More than a dozen acts in a lineup announced today promise to
keep the music pumping during this free event Friday, Aug. 21
and Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. The performances will begin 7 p.m.
each night and run approximately 90 minutes on
various online platforms.
The virtual festival will feature pre-recorded and live
performances by the artists, as well as drop-in interviews with
jazz icons and footage of memorable moments from past Tri-C
The goal is to put the depth and scope of Tri-C JazzFest on
display while highlighting the festival’s powerful influence on
the Northeast Ohio jazz scene and impact on Cuyahoga
Community College (Tri-C®) creative arts students.
“This virtual festival will share the compelling story of Tri-C
JazzFest with music fans across the world,” said Terri
Pontremoli, the festival’s director. “Once they hear these
artists, they’re going to know what jazz in Cleveland is all
The scheduled lineup of performers includes:
Chris Coles’ Gleam:
Saxophonist Chris Coles was awarded a Knight Foundation Arts
Challenge Grant for his Nine Lives project, which is dedicated
to the victims of the 2015 Charleston Church shooting. He’ll
perform with Dave Morgan (bass), Holbrook Riles III
(percussion/electronics), Anthony Taddeo
(percussion/electronics), Joey Skoch (piano), Zaire Darden
(drums) and Tommy Lehman (trumpet).
Dan Wilson Trio:
Over the past few years, Dan
Wilson has toured nationally and internationally with legendary
jazz figures such as Christian McBride and Joey DeFrancesco. He
received a Grammy nomination for his work on Project
Freedom, a 2017
release by DeFrancesco and The People. Zaire Darden
(drums) and Kip Reed (bass) round out the trio.
Dominick Farinacci’s Rhapsody in Blue: Revisited:
Trumpeter Dominick Farinacci presents his commissioned
Rhapsody in Blue, George Gershwin’s groundbreaking masterwork
from 1924. He’ll be joined by Jamey Haddad (percussion), Walter
Barnes Jr. (bass), Jonathan Thomas (piano), Orlando Watson
(spoken word) and Gabe Jones (drums).
Evelyn Wright Quartet:
Vocalist Evelyn Wright – recipient of a 2008 Cleveland Jazz
Legends Award – has opened for the likes of Mel Torme, Harry
Belafonte and David “Fathead” Newman. She’ll perform with Dave
Thomas (B-3) Bill Ransom (drums) and Dominick Farinacci
Drummer Robert Hubbard leads this all-star band mixing soul,
jazz, R&B and a splash of gospel. His bandmates include Vencott
Palmer (keys), Johnathan Jones (bass), Roger Maple (sax) and
Stacey Richardson (vocals).
Pianist Jackie Warren – recipient of a 2018 Cleveland Jazz
Legends Award – has performed locally and nationally as a
soloist and with groups such as the Jackie Warren Trio, DIVA
Jazz Orchestra and the powerhouse 3Divas.
The brainchild of former Tri-C JazzFest artistic director
Willard Jenkins, JazzWorks is an all-star octet playing
classic jazz. The group includes Howie Smith,
John Klayman, Aidan Plank, Joey Skotche, Daniel Spearman,
Bob Ferrazza, Chris Anderson and Reggie Jackson.
Pianist Joe Hunter – recipient of a 2019 Cleveland Jazz
Legends Award – has been recognized by the rock world for his
keyboard mastery. Known for his passion for Brazilian music, he
has played as a solo artist and with various bands since the
Pianist, educator and songwriter Lafayette Carthon has
production credits on projects with Michael Jackson, Celine Dion
and Marvin Winans, to name a few. Carthon — who many know as
senior pastor of Faith Church of Glenville — will be joined by
vocalist Will Blaze.
Sammy DeLeón’s Latin Jazz Sextet:
Percussionist Sammy DeLeon — recipient of a 2016 Cleveland
Jazz Legends Award — has performed with some of the world’s
greatest Latin musicians and always rocks the stage.
Tri-C’s Spirit of the Groove:
Spirit of the Groove is an all-star ensemble from the Tri-C
JazzFest Academy. It is comprised of nine young artists from
various Northeast Ohio high schools who are committed to
pursuing jazz full-time in college.
Jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin – recipient of a 2015 Cleveland
Jazz Legends Award – is a product of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead
program at The Kennedy Center and has been a national touring
artist for three decades. She will be joined by Jackie Warren
(piano), Reggie Jackson (drums) and Peter Dominguez (bass).
Walter Barnes Jr. & Friends:
Bassist Walter Barnes Jr. has
recorded and performed with acts such as Yolanda Adams, The
O’Jays and Kim Burrell while straddling the worlds of gospel and
soul. He currently plays with Toni Braxton and Kenneth
“Babyface” Edmonds. He will be joined by Gabe Jones (drums),
Bryan Golden (piano/keys), Jordan Wright (keys) and Willie Ross
Aside from performing, Farinacci will co-host the virtual
festival with Pontremoli. His path to becoming an international
recording artist began in the classrooms of Tri-C two decades
Click here to
register for the online festival and visit tri-cjazzfest.com for
The virtual event will be free, though viewers will have the
opportunity to donate to Tri-C’s Student Emergency Fund. Money
raised will specifically benefit creative arts students
experiencing unforeseen financial challenges with the potential
to derail their studies.
Tri-C JazzFest turned to the online format after restrictions
related to the COVID-19 outbreak forced a change in
plans. The traditional festival typically draws tens of
thousands of music lovers to Cleveland’s Playhouse Square.
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.