HOUSTON, TX (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Thirty-year-old Jazz Education, Inc. will kick off "August Jazz Month" with the 17th Annual Houston International Jazz Festival August 3-5. Attracting more than 5,000 visitors annually, the festival highlights some of the most inspirational jazz entertainment from around the world, bringing a diverse mix of smooth and neo-jazz styles to Jones Plaza in downtown Houston. Gates open at 4 p.m. on Aug. 4-5; the program begins at 5 p.m.
Founded in 1991 by drummer Bubbha Thomas, executive director of Jazz Education, Inc., with the support of the late Congressman Mickey Leland, Thomas says Leland's response to the concept was, "Bubbha you get the talent and I'll get the sponsorships."
All proceeds from the festival go to fund Jazz Education Inc.'s educational programs, "Jazz & Poetry Series," "Summer Jazz Workshop," and "August Jazz Month." The Jazz and Poetry program serves more than 30,000 elementary school children, and through two locations, the Summer Jazz Workshop trains over 100 teenage musicians.
Festival sponsors include Houston Arts Alliance, Smooth Jazz 95.7, Kroger Food Stores, Houston Chronicle, Comcast Cable, Hyundai, Serious Sounds, Houston Convention & Visitor's Bureau, Grolsch, and Black Cotton Works.
The 17th Annual Houston International Jazz Festival:
August 3 – Void
August 4 – "The Jazzmasters Tribute" featuring: Gregg Karukas, Chris
Strandring, Shilts, Bubbha Thomas featuring Norma Zenteno, and
the Summer Jazz All-Stars from Willowridge High School
August 5 – Summer Jazz Workshop Allstars: Anthony David, Terisa Griffin & Eric Roberson
— Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner