WDNA Presents Inaugural Miami Downtown Jazz Festival

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PHOTO COURTESY OF MIAMI DOWNTOWN JAZZ FESTIVAL

WDNA, South Florida’s premiere jazz music station, is hosting it’s inaugural Miami Downtown Jazz festival from Feb. 24-25 in the heart of downtown Miami.  

The two-day festival will be an all-day indoor and outdoor event, offering day-long free music at various pop-up stages scattered at more than six locations throughout the city, including the History Miami stage located at 101 W Flagler St. and the Wolfson Campus stage located at 200 N.E. 3rd St.  

The second and final day will kick off with performances at the Tina Hills Pavilion in Bayfront Park and end with the main ticketed event from 6-11 p.m. at the Bayfront Park Amphitheater, located at 301 Biscayne Blvd., with performances by musicians like Hubert Laws, Jane Bunnett Maqueque, Chico Pinheiro and more.

Tickets can be purchased at  http://www.miamidowntownjazzfestival.org/tickets/.

Guests can expect performances from more than 200 local, national and international musicians including Grammy Award-winners like Bryan Lynch, Dafnis Prieto and Kevin Mahogany. Local favorites like SPAM Allstars and the New World School of the Arts Jazz Band will be performing as well.

According to the festival’s website, the goal of the weekend is to “create unique musical explorations from jazz legends, those in their prime and up-and-coming artists who are keeping the legacy alive.”

The festival was made possible after the station was one of the winners of the 2015 Knight Arts Challenge, and they received $75,000 from the Knight Foundation. After a full year of planning, the event has finally come to fruition.

The event was a collective effort from the staff at the station, including people like Sarah Cruz, Howard Duperly and the Board of Trustees.

WDNA’s general manager, Maggie Pelleyá, says that there were some challenges in putting the event together, but she’s ultimately excited for the outcome.

It’s been a process of coordinating all the musicians, citing their artists fees, organizing all the other things that go for a festival like volunteers and stage managers…” Pelleyá said. “But I hope it will enliven downtown a little bit more so that the residents and visitors of downtown will hopefully have some entertainment.”

Volunteers are needed in the areas of artist support, transportation, production support, stage support, operations and more. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age, and able to commit to two six-hour shifts throughout Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit http://www.miamidowntownjazzfestival.org/volunteer-tickets/.

“Downtown is seeing a renaissance. There’s a lot of building, a lot of renovation going on. Music and the arts are usually triggers for speeding up  that growth and activity,” Pelleyá said.

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