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Tri-C JazzFest: Virtually Unforgettable in 2020


CLEVELAND, August 28, 2020: On an improvisational stage, jazz musicians embrace the moment. The artistry that follows is unscripted, unpredictable and unlike anything an audience has previously experienced.


That’s probably the best way to describe the virtual edition of the 41st annual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland, presented by KeyBank.


Six hours of music, artist interviews and jazz talk flowed over online platforms Aug. 21-23 as the festival shifted from an in-person event to an on-the-screen happening due to the coronavirus crisis.


More than 75,000 music lovers shared the free online experience over the three days. They watched as more than a dozen acts with Northeast Ohio roots showed why Cleveland can call itself a jazz town.


The lineup of performers included acts such as the Dan Wilson Trio, Evelyn Wright Quartet, Sammy DeLeon’s Latin Jazz Sextet, Vanessa Rubin, Joe Hunter and Hubb’s Groove.


In addition, two of the jazz world’s preeminent bassists — Christian McBride and John Clayton — called in to share stories. McBride’s live chat took place on the virtual festival’s first night. Clayton dialed in on Day Two.


If you missed it live, don’t worry: Each night’s two-hour presentation is available for viewing at


“The virtual festival exceeded all expectations,” said Terri Pontremoli, director of Tri-C JazzFest. “It was, in a word, unforgettable. We saw that music brings people together, no matter the obstacles. That’s the lesson from the 2020 Tri-C JazzFest.”


Viewer donations during the weekend sessions also raised nearly $10,000 for Tri-C’s Student Emergency Fund. The money will benefit creative arts students experiencing unforeseen financial challenges with the potential to derail their studies.


Donations can still be made to the fund at tri-cjazzfest.com.


This year’s Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland was 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 long list of donors and vendors.





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Revised: 09/01/20 16:03:23 -0700.




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