For the first time in three years, the Jazz Festival is back in full swing. This year marks the 39th annual Burlington Discover Jazz Festival and organizers say they’re excited to see people dancing on the streets.

“Summer kicks off this festival, like it’s not summer in Burlington until Jazz Fest,” said Jay Wahl, Executive Director of Flynn Theater. “It’s nice to see folks bringing their families downtown, walking the streets and having a good time.”  

The Jazz Festival attracts thousands of people all across the country.

“We see a lot of new folks so it’s not always about doing business at that moment,” said Francois Bouchett, Manager of Homeport. “It’s about seeing new faces and people seeing the store and seeing what you got.” 

For business owners, this is good news. “It’s not about doing business day of but about making those connections with people who may of not heard of you but now they do.” 

The festival happened at a smaller scale in the past but this year, Vermonters are looking forward to being back in full capacity. “It’s great to see events coming back to the marketplace because we got music. And it’s great to see people coming out.” 

The Jazz Festival features performances around Burlington from City Hall all the way to the Burlington Waterfront.

“A long legacy of bringing the community together through free music, uplifting sounds, rhythms dancing on the waterfront, being with your family, kids, grandfathers’ neighbors, listening to live music and school bands on Church Street.”

This year, they’re highlighting the sound of black music based off the popular musical Vermonters are very familiar with, The Sound of Music.

“A way for us to share the depths and the beauty of black music and what it can bring when processing the sound of music that we love and getting it more love through music,” said Jono Gasparro, Curator of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival.

Curators hope to spread a message of love, hope, empowerment, and healing through the festival.

The festival kicks off Friday at 8pm and will run until June 12.