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Music Lovers Unite at the Capital Jazz Fest

Capital Jazz Fest

Photo Credit: Jamezlecakes/Trumpet/Flickr

Each year, the Capital Jazz Fest in Columbia, Md., draws tens of thousands of music lovers from across the country to enjoy a three-day celebration featuring top jazz talent and soul singers.

The 2015 festival is scheduled for June 5-7 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Tickets go on sale for this event in March. Single and multi-day tickets may be purchased directly from the event website.

2015 Capital Jazz Fest

Finishing touches are currently being applied to the lineup for the 23rd annual Capital Jazz Fest. An announcement will be made on the event website in March regarding the 2015 artists. Be sure to check back for the latest information.

The event typically features more than 30 top jazz talent and soul singers. Artists that participated in last year’s festival include Chaka Khan, The O’Jays, Faith Evans, Erykah Badu and John Legend.

In addition to the music, the Capital Jazz Fest also offers fine arts and crafts vendors in the Festival Marketplace and a variety of offerings at the food court. You can also participate in artist workshops and meet-and-greet events.

Capital Jazz Fest history

The Capital Jazz Fest started in 1993 at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, Va., but moved to Merriweather Post Pavilion in 2004 because attendance had grown substantially. The three-day festival now attracts nearly 20,000 jazz fans of all ages daily.

The annual event is managed by Capital Jazz Radio, which also organizes a Jazz SuperCruise each year. Recent performers on the SuperCruise include Ruben Studdard and Patti LaBelle.

Dos and don’ts for attending the Capital Jazz Fest

The Jazz Fest is held rain or shine, so be sure to pack a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses for sunny days, as well as a raincoat and umbrella for wet ones. While the concert is held in June, it’s also recommended that you bring a jacket, sweatshirt or sweatpants, as the temperature can drop quickly after sunset.

Many concertgoers set up a place for the day with a beach blanket, chairs and even a beach umbrella in designated areas. Umbrellas, tents and blankets are allowed as long as none of them are wider than 10 feet.

Performances take place on two stages. In 2014, contemporary jazz and adult contemporary artists performed on the Pavilion Stage, while classic soul and soul alternative acts performed on the Symphony Woods stage.

There are seats for the event, however you can choose to sit on the lawn and listen to the music. Be sure to pack a beach blanket, towels or chairs if you choose to sit on the lawn. Chairs are allowed but must be no higher than 36 inches from the ground.

Feel free to bring a cooler or picnic basket, however a variety of food and drinks are available at the event in the concession areas.

You may not bring alcoholic beverages to the Jazz Fest.

Mega-fans may want to bring along photos of their favorite artist or a music CD for the artist to sign at one of the meet-and-greet sessions.

Merriweather Post Pavilion

Merriweather Post Pavilion is the largest music venue in Maryland. Surrounded by 40 acres of forest, the venue is located in between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Since it opened in 1967, a wide range of acts have graced its stages, including Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead.

The Wayside Inn

After soaking in the jazz music, The Wayside Inn in Ellicott City is the perfect place to serve as your home base while you’re in the area. Our bed and breakfast offers six different beautiful rooms, and a stay at The Wayside in includes a freshly made breakfast each morning.