Monday, April 06, 2015

2015 Seabreeze Jazz Festival® To Feature Grammy-Award Artists in Top Smooth Jazz Lineup

George Benson
Northwest Florida's stunning beaches and natural setting is paired with Grammy winners George Benson, David Sanborn, and Al Jarreau as the 17th Annual Seabreeze Jazz Festival® returns to Panama City Beach, Florida April 22-26th. The event has become an annual celebration for jazz-minded adults where the allure of great beaches, exciting shopping, and world-class restaurants 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 include Grammy winners George Benson, David Sanborn, and Al Jarreau – along with renowned musicians Brian Culbertson, The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman, Euge Groove, BwB featuring Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, and Rick Braun, Down To The Bone, The Sax Pack featuring Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Cole, and Kim Waters, Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers, Ken Ford, Acoustic Alchemy, Jazz Funk Soul featuring Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, and Everette Harp, Chris Standring, Eric Darius, Four 80 East, Matt Marshak, Marcus Anderson, Josh Vietti, The Urban Jazz Coalition featuring Althea Rene, Rob Tardik, and Seabreeze Rising Star performer Ryan Montano.

Brian Culbertson
Main performances will take place at the Aaron Beasant Park Amphitheater adjacent to Pier Park, with nightly After-Party All-Star Jam Shows at two venues 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.

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.

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. The audience consists of upscale college-educated professional adults, primarily 35-55 years old with high amounts of discretionary income. Some economists call this very desirable demographic group “The Alpha Baby Boomers” –attributing to the $14.2 million impact that the Seabreeze Jazz Festival® generates in the Northwest Florida economy.

David Sanborn
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 for the region.    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.
“We are thrilled to partner, once again, with festival founders, Mark and Renee’ Carter and to sponsor this exciting event,” said Lino Maldonado, vice president of operations, Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Gulf Region—Presenting Sponsor of the event. “The Seabreeze Jazz Festival® continues to attract an international audience attended by guests from 42 states and 7 countries to Northwest Florida’s white sand beaches for the ultimate weekend of music. Our multi-year sponsorship agreement for the Seabreeze Jazz Festival® demonstrates our commitment to strengthening tourism in Panama City Beach and across Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast.”

The venue's location is adjacent to Pier Park (a Simon Mall property) sporting 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. The newly completed City Pier across the street from the festival stage and miles of white-sand beaches 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.

Al Jarreau
The Seabreeze Jazz Festival® will make history in 2015 as the first event on the Gulf Coast to implement a new innovative RFID armband system from Intellitix for both entry and all festival purchases, essentially making the entire event both “ticketless” and “cashless”. In 2014, over 40 events in 10 countries have used this exciting new system. Fast Company Magazine recently named Intellitix as one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” for live events in 2014.

For the Seabreeze Jazz Festival, this new technology will take on a jazz theme as festival organizers will be calling the special wristbands “JazzBands”. The embedded RFID chip inside will not only act as the patron’s ticket for entry, 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. Intellitix’s exciting new RFID armband system dramatically reduces time spent at entry gates as well as 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.

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