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Jacksonville Jazz Festival Collection Finding Aid

Collection Number: M07-1
Dates: 1981-2013
Size: 2.5 linear ft. (6 boxes)
Repository: Special Collections, Thomas G. Carpenter Library, University of North Florida
Arrangement: Arranged alphabetically by series; chronological within folder.
Language: English
Container List: View Container List


The Jacksonville Jazz Festival is a popular musical event held annually in Jacksonville, Florida. Since its inception in 1980, it has grown into a major festival, with an attendance in excess of 10,000 and featuring a variety of local, national and international performers over the years, including jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie (1981), Miles Davis (1986), and Tony Bennett (2003). The collection consists of printed materials, souvenirs and memorabilia. Types of items include official posters and programs, advertising brochures / fliers / media packets, postcards, t-shirts and other apparel, buttons, coffee mugs and other souvenirs which document the Festival's activities and development from 1981 to date.


Majority of materials donated by Festival sponsors, WJCT and City of Jacksonville. Some materials collected by Archives staff.

Access to the Collection

The collection is open for research. For additional information and to make an appointment to view the collection, contact (904) 620-1533 or e-mail

Preferred Citation

Jacksonville Jazz Festival Collection, Thomas G. Carpenter Library, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Florida.

Additional Guides

Related Materials

Historical / Biographical Note

The first Festival, Mayport and all that Jazz, was held in 1980, named after the fishing village of Mayport near Jacksonville Beach. It was a one-day celebration featuring music and seafood, and sponsored by the City of Jacksonville. After its second year, the venue was moved to Metropolitan Park in downtown Jacksonville, and was co-sponsored by WJCT, the local public broadcasting affiliate. In 1983, the Great American Jazz Piano Competition was added as the Festival's opening event.


After the 1984 concert, the Festival was solely produced by WJCT and became known officially as the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. With the exception of an interval of two years (2001-2002), the Festival has taken place every year since, initially in October and currently in May, and has grown into one of the largest jazz festivals in the United States. Sponsored once again by the City of Jacksonville since 2003, the Festival encompassed four days of events in 2007, including a piano competition, 5 km run, and multi-location concerts at various venues: Metropolitan Park, Jacksonville Landing, Florida and Ritz Theatres. In 2008, the Festival was scaled back to three days of events, with the Jazz Piano Competition taking place as usual at the Florida Theatre, but all other performances were held at Metropolitan Park. Due to a scheduling conflict, the 2009 Festival was moved from April to May 21-24, and performances were held at a variety of downtown sites rather than at Metropolitan Park. The 2010 Festival, held May 27-30 in urban Jacksonville, featured jazz performances by renowned musicians, jazz junior educational activities, jazz jam and jazz talks, and a downtown art show and sale in a street festival setting. In 2011, the Festival was held on May 26-29 over Memorial Day weekend. Multiple stages were erected in downtown Jacksonville, and performers included Natalie Cole, Gentlemen of the Night featuring Paul Taylor, Marion Meadows and Warren Hill, John Pizzarelli Quartet with the University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble I, Joey Calderazoo, and other jazz musicians. The 2012 Festival was held on May 24-26, and featured among others Grammy Award winner Patti Austin with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Sonny Rollins, Ya' Gozo' The Latin Jazz Band, Noel Freidline Quintet, and Longineu Parsons. Addison Frei, a student from the University of North Texas, won the Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition held on May 24 in the Florida Theatre. The Festival was cancelled on Sunday (May 27) due to the potential arrival of subtropical storm Beryl.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of printed materials, souvenirs and memorabilia, including official posters and programs, promotional brochures / fliers/ media packets, invitations, postcards, apparel, buttons and pins which document the Festival's activities and development from 1981 to date. The bulk of the collection are printed materials, and materials are mixed for each year.

Index Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection:

  • Jacksonville Jazz Festival.
  • Mayport and All That Jazz Festival (Jacksonville, Fla.)
  • Jazz -- Florida -- Jacksonville.
  • Jazz festivals -- Florida -- Jacksonville.