The 14th annual Duck Jazz Festival presented by PNC Bank is scheduled for October 7-8, 2023 in the Duck Town Park with live jazz music featuring regional, national and international artists. This annual event is free, non-ticketed and open to the public thanks to generous support from presenting sponsor PNC Bank, grant organizations and sponsor support from local businesses. The Town Green stage, Amphitheater and Town Hall buildings provide opportunities for musicians and attendees to interact during performances and at meet-and-greet areas on the grounds.
This year’s artistic vision, Jazz Moves You, recognizes the impact and influence that jazz has on those who enjoy it, and the impact and influence it brings to Dare County as a whole. The 2023 Duck Jazz Festival will celebrate the fellowship created amongst residents, visitors, and businesses. Jazz Moves You aims to bring recognition to the importance of the arts in our society and create an opportunity for festivalgoers to immerse themselves in music while seeing firsthand how the arts connect us together, foster well-being, and promote community growth.
Various jazz-themed community events are planned leading up to the festival beginning on Thursday, October 5 with Nature on the Boardwalk at 9:30 a.m. New to the Duck Jazz Festival is a special Bias Speaker Series event scheduled for Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Paul F. Keller Meeting Hall. The lecture series will feature Douglas Jackson, Professor of Music at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, NC, where he teaches Trumpet, African American Music History, Music Business, directs the Elizabeth City State University Jazz Ensemble. He is also the founder of the Elizabeth City State University Jazz Festival.
A Jazzy-Duck Sweep is scheduled for Friday morning. Festivalgoers are invited to join volunteers to make a positive impact on our environment by taking part in a litter cleanup. Ascension Music Academy joins us at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 6 in the Paul F. Keller Meeting Hall for a jazz-themed story time and rhythm play for pre-school aged children. A jazz-themed Movie on the Green returns on Friday with the movie “La La Land” playing on the Town Green beginning at sunset.
The Festival weekend kicks off on Saturday, October 7 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with Michael Hawkins and The Brotherhood performing on the Main Stage of the Town Green. Michael Hawkins and The Brotherhood bring a signature, rich bass tone to compliment both horn players and vocalists. Following the Concert on the Green, festival
goers are invited to attend a live jam held at The Blue Point where attendees can mingle with performers and enjoy musical improvisation.
Sunday, October 8, brings a variety of jazz to the Duck Town Park with performances alternating between the Main Stage and Amphitheater Stage. The Hot Lanes with Bobby Jasinski, a 16-piece big band, will begin the day on the Main Stage at 11:00 a.m. with their energetic, lively performance.
The Greg Duncan Organ Quartet, led by Greg Duncan, infuses the classic sounds of jazz with the captivating resonance of a Hammond organ. The ensemble plays contemporary jazz that grooves with a mixture of blues, swing, and even flamenco.
The Funky Knuckles joins the festival from Dallas, Texas and brings their contemporary jazz that blends intricate musicality with an irresistible groove. They are known for their compositions that blend jazz, funk, rock, and electronic elements to create music that pushes the boundaries in the world of jazz.
North Carolina-based John Brown “Little” Big Band will close out the festival on the Main Stage as the sun sets with their soulful, big band sound that packs a punch. John Brown’s ensemble captivates audiences with dynamic compositions and masterful arrangements, creating a fresh, contemporary, yet classic, jazz sound.
The Amphitheater Stage will feature Jazz is Led from Charlotte, NC, bringing jazz and funk to the stage with a wide range of styles, textures, and dynamics. Brass Queens from New York, a nine- piece all female brass band, will bring their signature sound that sits right at the intersection of the Big Apple and the Big Easy. The First Flight High School Honors Jazz Band will also perform, showcasing the talent of our student musicians, and provide opportunities to meet the other festival performers.
Jazz also moves to the schools on Monday, October 9, with the annual jazz workshop for First Flight High School Students led by John Brown, bassist for John Brown “Little” Big Band and Vice Provost for the Arts, Director of the Jazz Program, and Professor of the Practice of Music at Duke University.
The full schedule of activities, all festival information, volunteer opportunities, and town-wide events can be found at www.duckjazz.com.
Follow us on social media and at DuckJazz.com to learn about jazz-themed events and promotions held by local businesses both before and after the festival. Be sure to make your plans now for the Duck Jazz Festival!