Seabreeze Jazz Festival Apr 19-23
March 8, 2017 by SoWal Staff
Multi-Platinum-selling saxophonist Kenny G, keyboardist Brian Culbertson, top-charting saxophonist Boney James, and legendary band Tower of Power are just some of the exciting talent set to perform at the "Ultimate Weekend of Smooth Jazz".
The 19th Annual Seabreeze Jazz Festival returns to Panama City Beach with over 20 stellar performances of top national contemporary jazz artists set for April 19th-23rd. Presented by ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals.
The event has become an annual celebration for jazz-minded adults where the allure of great beaches, exciting shopping, world-class restaurants along with a plethora of activities like golf and fishing, all combine for a true vacation getaway! Panama City Beach provides the perfect backdrop for the “ultimate” jazz beach weekend with the festival attracting attendees from 42 U.S. states and over seven countries, plus also being named “Top 10 Jazz Festival in the USA” by JazzIZ Magazine. Smooth jazz blowing gently in the coastal breezes is just one unique feature at one of the nation’s fastest growing “destination music festivals” on the Gulf Coast.
Artists to perform in 2017 include Kenny G, Brian Culbertson, Boney James, Tower of Power, Candy Dulfer, Norman Brown, Rick Braun, Sheila E., Richard Elliot, Patti Austin, Pieces of a Dream, Eric Darius, Four 80 East, Doc Powell, Michael Lington, Paul Brown, Darren Rahn, Matt Marshak, Ken Ford, Althea Rene, Jake Shimabukuro, Roman Street, Adam Hawley, and Jeanette Harris.
Saxophonist Eric Darius, photo courtesy Seabreeze Jazz Festival
Main performances will take place at the Aaron Beasant Park Amphitheater adjacent to Pier Park, with nightly After-Party All-Star Jam Shows and a CD Release Party at Pompano Joe’s Seafood House at adjacent Pier Park. The festival weekend concludes with a free After Party celebration show at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville at Pier Park.
To further showcase the beauty of Panama City Beach, a Dinner and Lunch Smooth Jazz Cruise aboard “The Solaris” dinner yacht is set departing the Lighthouse Marina cruising picturesque St. Andrews Bay—each with a live jazz performance on board. Keyboardist Brian Culbertson will host the Dinner Cruise on Wednesday, April 19th with saxophonist Eric Darius hosting the Jazz Lunch Cruise on Thursday, April 20th.
Smooth Jazz fans have a unique and intimate connection to the festival’s music and core artists base. The “smooth jazz lifestyle” is the secret to the success of The Seabreeze Jazz Festival – where the R & B based smooth contemporary jazz literally creates a synergy for the whole weekend. The licks of the funky bass lines and pop-friendly musical hooks keep the crowds moving to the beat….almost like the tempo of the swaying palm trees around beautiful Aaron Beasant Park Amphitheater at Pier Park, on the west end of Panama City Beach.
Smooth jazz is the epitome of “The Good Life” – laid back yet upscale at the same time, relaxing and familiar as a pair of your most comfortable beach sandals. It’s this uniqueness that appeals to a upscale college-educated professional adult demographic, primarily a 35-55 year old audience with high amounts of discretionary income. Many economist call this very desirable demographic group “Alpha Baby Boomers” –attributing to the $14.2 million impact the Seabreeze Jazz Festival® besieges on the Northwest Florida economy.
The event hosts close to 30,000 for the weekend, with a large percentage of fans traveling hundreds if not thousands of miles away to attend. 60% of the festival’s tickets are sold outside the State of Florida, making it a true destination festival. The alluring appeal of Pier Park and the new resort-style architecture along with west end of Panama City Beach beckons even the most cosmopolitan city-dweller to join in on the fun, and get their toes in the sands.
The successful melding appeal of Pier Park with the Seabreeze Jazz Festival on site is all about complimenting distractions. Pier Park (a Simon Mall property) sports over 160 retail stores, a 16-screen stadium-seating cinema, numerous eateries, nightclubs, even a small amusement park to pacify all of the family’s pastimes, while the parents enjoy the live smooth jazz entertainment from the nation’s top jazz artists. The City Pier across the street from the festival stage and miles of white-sand beaches and emerald-green waters also provides a nearby escape from the live entertainment. That is if you muster up enough to pull away from the star-studded contemporary jazz lineup.
The Seabreeze Jazz Festival lineup is all about variety. Headliner Kenny G is known as "The #1 Selling Instrumentalist of All Time" with over 75 million records sold. This marks Kenny G's first appearance at the Seabreeze Jazz Festival set for Thursday, April 20th at 8:30pm. Saxophonist Candy Dulfer makes her home in the Netherlands -- but smooth jazz fans (and those familiar with Adult Contemporary radio) know her for the big cross-over hit "Lilly Was Here" performed with David A. Stewart. She adds her dynamic style to both the main stage show and a special CD Release Party. Keyboardist Brian Culbertson is known as the event's "showstopper" with a slew of #1 smooth jazz hits and a top selling cd "Funk!". Brian is known for as a true entertainer and is sure to get the audience on their feet. Vocalist Patti Austin is known for not just jazz, but R & B and pop with "Baby Come To Me" which went #1 with James Ingram. She makes her first appearance on Sunday, April 23rd combining top hits, smooth jazz, and even some George Gershwin. Guitarist Norman Brown is paired up with trumpeter Rick Braun and saxman Richard Elliot for "West Coast Jam" -- a new addition and sure to be a high energy show. Speaking of high energy -- the legendary R & B/Funk band Tower Of Power is celebrating their 40th anniversary and was the And original drummer for Prince and solo singer, performer, and drummer Sheila E. will make her first appearance at the Seabreeze Jazz Festival -- known for her Latin-jazz stylings and pop mega-hit "Glamorous Life".
Tickets are available for single and multi-day admission. Thursday only tickets are $90 each, Friday only tickets are $100 each, Saturday only tickets are $120 each, and Sunday only tickets are $120 each. Patrons save money on multi-day tickets with a Weekend Pass good for Friday-Sunday priced at $200, and the all-inclusive Four Day Pass $250 each for all performances Thursday through Sunday at the main stage.
Gold Reserved seating is available including on-site parking, early entry, fixed reserved seating behind the VIP section, dedicated air-conditioned restrooms, and four beverages per day. The Four Day Gold Reserve ticket is $450 each and limited. VIP Tickets and VIP Tables sold out for the event in June 2016. Tickets are also available locally in Panama City Beach at Florida House Her and Home at Pier Park. In addition, discounted military tickets are available at the Tickets and Travel Office at Eglin Air Force Base, Panama City NSA, Tyndall Air Force Base, Pensacola Naval Air Station, and Fort Rucker. Presented by ResortQuest By Wyndham Vacation Rentals. Other sponsors include the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Pier Park, Wow Cable, ViaMedia, Premium Outdoor, Pandora Radio, TickeyFly, Sterling Resorts, Counts-Oakes Resort Properties, Royal Amercian Beach Getaways, Epiphone Guitars, Bud Light, Copa deVino, WCLK Radio, WMXC Radio, Smooth Jazz News, SoWal.com, Jupa Jazz, Sugar Sands Inns and Suites, and WSBZ The Seabreeze.
For Festival information, call 850-267-3279, or visit www.seabreezejazzfestival.com.