Seabreeze Jazz Festival Apr 22-26, 2015
April 19, 2015 by SoWal Staff
Get ready for the ULTIMATE WEEKEND in smooth jazz coming April 22nd-26th as the 17th Annual Seabreeze Jazz Festival returns to Pier Park in Panama City Beach The 2015 Lineup includes Grammy Awards winners George Benson, David Sanborn, Al Jarreau, and Norman Brown ....along with Brian Culbertson, Euge Groove, Acoustic Alchemy, The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, Down To The Bone, Jazz Funk Soul featuring Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, and Everette Harp -- plus others. Order tickets now at 800-595-4849 or online at www.seabreezejazzfestival.com.
This year is the 17th Seabreeze Jazz Festival - once again ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is the presenting sponsor. Guests can choose from hundreds of Panama City Beach or South Walton accomodations. Click here to view the accommodations page.
Thursday April 23rd—Gates Open at 3pm
5pm Urban Jazz Coalition featuring Althea Rene
6:30pm The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman
8:30pm Euge Groove
Friday April 24th – Gates Open at 3pm
5pm Down To The Bone
6:30pm Ken Ford
8:30pm George Benson
Saturday April 25th – Gates at 8am
9:30am Rob Tardik
11am Eric Darius
12:30pm Acoustic Alchemy
4:30pm Brian Culbertson
6:30pm Al Jarreau
8:30pm BwB featuring Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, and Rick Braun
Sunday April 26th – Gates at 8am
9:30am Ryan Montano (Seabreeze Rising Star)
11am The Seabreeze Groove Project feat. Four 80 East, Matt Marshak, and Marcus Anderson
12:30pm Chris Standring
2:30pm Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers
4:30pm Jazz Funk Soul featuring Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, and Everette Harp
6:30pm Josh Vietti
8:30pm David Sanborn
10:30pm FREE All-Star After Party at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville at Pier Park
Multi-Grammy winners George Benson, David Sanborn, and Al Jarreau headline the "Ultimate Weekend of Smooth Jazz" amidst Northwest Florida’s stunning beaches and natural setting. The 17th Annual Seabreeze Jazz Festival® returns to Panama City Beach with over 20 stellar performances of top national contemporary jazz talent April 22-26th. 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 include multi-Grammy winners George Benson, David Sanborn, and Al Jarreau – along with chart-topping smooth jazz musicians Brian Culbertson, The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, Euge Groove, BwB featuring Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, and Rick Braun, Down To The Bone, The Sax Pack featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole, and Kim Waters, Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers, Ken Ford, Acoustic Alchemy, Jazz Funk Soul featuring Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, and Everette Harp, Chris Standring, Eric Darius, Four 80 East, Matt Marshak, Marcus Anderson, Josh Vietti, The Urban Jazz Coalition featuring Althea Rene, Rob Tardik, and Seabreeze Rising Star performer Ryan Montano.
Main performances will take place at the Aaron Beasant Park Amphitheater adjacent to Pier Park, with nightly After-Party All-Star Jam Shows at two venues at adjacent 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.
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 truly 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 28,000 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.
“We are thrilled to partner, once again, with festival founders, Mark and Renee’ Carter and to sponsor this exciting event,” said Lino Maldonado, vice president of operations, Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Gulf Region—Presenting Sponsor of the event. “The Seabreeze Jazz Festival® continues to attract an international audience attended by guests from 42 states and 7 countries to Northwest Florida’s white sand beaches for the ultimate weekend of music. Our multi-year sponsorship agreement for the Seabreeze Jazz Festival® demonstrates our commitment to strengthening tourism in Panama City Beach and across Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast.”
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 newly completed 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® will make history in 2015 as the first event on the Gulf Coast to implement a new innovative RFID armband system from Intellitix for both entry and all festival purchases, essentially making the entire event both “ticketless” and “cashless”. In 2014, over 40 events in 10 countries have used this exciting new system developed by Intellitix, named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” for live events in 2014.
For the Seabreeze Jazz Festival, even these cool innovative armbands will take on a jazz theme as festival organizers will be calling them “JazzBands”. The imbedded RFID chip inside the armband will 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 new 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.
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 $100 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.
In addition, a new reserved section called Gold Reserve is available for 2015. Gold Reserved seating includes 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 last summer.
In addition, tickets for nightly All-Star After Party Jam Shows, a dinner and lunch cruise, as well as a special Sax Pack CD Release Party are available online and limited.
To celebrate the conclusion of the jazz festival and to cap off the weekend of stellar entertainment, a free All-Star After-Party Jam Show will be held on Sunday, April 26th beginning at 10:30pm at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at Pier Park hosted by Four 80 East, Matt Marshak, Marcus Anderson and special guests. Admission is free with full restaurant menu and bar available.
Seabreeze Jazz Festival® tickets are available by phone at 800-595-4849 or online at www.seabreezejazzfestival.com.
In addition, several local outlets offer single day and multi-day passes.
Panama City Beach: Florida House Fashions and Pompano Joe’s at Pier Park (cash and credit cards)
Destin: ResortQuest Sales Office –Highway 98 across from Bass Pro Shops (cash and credit cards)
Ft. Walton Beach: Playground Music Center – Eglin Parkway at Uptown Station (cash only)
Pensacola: Deluna Coffee Company –across from Pensacola State College (cash only)
Tickets with a military discount are available at the Tickets and Travel/MWR Offices at Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City NSA, Eglin Air Force Base, The Pensacola Naval Air Station, and Fort Rucker.
The Seabreeze Jazz Festival® is again offering a free Four-Day Pass (a $250 value) for each good used band instrument donated to the L.I.N.K.S. of Northwest Florida program. “Lonely Instruments for Needy Kids” is a local non-profit organization that takes previously used band instruments, provides the needed repairs, and then put them into the hands of needy kids whose families usually wouldn’t be able to participate in local elementary, middle, or high school band. Last year, over 100 instruments were donated in return for jazz festival tickets and put into the hands of deserving music students in Northwest Florida. Playground Music Center in Ft. Walton Beach is collecting all the band instruments for the program. For more information, contact Tony Leonard at (850)-243-2514.
Special hotel accommodation packages are also available through the festival's supportive hotel sponsors. Presenting Sponsor and featured festival accommodations partner ResortQuest® By Wyndham Vacation Rentals is offering free shuttle service from select Panama City Beach properties for the best jazz festival experience ever. Call 855-990-0087 and use group code “JAZ5” for reservations or see the entire listing of hotels and special offers www.seabreezejazzfestival.com
A toll-free information hotline is available for details at 800-653-7519. Complete lineup, tickets, and schedule information is online at www.seabreezejazzfestival.com with weekly updates on Facebook.
General Admission seating is lawn seating so attendees need to bring a lawn chair or a blanket as event is festival seating. No coolers, outside food, or liquids allowed. Bring an empty water or sports bottle for complimentary water inside the venue. Bottled water will be on sale inside the venue for $1 a bottle. A cash bar will be available inside the venue for beer and wine sales along with an expanded Food Court area featuring gourmet food trucks from around the southeast showcasing a wide variety of cuisine. See the website for a complete list of rules and additional restrictions.
The 2015 Seabreeze Jazz Festival® presented by ResortQuest® by Wyndham Vacation Rentals. Other sponsors include SoWal.com, The Panama City Beach Visitor's and Convention Bureau, Pier Park, JazzRadio.com, Knology, Viamedia, Sterling Resorts, Counts-Oaks Resort Properties, Lake Town Wharf, Royal American Beach Getaways, The Panama City News Herald, The Northwest Florida Daily News, Epiphone Guitars, Concord Music Group, and WSBZ Radio The Seabreeze 106.3FM.