Atlanta Jazz Festival 2017: your guide to lineup, parking and more

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Funk bassist Nik West is a colorful addition to the Atlanta Jazz Festival 2017 lineup.

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene

Last year, more than 150,000 music-loving fans descended upon Piedmont Park for the Atlanta Jazz Festival.

This year is the event’s 40th anniversary, so the crowds will likely swell even larger to check out a lineup including Robert Glasper Experiment, Macy Gray, Charles Lloyd Sky Trio, Freddy Cole and dozens of additional performers.

If you’re heading to Piedmont Park this Memorial Day weekend to experience three stages of free music with an audience that usually hails from around the world, here are some tips to help you navigate.

The Robert Glasper Experiment will help kick off the 2017 Atlanta Jazz Festival with a performance on May 26.

When: May 26-28. Attendees can arrive any time during normal park hours (6 a.m.-11 p.m.), but official opening times are 6 p.m. May 26 and 11 a.m. May 27-28.

Where: Piedmont Park, 1071 Piedmont Ave. Atlanta.

Parking and transportation: As with any major events at Piedmont Park, residential parking is for, well, residents. If you aren’t a resident, you’ll be fined $75 for clogging up their streets.

If you must bring a car, pre-paid parking at a few lots several blocks from the festival is available via Parking Panda. It is strongly recommended to purchase parking in advance to guarantee a space. Prices range from $5-$23, depending upon your desire to walk. The code ATLJAZZ will get you 10 percent off your initial booking.

Festival organizers recommend taking MARTA (the Midtown and Arts Center stations are closest) or Lyft (the code AJF40 provides a 25 percent discount).

Check out Macy Gray Saturday, May 27, at Atlanta Jazz Festival. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Los Angeles LGBT Center)

Cost: Free.

Weather: It’s expected to be dry, but hopefully you like heat, since the forecast calls for July-like temperatures in the upper-80s.

Things you can bring: Food and beverages (including alcohol); blankets; chairs; common sense to make sure to use designated receptacles for all litter. Let’s take care of the park. Side note – there are vendors on site selling food and beverages as well.

Things you cannot bring: Pets (though the Piedmont Dog Park will remain open); glass containers; bicycles (there will be a free bike valet located in Piedmont Park on 10th Street near Park Tavern to store your bikes during the festival); skates; grills; solicitation materials; tent stakes; personal radios or instruments. As well, smoking is prohibited throughout the park, and yes, that includes any lighted tobacco product.

More info: www.atlantafestivals.com.

Here is the complete lineup for the 2017 Atlanta Jazz Festival.

FRIDAY, May 26

Legends Stage

7 p.m. – The Pedrito Martinez Group

9 p.m. – Robert Glasper Experiment

SATURDAY, May 27

Legends Stage

1 p.m. – The Allan Harris Band

3 p.m. – Regina Carter: Simply Ella

5 p.m. – Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Quintet

7 p.m. – Reńe Marie and Experiment in Truth

9 p.m. – Charles Lloyd Sky Trio

Contemporary Stage

1:30 p.m. – Moonchild

3:30 p.m. – Nik West

5:30 p.m. – Nicholas Payton Afro-Caribbean Mixtape

7:30 p.m. – Macy Gray

Next Gen Stage

12:30 p.m. – Little Tybee

2:30 p.m. – Harriet Tubman: The Band

4:30 p.m. – Deva Mahal

6:30 p.m. – Marquis Hill Blacktet

Late Night Jazz Jam // Park Tavern at Piedmont Park

11 p.m. – A Tribute to Miles Davis with Lil John Roberts & the All Star Band, featuring Russell Gunn and Mino Cinelu

The legendary Freddy Cole will perform Sunday, May 28. Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz)

SUNDAY, May 28

Legends Stage

1 p.m. – Dwight Andrews

3 p.m. – Joe Jennings & Howard Nicholson’s Life Force

5 p.m. – Celebrating Sarah: Kathleen Bertrand & Friends Honor Sarah Vaughan

7 p.m. – The Joe Gransden Big Band with Audrey Shakir

8 p.m. – The Ojeda Penn Experience

9 p.m. – Freddy Cole

Contemporary Stage

1:30 p.m. – Frank Houston

2:15 p.m. – Kemba Cofield

3 p.m. – Darren English

3:45 p.m. – Cleveland P. Jones

4:30 p.m. – Julie Dexter and Jacob Deaton Duo featuring Rasheeda Ali

5:15 p.m. – Mamaniji Azanyah & Mastery

6:15 p.m. – Russell Gunn & African Drums meets Kebbi Williams’ Wolf Pack

7:30 p.m. – Mausiki Scales & Common Ground featuring Giwayen Mata

Next Gen Stage

12:30 p.m. – Rialto Jazz for Kids

2:30 p.m. – Danii Roundtree

4:30 p.m. – Brenda Nicole Moorer

6:30 p.m. – Tivon Pennicott Quartet


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