Austin Declares Lavelle White Day! September 28th, 2007
Austin Jazz and Arts Festival began in 1989 as the Clarksville Jazz and Arts Festival, the Austin Jazz and Arts Festival is now Austin’s oldest existing annual jazz festival. The Festival celebrates the diverse musical and cultural heritage of Austin, and features at its core high quality jazz, blues, world music and gospel performances from Austin’s best emerging and established artists and national touring talent.
Presented as a mixed-arts culture festival, the program often includes a range of performing arts, spoken word, children’s activities, fine arts and crafts exhibition and sales, and representation of area civic groups, community non profits and arts organizations. Each year, we carry out our mission to present multidisciplinary, family-oriented programs that stress artistic quality, education, and cultural appreciation. Over the years we have presented world-class jazz legends McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Smith, Ellis Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Ray Barretto and local standard bearers James Polk, Mitch Watkins, Martin Banks, Tony Campesi, Grey Ghost and countless others.
Currently, DiverseArts’ focus for the Jazz Fest is to re-establish the project within the newly revitalized core of Central East Austin. As the East End solidifies its identity as a cultural heritage district, it makes sense that Austin’s most established jazz festival provides a programming anchor for the district. By doing so, we enhance the cultural offerings for Austin and provide opportunities for East End economic development and cultural tourism for the area.