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Pizazz Smooth Jazz Festival Heats Up Charlotte

Headlined by saxophonist Kenny G, the new festival kicks off Labor Day weekend with Grammy Award-level entertainment.

Kenny G - Photo courtesy of Pizazz Smooth Jazz Festival

Charlotte’s appetite for jazz is insatiable. With standing and sellout jazz-centric events at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, and venues and restaurants around town, the offbeat genre continues to turn the Queen City into an all-out jam session.

Our latest addition is the Pizazz Smooth Jazz Festival, which kicks off its inaugural showcase on Aug. 31 in Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre. Created by Pizazz Entertainment, a locally based entertainment booking and promotion company, the late-summer celebration is just one of many events the company plans to bring to the city.

Touting Pizazz’s 30-plus years of local, regional and national industry experience, President Brian Howard says their goal is to foster Charlotte’s appreciation for live music. From a community standpoint, the company also hopes to eventually provide aspiring young artists with access to national platforms.

Dave Koz and The Summer Horns - Photo courtesy of Pizazz Smooth Jazz Festival

This jazz festival, their first, is already hitting the right notes. Headliner Kenny G—yes, the Kenny G—is joined by Grammy-nominated saxophonist Dave Koz and The Summer Horns (featuring Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Richard Elliott and Audrey Logan) and the Funky Fly Project, a funk, jazz group out of Pittsburgh. Legendary Grammy Award-winner Bob James and the Bob James Trio will also perform, the festival coinciding with the release of James' new album, Espresso, that very same day. These unforgettable acts will be set against a picture-perfect backdrop, Charlotte’s skyline, just ahead of Labor Day weekend. (Talk about timing.)

Want to check it out? Tickets are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets,, or charge by phone at 704.745.3000.

Bob James - Photo courtesy of Pizazz Smooth Jazz Festival