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Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival

Stearns Square [Springfield, MA]

Event info
Date: July 20, 2023
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Stearns Square
Address: Springfield, MA

10th Annual Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival Returns for Three Days of Music, Art, and Community Building

(Springfield, MA) The 10th Annual Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival is set to take place on Thursday, July 20th, Friday, July 21st, and Saturday, July 22nd, bringing together thousands of music enthusiasts, artists, and community members, first on Fort St., and then in Stearns Square and Tower Square Park. The festival has become the city’s premier annual cultural event, showcasing a diverse lineup of national stars and local talent spanning jazz, blues, funk, hip hop, Latin, and African music genres. Alongside the incredible musical performances, attendees can participate in arts activities, engaging presentations, and workshops that celebrate the cultural renaissance of Springfield.


The festival kicks off on Thursday, July 20th at 7 PM with an opening concert by the Garifuna Collective outdoors at the Student Prince on Fort St. Then the festivities in Stearns Square begin on Friday, July 21 at 5:30 PM with a stellar lineup taking the stage. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore vendors and local brick-and-mortar restaurants surrounding the festival, providing a vibrant atmosphere filled with culinary delights and unique shopping experiences. The evening’s musical performances will be headlined by the soulful leading Blues artist of this generation, Shemekia Copeland, whose powerful sound is sure to captivate audiences. Also gracing the stage will be Imperial Boxmen, a talented lineup of Chicago musicians known for their captivating jazz-funk fusion. The Friday night program will begin with a special performance by local musician Frank Manzi, who takes great pride in entertaining his hometown of Springfield, MA.


Saturday’s festivities commence at 12:30 PM on July 22nd with an exciting parade starting from the steps of City Hall, led by the Brown Rice Family Band and the Community Music School of Springfield. The parade will culminate at the main stage, where the kick-off performance will take place. Attendees can also enjoy a screening of the film “City of A Million Dreams – Parading for The Dead In New Orleans” at the Reevx Labs by Berkshire Bank, exploring the origins and creation of the New Orleans jazz funeral (and second line parades)—a passionate display blending grief and joy, sadness and elation, weeping and dancing, adorned with feathers and sequins, instilling hope for the living and much more. Following the screening, there will be a Q&A session with the filmmaker Jason Berry. The movie perfectly sets the stage for the much anticipated evening performance by Delfeayo Marsalis & the Uptown Jazz Orchestra from New Orleans. Fourteen diverse musical groups will grace two stages throughout the day, including a performance of Avery Sharpe’s 400 Project with members of the Springfield Symphony and Chorus. The full lineup of Saturday’s performers can be seen at


In addition to the extraordinary musical performances, the festival will feature various arts activities, presentations, and workshops, creating a multi-faceted experience for attendees. The festival’s mission is to unite people through the power of music while fostering a sense of community, contributing to Springfield’s cultural and economic revitalization, and promoting social justice. Families and individuals of all ages are welcome to enjoy the festivities. The festival will also feature local pop-up craft vendors, food stalls offering delicious cuisine, and a variety of beverages to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Admission to the festival is free, although donations to support this incredible event are greatly appreciated.


The 10th Annual Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival is presented by Blues to Green, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using music and art to center the cultures of the African diaspora within American culture, nurture personal freedom, strengthen multicultural community, and catalyze action for racial, economic, and climate justice in Springfield MA and beyond. Inspired by famed musician Charles Neville and founded by his wife, Kristin Neville, Blues to Green is a small but mighty nonprofit organization. To learn more about Blues to Green and how the festival helps achieve social change, please visit



This festival is made possible by grant funders, local business sponsors, and donors.