There is much to look forward to in the weeks ahead, one of which is the return of in-person events in Vermont. For homeowners who relocated to Vermont during the pandemic, it’s now time for you to explore! One thing you don’t want to miss is the 10-day long Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. The festivities begin on June 4 and continue through June 13, so there are plenty of opportunities to attend an event (or more).
In years past, jazz lovers from all over have flooded in to enjoy the music and atmosphere. The festival first began 38 years ago and has evolved into one of Vermont’s largest annual events, drawing big name acts like Wynton Marsalis, Tony Bennet, and Esperanza Spalding. Equally impressive are the beloved local acts such as Kat Wright, Ray Vega, and Mal Maiz. After the virtual event last year, we are all ready to get back out there and enjoy some incredible music.
Events to Look Out For
The 2021 celebrations will kick off with a saxophone event on the Burlington waterfront this Friday, June 4, at 6 pm. This will be led by local sax legend, Dave Grippo. Grippo is best known for his funk accompaniment work with the band Phish. He will be performing with 50 other talented saxophone players as the perfect opener for Jazzfest. After enjoying the sax sounds, you can head to city hall downtown for a free concert from Guagua, a Cuban and Brazillian inspired music group.
The fun certainly doesn’t stop after opening night. Several shows will be happening on the Church Street Marketplace and surrounding restaurants, but there are other locations to check out if you’re looking for a more spacious venue. Events will be taking place in Starr Farm, Roosevelt, and Smalley Park. All great parks to attend with kids, it can be a day filled with music and playtime.
Prepare for the Hurly Burly Block Party towards the end of the festival on June 12. This will take place on Main Street in front of the Flynn Center. The block party will not be an event to miss, featuring a performance by Ray Vega and his Latin Jazz Sextet.
The final day of Jazzfest will feature plenty of performers, including Kerubo, Green Mountain Swing, Left Ear Trio, Resistance Revival Chorus, and Sabouyouma. Spend June 13 completely immersed in music as the send off to Vermont’s first in-person event since COVID-19 says goodbye.
What Will Look Different
This year's event will be scaled back a bit from years previous, due to COVID safety protocols. For those who are still opting to stay inside, this year will include some virtual performers as well, including Wynton Marsalis and Marcus Roberts. Vermont’s event policy states that there is an allowance of 1 unvaccinated person per 50 square feet. While most events are outdoor, open to the public, and do not require tickets, certain shows at Nectar’s and Halverson’s will require buying a ticket ahead of time, and buying in a group to limit the number of “households” attending.
It’s time to get back to celebrating and we couldn’t be happier Burlington has made the effort to wait and do so safely. Check out the full Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Line-Up here. If you attend an event, send us your thoughts and photos to get featured on our Facebook page!