Twin Cities Jazz Festival

Twin Cities Jazz Festival and Thrivent Financial to Present the Jazz Educator Award to Felix E. James

The 21st annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival will kick off next Thursday, June 20. Today, Executive Director Steve Heckler announced Felix E. James as the recipient of the Jazz Educator Award sponsored by Thrivent Financial. Mr. James has been teaching saxophone, clarinet and flute and directs jazz ensembles at Walker West in St. Paul for over 30 years and has been the key mentor and organizer for the youth performances at Jazz Festival since 2003. He is a natural at engaging youth and has given a life of service to the promotion of jazz in our community. The award will be presented at 4:00 on Saturday at the Larry Englund Memorial Youth Stage also sponsored by Thrivent Financial. The stage is located in front of Union Depot.

Jazz Fest 2019 will be headlined by vocalist José James, vocalist Nnenna Freelon, the James Carter Organ Trio, saxophonist Grace Kelly, and bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Aurora Nealand with Tom McDermott.

The weekend will kick off on Thursday, June 20 in partnership with Lowertown Sounds for a night celebrating Cuban music with Mayito Rivera with Charanga Tropical and Jorge Luis Pacheco.

Friday continues with young saxophonist/singer Grace Kelly, and Minneapolis-born, New York-based singer José James.

Saturday has Israeli percussionist/pianist Yogev Shetrit, Detroit-born reedman James Carter, six-time GRAMMY Award nominee, vocalist Nnenna Freelon on the Hiway Federal Credit Union Main Stage in Mears Park.

Festival attendees can look forward to music in Lowertown clubs and restaurants all three nights of the Festival. KBEM Jazz88 will be broadcasting live from Mears Park, Thursday 6-10 p.m., Friday, 4-10 p.m. and Saturday 4-10 p.m. Metro Transit is providing free light rail and bus rides; download passes download passes HERE.


About the Twin Cities Jazz Festival
established in 1998, is a non-profit organization, with a mission to keep the art form of jazz alive and well in our community. Support for the 2019 Twin Cities Jazz Festival is provided by AARP, Hiway Federal Credit Union, Oppidan, Ebenezer, Xcel, Feline Rescue, RBC, Thrivent Financial, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Summit Brewery, District 7 Wines, Metro Transit, InterContinental Hotel, UCare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Pioneer Endicott, St. Paul Saints, All Energy Solar, Schmitt Music, tpt, Public kitchen + bar, Thomson Reuters, Visit Saint Paul, Social Indoor, St. Paul Chiropractic, Minnesota United, Jazz 88, and Minnesota Jazz Education. SPOT CREATES is the official creative partner.

For more information, visit, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #tcjazzfest

Musicians and schedule subject to change.