ALL PERFORMANCES AT ALL VENUES & CLINICS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO ALL!
The Twin Cities Jazz Fest is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the mission of bringing communities together to enjoy and appreciate the art form of jazz and inspire new generations of youth. What started as a small one-day event in downtown Minneapolis 21 years ago has grown into one of the largest free civic jazz festivals in the upper Midwest. The festival is located in and around Mears Park in the Lowertown neighborhood of downtown Saint Paul. There are two outdoor stages at Mears Park and one outdoor stage at the the Saint Paul Union Depot. In addition, over 15 St. Paul venues have jazz programed all three days as well as music after the outdoor stages end. The Jazz Fest is a walking event. Most of the stages and venues are within walking distance and ALL performances are free and open to the public. You can come and go as you please. Check the schedule page for the complete lineup.
For 2019, the Union Depot Stage is dedicated to Larry Englund who created youth engagement for the Twin Cities Jazz Fest. Over 100 youth will perform at the Larry Englund Depot Stage.
The 2019 Twin Cities Jazz Fest, presented by AARP, will be held June 20-22. June 20th is in partnership with Lowertown Sounds. Please check the schedule page for the complete lineup.
THE NUMBER 1 QUESTION: HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY DO THIS EVENT FOR FREE? Thanks to the support from our great sponsors, foundations, grants and of course from folks like you, we’ve been able to produce this great event for free for 21 years! Please consider making a donation so we can continue doing so. Donation
WHAT’S ALLOWED? Lawn chairs, blankets.
WHAT’S NOT ALLOWED? Weapons of any kind, illegal drugs, outside alcohol.
WHAT ABOUT COOLERS? Discouraged. Our free festival’s success and continuation relies upon your support of food/beverage revenues. Help keep the festival free by purchasing your food & beverages at the festival!
WHAT ABOUT RAIN: If severe weather approaches, please take shelter. Do NOT wait out a storm under a tent. Once the storm passes, the show will go on so don’t go far. There’s lots of music in many nearby indoor venues . Please check our Facebook page for any venue changes.
HOW LONG ARE THE SETS: Most sets are one hour, but headliners will perform from 75 to 90 minutes.
WHY DO THE OUTDOOR STAGES END AT 10:00 PM: City curfew.
The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is funded by our generous corporate sponsors, grants and individual donations.
– Steve Heckler Executive Director
TWIN CITIES JAZZ FEST BOARD OF DIRECTORS / STAFF
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Alden Drew – Chair
Steve Heckler – Executive Director
Kristine Heckler – Project Coordinator
Craig Eichhorn – Producer, Technical Director / Stage Manager
Mary Fenske & Jean Ryan (JRI) Sponsorship Inquiries
Connie Shaver LLC – Director of Communications
Jon Morgan – Marketing Contributor
John Lozoya – Director of Logistics
Tom Waitros (TJ) Food Vendor Coordinator
Kate Wolfe – Director of Volunteer Programs
Steve Wiese – Creation Audio – Sound
Neil Wallace – Event Pro – Sound
Andrea Canter – Photography
Bryan Hauer – Website
Bobby Commodore – Stage Manager
Chris Wussler – Bar/Beverage Manager
Darrel Hansen – Transportation Coordinator
Deborah Upchurch – Advance Coordinator
John Moreno – Labor Coordinator
Remembering Irv “Mr. Smooth” Williams
For over eight decades Irv Williams was a Twin Cities Jazz fixture. While he had offers to perform with several well-known jazz legends such as Count Basie and Duke Ellington, he chose to live his live in the Twin Cities. As Lowell Picket perfectly says, “Irv enhanced this community by being here. He had this graciousness.” Irv played the festival several times, and we often joked when one time he had called a cab only to realize he lived across the street from Mears Park, the festival site. In all respects, Irv was truly a jazz legend and will be remembered as such. RIP
Remembering Larry Englund
Larry was a major force in the Twin Cities jazz scene. I can’t recall a jazz performance, both big and small, where Larry and Liz were not attending. He willingly gave his time and experience and, since the beginning, helped shape and create the jazz festival. Larry called me from Hospice two days before he passed. What I thought would be a somber conversation, Larry immediately told me who needed to be booked at the festival as well as thoughts about the youth stage. (Larry was on the education and booking committee). This is who Larry Englund was and will be sorely missed. RIP