2014 Festival Lineup Announced!

The 31st annual festival runs from May 30 – June 8 and kicks off summer in Vermont, as always, with a monster lineup featuring legendary artists. Today the festival has grown into a 10-day celebration hosting hundreds of events at venues, clubs, and restaurants all over the city.  Every corner of Burlington resonates with music, and the festival truly brings the city alive.  Past festivals featured a veritable feast of jazz legends from Ella Fitzgerald to Dizzie Gillespie to Bobby McFerrin.  Discover Jazz has its finger on the pulse of contemporary jazz, presenting the preeminent musicians and rising stars of today.

The festival leaps into full swing with a performance by violinist Regina Carter (Friday, May 30 at 8pm, Flynn MainStage).  The 2006 MacArthur Fellow’s improvisational music – intelligent and daring – is a passport to other worlds, from jazz to classical to soul, and she “takes the listener into the future of jazz” (TIME).

The following evening, Tony Bennett (Saturday, May 31 at 8 pm, Flynn MainStage) will showcase his legendary vocals, charming stage presence, and signature tunes which form a part of the fabric of American culture.  His long list of achievements, spanning over 60 years, includes seventeen Grammy Awards, one of which is the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.  His daughter, Antonia Bennett, will open the performance with a collection of jazz/pop standards.

Neither blues nor R&B, Grégoire Maret (Saturday, May 31 at 10pm, FlynnSpace) is a “harmonica virtuoso” (New York Times) whose style evokes the soul-searing expression of the legendary Stevie Wonder. Maret’s style is lyrical and progressive and stretches effortlessly across numerous musical genres.

Listenable and insane: that’s how Dawn of Midi (Sunday, June 1 at 6pm, FlynnSpace) describes their all-acoustic, electronica-inspired trance grooves,  as red-blooded and rhythmic as a seamless DJ set.

On Sunday night the Flynn MainStage will be home to a double bill performance by NEA Jazz Masters Ron Carter and Benny Golson (Sunday, June 1 at 8pm).Grammy-winner Ron Carter is “living proof that integrity and clarity of artistic vision are alive and well” (EmArcy). Among the most prolific and influential bassists in jazz, Carter has more than 2,000 albums to his credit and was elected to the DownBeat Jazz Hall of Fame in 2012.  Tenor saxophonist Benny Golson’s playing career spans six decades: from his childhood days with John Coltrane, to years with Dizzy Gillespie’s band, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and as co-leader of the Jazztet.

Bassist and composer Linda Oh (Monday, June 2 at 8pm, FlynnSpace) draws upon her Chinese, Malaysian, and Australian roots to create music that’s “graceful and sometimes aggressive” (New York Times). A rising star in a fearless group of jazz progressives, Oh embraces her love of rock and classical in jazz compositions full of spirit, atmosphere, and creative depth.

Julian Lage (Tuesday, June 3 at 8pm, FlynnSpace) is a monstrously gifted guitarist, a one-time prodigy who turned pro at age seven. His unique style melds various genres with blinding technique, and has led him to be called “a giant in the making” (All About Jazz).

Supremely inventive and virtuosic pianist Geoffrey Keezer’s (Wednesday, June 4 at 8pm, FlynnSpace) unique compositions and acclaimed performances are famous for their exotically complex rhythms and harmonies. Keezer has the “wit and intelligence to weave all of his apparently disparate strands of influence into an original and compelling whole” (TIME).

The Nth Power (Wednesday, June 4 at 9pm, Nectar’s) – members of Dumpstaphunk, John Brown’s Body, Lettuce, Toubab Krewe, and Jennifer Hartswick Band – will inspire you to dance and groove with their gospel-tinged three-part harmonies and a merciless blend of world-beat, funk, gospel, and jazz. Alan Evans’ Playonbrother, brainchild of Alan Evans, the co-founder, writer, and drummer of Soulive, is chock-full of heady licks, booming drumbeats, and swirling organ.

Baltimore’s Warren Wolf (Thursday, June 5 at 8pm, FlynnSpace) is one of the premier vibraphonists of his generation, back for his own performance as a leader after stealing the show at the 2012 Burlington Discover Jazz Festival as a member of Christian McBride’s Inside Straight.  Wolf creates a hypnotic sound that’s “spiced with harmonic ingenuity” (The Guardian), harnessing the power of bebop, blues, and swing.

The Waterfront Park Thursday Tent heats up with one of the most sampled musicicans in history, headliner Maceo Parker (Thursday, June 5 at 6pm). First as the lynchpin of James Brown’s band and then as a crew member of Parliament-Funkadelic, Parker’s soulful playing and vocals have established him as “one of the all-time great saxophonists” (San Jose Mercury News).

Big Chief Donald Harrison (Friday, June 6 at 8pm, Flynn MainStage) is Big Chief of the Congo Square Nation Afro-New Orleans Cultural Group, a band that preserves the legacy of black New Orleans residents parading in incredible, Native American-influenced costumes at Mardi Gras.

Valerie June (Friday, June 6 at 9:30pm, Signal Kitchen) draws on the rich wellspring of American roots, blending folk and blues into a timeless sound that sits outside any particular musical era.  Just off tour opening for Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, she is a singular performer ready for the spotlight.

Waterfront Park Saturday Tent delivers serious homegrown grooves with the 20th Anniversary Reunion of Belizbeha (Saturday, June 7 at 4:30pm). Returning for their first local appearance since 2009, the acid-jazz/funk legends rocked Burlington constantly for close to a decade. The Jennifer Hartswick Band and Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band will open.

Cécile McLorin Salvant (Saturday, June 7 at 8pm & 10pm, FlynnSpace) is one of the most celebrated young vocalists in jazz, earning herself a Grammy nomination for her latest record.  Revered for her unique interpretations of jazz compositions both familiar and obscure, she has a deep, velvety voice and a sublime feel for the blues – “Salvant has it all” (New York Times).

High-powered tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi (Sunday, June 8 at 6pm, FlynnSpace) has redefined approaches to jazz improvisation. A fixture of the Boston jazz scene, Bergonzi is a legendary live performer defined by his commanding grasp of chord changes and unbelievable musical imagination.

As a leading force in Afro-Caribbean music for more than half a century, the NEA Jazz Master and nine-time Grammy Award winner Eddie Palmieri was the last great bandleader to emerge from the Palladium Ballroom’s golden era. The beloved patriarch of Latin music is joined by his septet Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band (Sunday, June 8 at 8pm, MainStage)for gravity-defying grooves.

Visit flynntix.org or call the Flynn box office at 802-86-FLYNN to purchase tickets. We hope to see you there!

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IT STARTS THIS FRIDAY, FOLKS!  Get excited!!  We can’t wait!!

If you’re counting down the hours (like we are) and want to get a taste of what’s to come, check out this video, made by our incredible presenting sponsor, Northfield Savings Bank.

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Discover Jazz Festival announces TONY BENNETT and more!

With worldwide record sales in the millions, and dozens of platinum and gold albums to his credit, Tony Bennett (Saturday, May 31 at 8 pm, Flynn MainStage) is a musician who touches the hearts and souls of audiences with his legendary vocals and charming stage presence. His long list of achievements, spanning over 60 years, includes seventeen Grammy Awards, one of which is the prestigious Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, making this artist a true international treasure.  His signature tunes, such as Steppin’ Out With My Baby and I Left My Heart In San Francisco form part of the fabric of American music culture.  Often billed as the world’s most boyish octogenarian, Tony Bennett is a vital musical artist at the peak of his powers. Tony Bennett’s daughter, Antonia Bennett, is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music and has been touring with her father. She will open the performance with a collection of jazz/pop standards.

The Waterfront Park Saturday Tent delivers serious homegrown grooves with the 20th Anniversary Reunion of Belizbeha (Saturday, June 7 at 4:30 pm). Returning for their first local appearance since 2009, the acid-jazz/funk legends rocked Burlington constantly for close to a decade, bringing people onto the floor with soulful hip-hop sounds, funky keyboards, and a rumbling rhythm section. The Jennifer Hartswick Band and Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band will open.

As a leading force in Afro-Caribbean music for more than half a century, the NEA Jazz Master and nine-time Grammy Award winner Eddie Palmieri was the last great bandleader to emerge from the Palladium Ballroom’s golden era. The beloved patriarch of Latin music is joined by his septet Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band (Sunday, June 8 at 8 pm, MainStage) for gravity-defying grooves.

Listenable and insane: that’s how Dawn of Midi (Sunday, June 1 at 6 pm, FlynnSpace) describes their all-acoustic, electronica-inspired trance grooves. The Brooklyn trio has earned rave reviews for their mesmerizing live shows that are equal parts Steve Reich, Aphex Twin, and Can. This is a minimalist joint to shake your hips to, as red-blooded and rhythmic as a seamless DJ set—classical music, jazz, and indie rock combined in a deep, entrancing soundscape.

Tickets for these performances go on sale Monday, March 10 at 10 am to Members of the Discover Jazz Festival at the Messenger level and above, and to the general public Friday, March 14 at 10 am, at the FlynnTix Regional Box Office. Members of the Discover Jazz Festival at the Messenger level and above also receive a 10% discount on tickets to Big Chief Donald Harrison’s performance.  For more information on membership, visit www.discoverjazz.com/friends.

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James Carter Organ Trio on February 22

I bet you didn’t expect to hear from us so early in the year, did you?


In an effort to provide you with the best in jazz entertainment throughout the year, we have partnered with our friends at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts to bring a little heat to warm you up during the cold winter months before the festival.

If you saw James Carter at the festival with his quartet in 1995 and 1996 or his sextet in 2001, you won’t want to miss his latest incarnation, the James Carter Organ Trio. They’ll be performing in the FlynnSpace on February 22 at 7:30 pm and 9:00 pm.


James Carter is “a roaring virtuoso, saxophone scholar, and a showman” (Rolling Stone), famous for his ability to play almost anything on almost any horn. Roaming from soprano to tenor to baritone sax, Carter runs the gamut from jazz to swing, funky to classical. One of the most celebrated jazz prodigies and a favorite at the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, Carter is joined by the lithe and muscular keyboards of Detroit’s Gerard Gibbs and the propulsive drums of Motor City veteran Leonard King.

Visit flynntix.org or call the Flynn box office at 802-86-FLYNN to purchase tickets. We hope to see you there!


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“Ray the Trumpet Man” : Around Town with Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Two-Beat Traveler Artist-in-Residence Ray Vega

by Madeline Bell, Flynn Center Programming Manager


This year the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival introduced an exciting new initiative called the Two-Beat Traveler Program. The festival provides hundreds of opportunities to experience jazz at the Flynn Center, the Waterfront, and the Church Street Marketplace; the Two-Beat Traveler brought jazz to the community. Vermont’s Ray Vega was the festival’s first Two-Beat Traveler. Ray is an accomplished trumpet player, a professor at the University of Vermont, and a vital member of Burlington’s jazz community.

The week started off with two afterschool workshops at the King Street Center. Ray spent time teaching the younger kids about rhythm and then worked with the older kids on polyrhythmic techniques. Wild drumming on colorful bucket drums developed into a steady beat once everyone learned that listening is an important part of making music. On Tuesday, Ray worked with an intimate group at the Spectrum Drop-In Center. One young man, who was originally skeptical about the workshop, began slowly to find his rhythm and his original grimace turned into a wide smile. He said that the drumming reminded him of his home in Columbia. Bridget LaRoche, Spectrum’s Drop-In and Outreach Coordinator, said the experience was “awesome, energetic, and engaging.”

Wednesday began with a workshop for Ms. Maggie’s kindergarten class at the Integrated Arts Academy. The class loved “Ray the Trumpet Man” and Ms. Maggie said that the students “were all interested in becoming a musician!” Later that afternoon, we held a percussion workshop at the Howard Center’s Resource Center during their weekly drum circle session. A group of 20 musicians, instruments in hand, eagerly greeted him as he walked in the door. Resource Center Coordinator, Jayne Weber, said that “Ray is so personable, I feel like I’ve made a new friend!” On Friday night, Ray joined the Diversity Rocks teens of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program at their weekly meeting. Laughter quickly filled the room as the group wordlessly developed their rhythm. The workshop ended with lively improvised solos on the conga drum.

All five workshops were unique. Ray has an innate talent at reading groups of all ages and abilities and adapting the workshop to fit the needs of each audience. He quickly became the most popular guy in the room and after every workshop participants asked Ray to come back soon.

After their hands-on experience workshop participants were invited to see a live jazz performance at the Flynn Center. Each partner organization received 25 free ticket vouchers to the festival’s closing night performance of Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band. As Poncho’s longtime friend and collaborator, Ray was the featured player that evening. After the show our partners joined us in the Amy E. Tarrant Gallery for a post-performance reception that quickly turned into an enthusiastic jam session. When teenagers are given pizza, soda, and percussion instruments everyone is bound to have a good time! Ray joined the party soon after his performance and was greeted with cheers from his new friends. He autographed tickets, posed for photos, and grabbed a drum.

The Two-Beat Traveler program was funded in part by a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation. Plans are already underway to continue the Two-Beat Traveler program during next year’s festival.

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Introducing our Mobile Giving Campaign

Each year the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival fills the city with nearly 100 free events for everyone to enjoy.

From students playing Jazz on the Marketplace, to our Twilight Jazz professional band series, and our educational events like Jazz In Film, JazzLab, Meet the Artist Sessions and Workshops, we strive to offer something that everyone can enjoy at no cost.

Text to Give Logo Coaster

This year we’re asking you to help us keep these free events going at the festival by donating $10. It couldn’t be easier. All you need is a mobile phone!

Take out your phone and prepare to send a new text message.

  • In the “To” field, enter the number 80100 (it’s not a full 7-10 digit number, we know, but trust us, it’ll work!)
  • In the “Message” field, enter JAZZ10   That’s the letters J A Z Z and the numbers 1 and 0.
  • Then hit send!
  • In just a few seconds, you’ll receive a reply confirmation that says “To confirm your $10 donation to FLYNN CENTER reply with the word YES. HELP for help, STOP to cancel.
  • In the “Message” field, enter YES and hit send.
  • You’ll then receive a reply that says “Thanks! $10 charged to your phone bill.”

Once you’ve done it, you’ll see how truly simple it is to show your love for the festival to help us continue to present world-class musicians all over town for everyone to enjoy.


  • $10 is the only amount you can donate this way. If you’d like to donate more, please consider becoming a Friend of Discover Jazz.
  • The donation is completely anonymous! Neither the festival nor Flynn Center will have access to your phone number, name or any other personal information
  • The full $10 will come directly to the festival. There are no service fees.

Thank you so much for your continued patronage and support of the festival. It simply wouldn’t happen without help from amazing people like you!

A one-time donation of $10.00 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Donor must be age 18+ and all donations must be authorized by the account holder (e.g. parents). By texting YES, the user agrees to the terms and conditions. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.hmgf.org/t. Message & Data Rates May Apply. You can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to short code 80100; text HELP to 80100 for help. Privacy Policy 


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Check out the ‘Round Town calendar!

Click here to explore the event listings for participating clubs and restaurants ‘Round Town!

Thank you to all of our ‘Round Town venues!

American Flatbread

BCA Center

Club Metronome

Courtyard Marriott Harbor Lounge

Daily Planet

Dobra Tea House

The Farmhouse Tap and Grill



Hotel Vermont

Leunig’s Bistro


Radio Bean

Red Square

Ri Ra

Skinny Pancake

Vermont Pub & Brewery

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History of Discover Jazz Programming

In this, our 30th Anniversary year, it’s fun to look back at all the AMAZING jazz artists who have visited our fair city over the years.  Check out this incredible list of talent.


1984 – Sarah Vaughan, Modern Jazz Quartet

1985 – Lionel Hampton & His Orchestra, Cramen Lundy, The Barrett Sisters, Bobby Watson

1986 – Ella Fitzgerald, Abdullah Ibrahim

1987 – Count Basie All-Stars, Gary Burton Quartet, Ralph Towner, Don Pullen-George Adams Quartet, Vernon Jones

1988 – Dizzy Gillespie, Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Arkestra, Emily Remler & Mick Goodrick, Roomful of Blues, Lenny Pickett & the Borneo Horns, Vernon Jones Gospel Singers

1989 – Joe Williams, Geri Allen Trio, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Jerry Gonzales & the Fort Apache Band, Bob Telson & Little Village, Paradise City Jazz Band, Sonny Okosuns

1990 – Betty Carter, Randy Weston African Rhythms with Andrew Cyrille, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Mahlathini & the Mahotella Queens

1991 – Dave Holland Quartet, Cassandra Wilson, Frank Morgan & George Cables, Rebirth Brass Band, Bo Dollis & the Wild Magnolias, Avery Sharpe, Roomful of Blues, Bill Cole with Julius Hemphill & Abdul Wadid, Orange Then Blue, Kanza

1992 – Dorothy Donegan, The JB Horns with Maceo Parker/Fred Wesley/Pee Wee Ellis, Jane Ira Bloom, Carla Bley & Steve Swallow, Otis Clay & Ann Peebles with the Memphis Horns, Les Tetes Brulees, Attila Zoller Group

1993 – Tito Puente Latin Jazz All-Stars, Sheila Jordan, Don Pullen’s African-Brazilian Connection, The Skatalites, Don Cherry, Marva Wright

1994 – Joe Henderson (with John Scofield, Al Foster & George Mraz), Kenny Burrell Trio, David Murray’s Shakill Warrior Quartet, Roomful of Blues, King Sunny Ade & His African Beats, Belizbeha

1995 – Betty Carter, Joshua Redman Quartet, James Carter Quartet, Jacky Terrasson Trio, Leon Parker Quintet, Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson, Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-Chas

1996 – Max Roach & M’Boom, James Carter Quartet, Trio 4 (Reggie Workman, Oliver Lake & Andrew Cyrille), Houston Person & Etta Jones, John Santos & the Machete Ensemble

1997 – McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Smith, Dr. John, Abdullah Ibrahim Trio, Myra Melford Quintet, Luther Allison, The Bronx Horns, Jireh Gospel Choir

1998 – Roy Hargrove Sextet, Dianne Reeves with Clark Terry, Lester  Bowie’s Brass Fantasy, Rebirth Brass Band, Cubanismo!, Gerry Hemingway Quartet, James Cotton, Leon Parker Percussion Summit, Motion Poets, Jazz Mandolin Project, Combustible Edison

1999 – Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter, David Murray Tenet, Danilo Perez Trio, Philip Hamilton, Lester Bowie with Fontella Bass, Terrance Simien, Sex Mob, The Toasters, Nick Palumbo, Jireh Gospel Choir

2000 – Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, Dave Douglas Sextet, Chucho Valdes Quartet, Toots Thielmans, Shemekia Copeland, Henry Butler, Jazz Mandolin Project, Herbin “Tamango” van Cayseele, Corey Harris, Jeff “Tain” Watts Experience, Kenny Werner.

2001 – Dave Brubeck Quartet, Dave Holland Quintet, James Carter Sextet, Marcia Ball, Barry Harris, Los Hombres Calientes, William Parker, Ken Vandermark, Grupo Vocal Desandan, Matthew Shipp

2002 – Wayne Shorter Quartet, Regina Carter Quartet, John Scofield Band, Jason Moran Trio with Sam Rivers, David Ware Quartet, Avishai Cohen’s International Vamp Band, Son Seals, Olu Dara, Sandra Wright Band, Jerry Gonzalez Fort Apache Band

2003 – Sonny Rollins, Trey Anastasio, Dave Holland Big Band, Andrew Hill Quartet, Alfredo de la Fe, Ray Anderson, Jean-Michel Pilc, Matthew Shipp Trio, Matt Savage

2004 – Branford Marsalis Quartet, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Omar Sosa Trio, Jane Bunnett & the Spirits of Havana, Randy Weston’s African Rhythms, Chris Potter Quartet, Steve Coleman & Five Elements

2005 – Madeline Peyroux Quartet, Kurt Rosenwinkel Group, McCoy Tyner Trio, Stanley Clarke/Bela Fleck/Jean-Luc Ponty Trio, Bill Charlap Trio, Sonny Fortune & Rashied Ali, Joe Lovano & Randy Brecker

2006 –Ahmad Jamal, Dianne Reeves, Vijay Iyer Quartet with Rudresh Mahanthappa, Dafnis Prieto, Ben Allison & Medicine Wheel, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Jennifer Hartswick, Irma Thomas & Henry Butler, Kilimanjaro, Burlington Discover Jazz Festival Big Band

2007 – Eddie Palmieri, Esparanza Spalding, Kenny Garrett Quartet with Pharoah Sanders, Miguel Zenon, Chick Corea & Bela Fleck, Lee “Scratch” Perry, John Pizzarelli, Christine Jensen Quartet with Ingrid Jensen, Ryan Shaw, Magic Slim, Bettye Lavette,  Naomi Davis & The Gospel Queens, Mary Lou Williams Resurgence Project, MaMaVig

2008 – Ornette Coleman, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Ledisi, Paquito D’Rivera, Joshua Redman Trio, hardcell, Trio 3, Lionel Loueke, Marcia Ball, Eek-A-Mouse, James Harvey

2009 – Diana Krall, Esparanza Spalding, Anat Cohen Quartet, Yusef Lateef, Branford Marsalis, Pink Martini, Belizbeha, Luis Perdomo Trio, Grace Kelly Quintet, Porter-Batiste-Stolz, Trio BraamDeJoodeVatcher, Corey Harris, Pato Banton, Jennifer Hartswick

2010 – Sonny Rollins, Levon Helm, Luciana Souza & Romero Lubambo, Allen Toussaint, Mose Allison, Arturo Sandoval, Stephane Wrembel, Jim Hall Quartet, Gerald Clayton Trio, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Michael Zsoldos Quartet, Jason Kao Hwang, Wailing Souls

2011 – Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Catherine Russell, Roberta Gambarini, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Ray Vega Latin Jazz Quartet, JD Allen Trio, Jay Clayton & Sheila Jordan, Myra Melford Be Bread Sextet, Matt Schofield, The Abyssinians, Les Doigts de L’Homme, Viperhouse, “Bitches Brew Revisited”

2012 – Bonnie Raitt, Ninety Miles (feat. Stefon Harris, David Sanchez & Nicholas Payton), Bela Fleck & The Marcus Roberts Trio, Christina McBride & Inside Straight, Dianne Reeves, Lee Konitz Quartet, Jonathan Batiste Quintet, Vijay Iyer, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Jimmy Cliff, Craig Taborn, Donny McCaslin Group, Tim Berne & Snakeoil, Mary Halvorson Quintet, Moon Hooch, Marco Benevento, Chicha Libra

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