2022 marks the 9th season of the Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival produced by Blues to Green, an annual celebration that brings thousands of people together in the heart of Springfield, MA. This internationally heralded festival has become a powerful expression of civic pride, uniting our region’s diverse cultural communities through music, art, education, and revelry.
Bringing thousands of people together in the heart of Springfield, MA, this festival is the city’s premier annual event, featuring national stars and local talent playing jazz, blues, funk, Latin, and African music. The family-friendly celebration also offers arts activities, and fascinating talks on arts, culture, and social justice with local pop-up craft, food and beverages. Admission is FREE but donations are appreciated. You can reserve your free tickets and find this year’s full musical line-up at springfieldjazzfest.org.
The festival expands to two days for 2022 beginning Friday August 12 at 5PM with a who’s who of local music veterans and a sneak peek (or an unveiling depending on its progress!) of the iconic Worthington Street Mural project celebrating Springfield history. The mural is being painstakingly restored by Springfield artist John Simpson who has studied old photographs of the building’s wall in an effort to accurately recreate as much of the original mural as possible.
Friday night’s musical performances feature Shor’ty Billups, a soul & R&B living legend (now residing in Enfield CT) who played with Ruth Brown, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Jackie Wilson, and Wilson Pickett among others. Also performing are Valley legends FAT with Peter Newland and their special guest Scott Murawski from Max Creek, Valley blues/rock icon Mitch Chakour (who was Joe Cocker’s music director) and friends, popular Valley blues rockers The Buddy McEarns Band, and soulful blues belter Janet Ryan and her band.
Saturday’s festivities commence at 12:30 PM on Saturday August 13th at the Springfield Museum with a parade led by the New Orleans celebrated second-line ensemble The New Breed Brass Band starting from the Wood Museum of Springfield History, where attendees will have free access to the ‘Horn Man: The Life and Musical Legacy of Charles Neville’ exhibit. The parade will end at the stage for our kick-off performance. The complete Saturday performer line-up is listed below and can be seen at springfieldjazzfest.org.
In addition to the musical performances, the multi-faceted festival will feature various arts activities, presentations, and workshops. Puerto Rican jazz trombonist William Cepeda will lead a workshop about traditional Afro-Puerto Rican music on Friday August 12th at 5 pm, at the Hispanic American Library. Cuban jazz vocalist, Dayme Arocena, will lead a workshop about traditional Afro-Cuban music at the festival on Saturday. Attendees can also participate in a mural paint party (separate mural project from the one on Friday) and a presentation by Puerto Rican mural artist Betsy Casanas, and conversations connecting arts with food and climate justice.
Join us for two days of music, pop-up food and beverage vendors, supporting local businesses, and an unforgettable family-friendly celebration.
The Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival is produced by Blues to Green and is made possible by grant funders, local business sponsors, and donors.