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Tri-C JazzFest: Keeping the Beat

Not even a global pandemic can quiet the annual music festival, which will take place virtually Aug. 21-22


CLEVELAND, June 8, 2020: Jazz reveals its spirit and soul through improvisation. The same can be said for this year’s Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland, presented by KeyBank.


Organizers of the annual festival — now in its 41st year — refused to let the COVID-19 outbreak silence the music that typically brings tens of thousands of people to Playhouse Square every summer.


Tri-C JazzFest will make toes tap this year, just in a different way. The show, as they say, must go on.


So a virtual festival showcasing Cleveland’s deep reservoir of jazz talent will stream across various online platforms over two late-summer nights. The tunes start at 7 p.m. on both Friday, Aug. 21, and Saturday, Aug. 22.


The online event will be free, though viewers will have the opportunity to donate to Cuyahoga Community College’s Student Emergency Fund. Money raised will specifically benefit creative arts students experiencing unforeseen financial challenges with the potential to derail their studies.


“The format may be different this year, but music is about the moment,” said Terri Pontremoli, director of Tri-C JazzFest. “We’re going to provide plenty of those for our audience while making a difference for our students.”


The virtual festival will feature pre-recorded and live performances from local acts; drop-in interviews with jazz icons; and footage of memorable moments from past Tri-C JazzFests.


The goal is to put the depth and scope of Tri-C JazzFest on display while highlighting the festival’s powerful influence on creative arts students and the Northeast Ohio jazz scene over the past four decades.


Acclaimed trumpeter Dominick Farinacci will perform and serve as host of the virtual festival. Farinacci’s path to becoming an international recording artist began in the classrooms of Cuyahoga Community College two decades ago.


The full lineup of performers will be announced June 18.


The future of jazz will also be represented at the virtual festival with young musicians from the Tri-C JazzFest Academy. The academy’s Spirit of the Groove ensemble will show the results of countless hours of training through the College’s Creative Arts Center of Excellence.


Tri-C’s music program offers opportunities for students to earn associate degrees while building their skills. Graduates routinely continue their education at esteemed institutions such as Berklee College of Music and The Hartt School at the University of Hartford.


“Our students always shine bright in the spotlight,” Pontremoli said. “Their hard work embodies the mission of the College and of Tri-C JazzFest.”


At its heart, Tri-C JazzFest strives to educate and nurture an appreciation of jazz. Events throughout the year connect students of all ages with jazz performers who bring the art form to life. Many of the programs are free to expand access to the performing arts.


The virtual festival in August reflects the College’s goal to connect the community to the arts. Visit tri-cjazzfest.com for information on the festival, including how to stream the performances.


“Tri-C JazzFest is a cherished tradition in Cleveland,” Pontremoli said. “And while we can’t gather in person this year as we normally would, we can come together virtually to appreciate great music, share an experience and support our students.


“COVID-19 may have canceled the June weekend festival, but it will not silence the music.”


The virtual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland is presented by KeyBank and made possible by Cuyahoga Community College, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, Strassman Insurance Services Inc., The George Gund Foundation and a growing list of donors and vendors.



Copyright © 1989 to 2020 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06/09/20 22:49:00 -0700.




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