It's Here - JCAL's Downtown Jamaica Jazz Festival Details

  • April 11, 2023

JCAL is thrilled to announce the lineup for the 2023 Downtown Jamaica Jazz Festival. This flagship cultural event celebrates the rich jazz heritage rooted in Southeast Queens and promotes generations of talents who hail from diverse cultures residing in the community today. 

Downtown Jamaica Jazz Festival begins Friday, May 19, 6:30pm, with an opening reception and performances at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (153-10 Jamaica Ave.). On Saturday, May 20, the festival continues outdoors at Rufus King Park (150-29 Jamaica Ave.) with a music marathon from 12 noon to 8:30pm. Admission is free; RSVPs are encouraged here.

Curated by Rio Sakairi, Artistic Director of The Jazz Gallery, the Downtown Jamaica Jazz Festival is known for presenting legendary jazz artists and for providing a platform to the most prominent musicians emerging on the scene. For example, the 2021 festival was opened by Samara Joy, who won Best Jazz Vocal Album at the 2023 Grammy Awards as well as Best New Artist—only the second jazz artist in history to be so honored.

Downtown Jamaica Jazz Festival 2023 brings back the legendary Ravi Coltrane, who led an explosive performance at the 2021 festival. It also features some of jazz’s biggest names, such as the Grammy-nominated Pedrito Martinez and Jaleel Shaw. Other highlights include Southeast Queens’ own Marcus Gilmore, who recently headlined JCAL’s Thursday Night Jazz series to a capacity crowd. With the move to Rufus King Park, this year’s festival is JCAL’s most ambitious effort yet. 

JCAL’s Downtown Jamaica Jazz Festival 2023 is supported by the Mellon Foundation and Resorts World New York City, with additional support from New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Council Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers, Council Member Nantasha Williams, and general operating support from the Mayor’s Office and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Downtown Jamaica Jazz Festival 2023 Lineup

Friday, May 19, 2023 @ JPAC

6:30 - 7:30 pm Reception

7:30 - 8:30 pm Michela Marino Lerman

9:00 - 10:00 pm Ravi Coltrane 

Saturday, May 20, 2023 @ Rufus King Park

12:30 - 1:30 pm Dabin Ryu

2:00 - 3:00 pm Patricia Brennen

3:30 - 4:30 pm Marcus Gilmore

5:00 - 6:00 pm Jaleel Shaw

6:30 - 7:30 pm Pedrito Martinez