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Seabreeze Jazz Festival Celebrates 20 Years April 18-22

April 6, 2018 by SoWal Staff

Celebration is the theme as multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning Kool & The Gang and the Commodores join smooth jazz keyboardist Brian Culbertson, top-charting saxophonist Boney James, and legendary band Spyro Gyra for the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Seabreeze Jazz Festival.  

The "Ultimate Weekend of Smooth Jazz" returns to Panama City Beach, Florida  with over 25 stellar performances of top national contemporary jazz artists set for April 18th-22nd.  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 all across the U.S. 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 2018 include:
Brian Culbertson, Boney James, Kool & The Gang, Peter White, Euge Groove, Nick Colionne, The Commodores, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Jeffrey Osborne, Damien Escobar, Spyro Gyra, Richard Elliot, Cindy Bradley, Peabo Bryson, Najee, Rachelle Ferrell, Jazz Funk Soul featuring Jeff Lorber, Everette Harp and Paul Jackson, Jr., Eric Darius, The Family Stone, Chris Standring, Keiko Matsui, Vincent Ingala, Lindsey Webster, Ben Tankard, Urban Jazz Coalition, Phil Denny, Michael J. Thomas, and Ragan Whiteside. 

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.   Saxophonist Eric Darius will host the Dinner Cruise on Wednesday, April 18th with guitarist Nick Colionne hosting the Jazz Lunch Cruise on Thursday, April 19th.

A CD Release Party is planned for Friday, April 20th at 11:30am featuring guitarist Chris Standring and the release of his new cd "Sunlight" including an intimate performance, insight on the new cd, and a Meet and Greet with fans. 

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 Seabreeze Jazz Festival® lineup is all about variety and milestones.  Grammy Award winning headliners Kool & The Gang and The Commodores will amp up the party atmosphere with a true "celebration" -- together selling over 150 million records.  This marks both band's first appearance at the Seabreeze Jazz Festival.   Contemporary Jazz's legendary band Spyro Gyra has truly come full circle, returning to the Seabreeze Jazz Festival® after performing at the inaugural event 20 years ago.   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.  Saxophonist Boney James is set to perform -- known as one of the top #1 hit makers on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Charts.  Vocalists Jeffrey Osborne and Peabo Bryson-- both accomplished with Top 10 charting music on both the R & B and Adult Contemporary charts -- bring a cool and romantic twist to the funky and fun smooth jazz vibe of the weekend. Trumpeter Rick Braun and saxman Richard Elliot bring the high energy performance that will get fans up on their feet--while Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees The Family Stone brings up back to the late 60's and early 70's performing the original funk/pop/R & B masterpieces that made Sly and the Family Stone international stars, and created the style of "bass guitar thumping" that transcended funk to rock, pop, and even jazz.  And speaking of high energy -- Emmy Award winning violinist Damien Escobar makes his first appearance at the Seabreeze Jazz Festival®-- an internet sensation with over 750,000 Facebook Fans and selling out shows in London, New York, and all over the USA. 

The Seabreeze Jazz Festival® will again utilize a new innovative RFID armband system from Intellitix® for both entry and all festival purchases, essentially making the entire event both “ticketless” and “cashless”.   Called “JazzBands”, the RFID wristband system includes a fabric wristband with an imbedded RFID chip inside – doubling as not only be the patron’s ticket for entry into the event through an electronic portal, but also their wallet for all purchases inside the venue.  Attendees can either“load” funds via their credit card in advance of the event online, or on site with credit or cash at several jazz festival “Top Up” stations throughout the event.  All it takes is a quick swipe for any purchase in front of a tablet-size screen, and fans are back to the music and smooth jazz fun, with easy access to their “JazzBand” account via their smartphone.  No need to worry about losing cash or credit cards with Intellitix’s exciting system for fast entry and quick purchasing, dramatically reducing time spent at entry gates and in queue lines for merchandise, food, and beverages.  Any unspent funds on the wristbands are refunded back to the user’s credit card immediately following the event, and the “JazzBand” simply becomes an event souvenir.   The Seabreeze Jazz Festival was the first event on the Gulf Coast to use this innovative cashless solution. 

Parking is free for General Admission at adjacent Pier Park. 

Seabreeze Jazz Festival 2018 is SOLD OUT except for Thursday only tickets...
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.

Main Festival Hours at Aaron Beasant Park Amphitheater are as follows:
Thursday, April 19th   --  Gates Open At Noon/Show Starts at 1:30pm
Friday, April 20th  ---  Gates Open at Noon/Show Starts at 1:30pm
Saturday, April 21st -- Gates Open at 9:30am/Show Starts at 11am
Sunday, April 22nd --  Gates Open at 9:30am/Show Starts at 11am
Performances end at 10pm nightly.

Seabreeze Jazz Festival® tickets are available by phone at 800-595-4849 or online at www.seabreezejazzfestival.com.   

Tickets are also available locally in Panama City Beach at "Florida House Her and Home" located at Pier Park in Panama City Beach, FL.   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 Visit Panama City Beach, Pier Park, Wow Cable, ViaMedia, Premium Outdoor, Sterling Resorts, Counts-Oakes Resort Properties, Royal Amercian Beach Getaways, Epiphone Guitars, SoWal.com, and WSBZ The Seabreeze.  

ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is the Presenting Sponsor of the Seabreeze Jazz Festival and the Official Accommodation Provider for the event. Save 10% off 3 or more nights in any of our spacious condos and beach homes featuring ample amenities, so you can stay in style while enjoying good music with friends and family. 

Offer is valid on travel dates from April 16 through April 24, 2018, with a minimum stay of 3 nights. To take advantage of this special, call 877-238-1971 or book online usingPromo Code: SEABREEZE2018.  wyndhamvacationrentals.com.

For Festival information, call 850-267-3279, or visit http://www.seabreezejazzfestival.com.

Event Location:
Aaron Beasant Park Amphitheater
600 Pier Park Drive
Panama City Beach, FL  32413
(Capacity:  7500 fans per day)

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SoWal Staff

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