Annual jazz festival takes center stage at Cascades

Local artist prepares their table for day 3 of the Coolbreeze Art and Smooth Jazz Festival.
Photo by Shamonee Baker

For the fourth consecutive year, the Coolbreeze festival has served as a platform to highlight the beauty of art and music in Tallahassee as part of Jazz Appreciation Month.

The festival caters to all age groups and strives to “bring together talented artists and musicians from the North Florida area.”

The three-day event that connects musicians and artists began on Thursday with a youth music workshop at Florida A&M University, followed by a pre-jazz festival happy hour at the Hyatt Hotel on Friday, according to

Today,  the event’s last day, the jazz concert and festival were scheduled to take place from 3 to 8 p.m. at Cascades Park.

Musicians warming up for their performances in the Coolbreeze Art and Smooth Jazz Festival.
Photo by Shamonee Baker

The FAMU Jazz Ensemble was among the many featured musicians, including Noteworthy and The James Ward Band (JWB).

In past years, the family-friendly festival has featured musicians like FAMU quartet, Aaron Hayden, Johnny Sax and Joel Johnson and Friends.

The event coordinator, Jennifer Donald, says the festival has received a great response on social media since the start of the festivities and she is hopeful that same response will mirror today’s event.

“This is a really nice event for the community,” Donald said. “It’s an opportunity for good music, food and exposure for young entrepreneurs and authors.”

Two examples of those young entrepreneurs are Ethan and Edward Chapman III.

Ethan Chapman, a 6-year-old author of the book “The Important People in My Community,” stands aside his mother Lourie Chapman as she sets up their merchandise table and hangs up their banners.

Youri Chapman, Ethan Chapman and Edward Chapman III (left to right) posing by their merchandise table.
Photo by Shamonee Baker

“We are here to inspire other kids to start young and show them that there is no limit,” Youri Chapman said. “You can aspire to be whatever.”

Ethan’s older brother, Edward Chapman III, is a 10-year-old drummer and owner of 3RD’s Drum Line.

He was set to take the main stage of the festival to have a solo drum performance around 3 p.m.

“Even in the midst of a good time you can build your brand and business,” Youri Chapman said.

If you go:

What: Coolbreeze Art and Smooth Jazz Festival

When:  From 3 to 8 p.m. today, weather permitting.

Where: Cascades Park

Cost: Free for general admission; $5 for VIP admission (reserved seating and a VIP bag)

For more information, visit