Black Music Month: Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Festival returns

Bizz & Everyday People perform Friday June 15 at 8pm during the 18th Annual Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Festival.

The summer of 2018 will welcome the 18th Annual Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Festival celebrating the vitality of the Jefferson Street community through its arts, music and food culture. This 2-day event, brought to you by the Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership (JUMP), will kick-off with a SoBro Block Party at 5th and Demonbreun Street on Friday, June 15, 2018 and conclude with a day long music, arts and food festival featuring local and national jazz and blues artists and food and retail vendors from the North Nashville community on Saturday, June 16, 2018.

With thousands of attendees each year, the Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues festival builds cultural awareness, attracts diversity and commemorates the historic Jefferson Street Corridor through the sounds of jazz, blues, funk, gospel, soul and R&B. Not just a music festival, this 2-day event pays homage to the historic treasures and challenges that make the Jefferson Street community a unique and vital part of Nashville.

Friday’s “Bridging the Gap Mixer: A SoBro Block Party,” will be held at 5th and Demonbreun again, between the Music City Center and the Omni Hotel / Country Music Hall of Fame complex, beginning with Happy Hour from 4-7pm on June 15th. Friday’s event will feature performances from JJBF alums William Davenport at 7pm; Wendell “Bizz” Bigsby-Church & Everyday People at 8pm; and special guest and celebrity DJ, Kid Capri​ at 9pm.

The festival will continue Saturday, June 16th, at the Bicentennial Capitol Mall Amphitheater featuring the S.O.S Band​, an R&B group with over two-million record sales and numerous hits, as this year’s headlining act. The lineup for Saturday is as follows: 4pm – The Total Eclipse Band; 5pm – Gale Mayes; 6pm – Richard Waters and the Sweetwaters Band; 7pm – Nick Nixon Tribute (Jeremy and Jonathan Nixon); 8pm – Clarence Carter; and 9pm – The S.O.S. Band.

“J.U.M.P. is incredibly excited to continue providing a diverse, bold and energetic sound within the downtown Music City scene and on Jefferson St.,” explained Sharon W. Hurt, president and CEO of J.U.M.P.. “Nashville is known for Country but we have been home to soul-filled sounds for years. Hosting JJBF showcases the many facets of Nashville’s music scene and we are elated to be a part of it.”

Singer-songwriter William Davenport has been lauded as a true balladeer and musical prodigy. His unique sound and undeniable talent continues to pave the road for him in the music industry. Having shared the stage with music legends in gospel, R&B, and jazz, Davenport was recently spotlighted in BET’s Music Matters campaign.

Wendell “Bizz” Bigsby-Church is an accomplished artist and songwriter who has played on Nashville stages and shows around the country for more than 15 years. Bizz and Katrice Donaldson brought Everyday People together in 2011. Bizz is the son of famed performer Jimmy Church, who played on Jefferson Street in its heyday.

Unmatched by any other, DJ Kid Capri’s energy earned him the title as the most relentless, most relied upon to rock a party, most dynamic and larger-than-life DJ in the history of Hip-Hop. Kid Capri brings with him a crowd-hyping type of entertainment. If people are sitting when he hits the stage they are sure to be out of their seats and feeling the music by the end.

Since their debut single, “Take Your Time (Do It Right)”, the S.O.S Band (Sounds of Success) has had two-million in sales and has been on music charts for years. Gaining fame in the 1980s, the S.O.S. Band is best known as an R&B and Electro-Funk group with smooth vocals music that makes you groove. Working with producer Leon Sylvers III and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the band recorded hits like “High Hopes,” “Just Be Good to Me” and “Tell Me if You Still Care.”

Ticket prices for this year’s events are as follows: Advance Purchase — General Admission​ Friday is $5 / General Admission Saturday is $20 / Saturday VIP is $30. Day of Event Purchase — Friday is $10 / Saturday is $25. Weekend Package consisting of Entry For Both Days, Advance Purchase Only, General Admission is $35; VIP is $55. VIP is available by​ Advance Purchase Only and includes preferred seating, drink specials and other amenities.

The Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership (J.U.M.P) is a non-profit organization whose mission is “To develop, foster and promote cooperative economic development through revitalization, acquisition, education and public safety programs in North Nashville.” Today more than 200 individuals and organizations make up JUMP’s active membership — physicians, lawyers, dentists, master barbers, musicians, ministers, writers, hair stylists, retailers and restaurateurs — with one thing in common, keeping Jefferson Street alive and thriving. For more information, visit JumpToJefferson.com or to purchase tickets, go to NashvilleJazzAndBluesFest.com.