Platinum-selling and multi-Grammy winning Michael McDonald, top-charting saxophonist Boney James, vocalist Peabo Bryson, and guitarist Peter White are just some top-notched talent set to perform at the "Ultimate Weekend of Smooth Jazz". The 18th Annual Seabreeze Jazz Festival® returns to Panama City Beach with over 20 stellar performances of top national contemporary jazz artists set for April 20-24th.
The event has become an annual celebration for jazz-minded adults where the allure of great beaches, exciting shopping, world-class restaurants along with a plethora of activities like golf and fishing, all combine for a true vacation getaway! Panama City Beach provides the perfect backdrop for the “ultimate” jazz beach weekend with the festival attracting attendees from 42 U.S. states and over seven countries, plus also being named “Top 10 Jazz Festival in the USA” by JazzIZ Magazine. Smooth jazz blowing gently in the coastal breezes is just one unique feature at one of the nation’s fastest growing “destination music festivals” on the Gulf Coast.
Artists to perform in 2016 include Boney James, Brian Culbertson, Michael McDonald, Gerald Albright, Jonathan Butler, Mindi Abair, Peter White, Peabo Bryson, Marc Antoine, Josh Vietti, Najee, The Family Stone, Nick Colionne, Euge Groove, Jazz In Pink-- featuring Cindy Bradley, Gail Jhonson, Jazmin Ghent, Mareia Antoinette, and others –Jesse Cook, Peet Project, Paul Taylor, Ben Tankard, Malina Moye, Vincent Ingala, Brian Simpson, Jackeim Joyner, Alex Bugnon, The JT Project (Seabreeze Rising Star), Selena Albright, Marcus Anderson, Oli Silk, Will Donato, JJ Sanserverino, Kim Scott, Elan Trotman, David Sides, Kyshona Armstrong, and Chris Godber (Panama City saxophonist).
And just added, jazz vocalist Lindsey Webster will perform on the Sunday lineup. Her vocal “Fool Me Once” recently became the #1 smooth jazz single on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts.
Main performances will take place at the Aaron Beasant Park Amphitheater adjacent to Pier Park, with nightly After-Party All-Star Jam Shows at Pompano Joe’s Seafood House at adjacent Pier Park.
To further showcase the beauty of Panama City Beach, a Dinner and Lunch Smooth Jazz Cruise aboard “The Solaris” dinner yacht is set departing the Lighthouse Marina cruising picturesque St. Andrews Bay—each with a live jazz performance on board. Guitarist Nick Colionne will host the Dinner Cruise on Wednesday, April 20th with saxophonist Mindi Abair hosting the Jazz Lunch Cruise on Thursday, April 21st.
Smooth Jazz fans have a unique and intimate connection to the festival’s music and core artists base. The “smooth jazz lifestyle” is the secret to the success of The Seabreeze Jazz Festival® – where the R & B based smooth contemporary jazz literally creates a synergy for the whole weekend. The licks of the funky bass lines and pop-friendly musical hooks keep the crowds moving to the beat….almost like the tempo of the swaying palm trees around beautiful Aaron Beasant Park Amphitheater at Pier Park, on the west end of Panama City Beach.
Smooth jazz is the epitome of “The Good Life” – laid back yet upscale at the same time, relaxing and familiar as a pair of your most comfortable beach sandals. It’s this uniqueness that appeals to a upscale college-educated professional adult demographic, primarily a 35-55 year old audience with high amounts of discretionary income. Many economist call this very desirable demographic group “Alpha Baby Boomers” –attributing to the $14.2 million impact the Seabreeze Jazz Festival® besieges on the Northwest Florida economy.
The event hosts close to 28,000 for the weekend, with a large percentage of fans traveling hundreds if not thousands of miles away to attend. 60% of the festival’s tickets are sold outside the State of Florida, making it a true destination festival. The alluring appeal of Pier Park and the new resort-style architecture along with west end of Panama City Beach beckons even the most cosmopolitan city-dweller to join in on the fun, and get their toes in the sands.
The successful melding appeal of Pier Park with the Seabreeze Jazz Festival® on site is all about complimenting distractions. Pier Park (a Simon Mall property) sports over 160 retail stores, a 16-screen stadium-seating cinema, numerous eateries, nightclubs, even a small amusement park to pacify all of the family’s pastimes, while the parents enjoy the live smooth jazz entertainment from the nation’s top jazz artists. The newly completed City Pier across the street from the festival stage and miles of white-sand beaches and emerald-green waters also provides a nearby escape from the live entertainment. That is if you muster up enough to pull away from the star-studded contemporary jazz lineup.
The Seabreeze Jazz Festival® will again utilize a new innovative RFID armband system from Intellitix® for both entry and all festival purchases, essentially making the entire event both “ticketless” and “cashless”. Called “JazzBands”, the RFID wristband system includes a fabric wristband with an imbedded RFID chip inside – doubling as not only be the patron’s ticket for entry into the event through an electronic portal, but also their wallet for all purchases inside the venue. Attendees can either “load” funds via their credit card in advance of the event online, or on site with credit or cash at several jazz festival “Top Up” stations throughout the event. All it takes is a quick swipe for any purchase in front of a tablet-size screen, and fans are back to the music and smooth jazz fun, with easy access to their “JazzBand” account via their smartphone. No need to worry about losing cash or credit cards with Intellitix’s exciting system for fast entry and quick purchasing, dramatically reducing time spent at entry gates and in queue lines for merchandise, food, and beverages. Any unspent funds on the wristbands are refunded back to the user’s credit card immediately following the event, and the “JazzBand” simply becomes an event souvenir.
Tickets are available for single and multi-day admission. Thursday only tickets are $90 each, Friday only tickets are $100 each, Saturday only tickets are $120 each, and Sunday only tickets are $100 each. Patrons save money on multi-day tickets with a Weekend Pass good for Friday-Sunday priced at $200, and the all-inclusive Four Day Pass $250 each for all performances Thursday through Sunday at the main stage.