For the next 10 days, the sounds of jazz music and local talent will fill Queen City streets. The Discover Jazz Festival kicked off Friday and will run through June 13th.
“The first time in a long time we’re going to hear music on the street, and see dancing on the street,” said Steve MacQueen, artistic director at the Flynn.
Macqueen says it’s been a long 15 months with no live shows at the performance hall. Jazz fest was also forced to go virtual last year. He believes while the event will be scaled down, the level of celebration will be higher.
“You really feel it when an event like this is missing,” MacQueen said. “It’s coming back at sort of a perfect time, the whole state is coming back.”
The group ’50 saxophones’ will kick things off at Waterfront Park. Through the remainder of the festival, music can be enjoyed for free on Church Street, City Hall Park, and outside Nectars, rather than inside the Flynn Theater and other indoor spaces like previous years.
“We really tried to working with the Flynn to condense it down to the essence of the festival which is always live music outdoors,” said Zach Williamson, with Burlington City Arts.
Willamson says the festival is capped at 900 people. He says it will spotlight mainly artists from the Green Mountain State.
“To be able to get in touch with an artist and say ‘hey we have a spot for you, do you want to perform?’ and to hear the excitement and relief in their voice to get back to what they’ve been craving to do for so long has just been a highlight,” he said.