Founded in 1980 by Dr. Thom Horning and Reginald Buckner, the mission of Tri-C JazzFest is: foster the history and nurture the future of Jazz, provide educational opportunities for students of all ages and in all walks of life, and bring world-class Jazz to Cleveland
While it began as a weekend event, it grew into a 10-day festival, reaching 15,000 people annually. With the addition of the Tommy LiPuma Center for the Creative Arts, the festival is now entering a new phase of year-round educational and concert presentations.
Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland has achieved its reputation as an international educational and cultural festival by providing local and international artists the opportunity to showcase their creative work and by highlighting the enduring elements and important directions in this distinctly American music. It is the largest music festival in Ohio, and the largest educational jazz festival in the country. The inclusion of students and teachers ensures the future of the art form in Northeast Ohio, and free outreach programming provides cultural access to Cleveland’s underserved population.
Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland features jazz performances, clinics master classes, lectures, broadcasts, and a breadth of other concert and community outreach activities. Local and national artists teach, compose, arrange, and perform. Concerts take place at Severance hall, PlayhouseSquare, the Metropolitan and Eastern Campuses of Cuyahoga Community College. Traditional community outreach locations include Karamu House, the East Cleveland Public Library, the Cleveland Public Libraries, the Children’s museum, MOCA Cleveland, jazz clubs and neighborhood and community centers. Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland presents concerts and educational activities throughout the year, with concentrated activities and performances in April, July and November.