only one of the longest running, but also one of the top jazz festivals in the Southeast. The theme of this year’s fesitval is “Jazz & Blues, Students & Pros,” which shines the light on middle Tennessee’s school jazz programs. 

The Franklin Jazz Festival stage will be located in Liberty Hall at The Factory and includes performances by Franklin High School Jazz Band, Williamson County Jazz & Rock Youth Group and Vanderbilt University’s Blair Big Band.

School groups will perform during the day and professional groups will perform in the evening.  At 6:45 p.m. the group “DYNAMO” will perform. The Nashville-based band (with numerous Belmont University graduates) is an amazing national touring act.  Their unique sound comes from a combination of aggressive instrumental fusion and catchy vocal hooks derived from R&B and funk roots.  At 7:45 p.m., The Adam Nitti Band will be playing their unique style of Jazz.  Adam Nitti has emerged as one of the cutting edge bassists and composers in the world of instrumental jazz and rock.  Their high energy sound and amazing display of musicianship will have the crowd spell bound.

At 8:45 p.m,. this year’s headliner “The Duffy Jackson Big Band” will step onto the stage.  Born and raised in Jazz, Duffy Jackson has been performing since the age of four, when his father, legendary jazz bassist, Chubby Jackson, gave him his first set of drums.  The day after high school graduation, Jackson packed his bags for California to play a three-week stint at Shelly’s Mannhole with Milt Jackson and Ray Brown.  By his 18th birthday, Jackson was touring the country with Lena Horne.  Since that time Duffy Jackson’s powerful, swinging style has driven such big name bands as Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Lionel Hampton and Illinois Jacquet.  He’s also performed with such Jazz legends as Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, Stan Getz, Buddy Rich and Harry “Sweets” Edison to name a few.  

While at the festival, you’ll notice art on display and for sale. The art is provided by this year’s nonprofit beneficiary, the Williamson County Cultural Arts Commission.

Tickets for the Jazz Festival are $15 at the door. Learn more here.

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