Tribute To Prince At This Year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival

by Rafeal Crawford

In order to celebrate the life of one of the most talented, influential and admired artists of all time, the Atlanta Jazz Festival will present a special Tribute to Prince during this year’s Late Night Jazz Jam. Russell Gunn, along with his Quartet, and Lil John Roberts (who performed with Prince at the 2005 NAACP Awards) will host the evening at the Park Tavern on Saturday, May 28 at 11 pm. The jam and tribute will take place right after the festival concerts in Piedmont Park. Enoch IS Real will spin tunes to welcome guests and get the party started on the right note.


“We are saddened and shocked by the passing of Prince,” states Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “It seems fitting that we honor his life and legacy during this year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival. Our late night jam session will be a great spot for this, and we are inviting musicians from Piedmont Park to join us. It should be an extraordinary night of music.”


Tickets for the Late Night Jazz Jam are $35 online in advance, and $40 at the door. Doors open at 10 pm and music will start at 11 pm. Here’s the link to purchase:


Truly the quintessential contemporary musician, Russell Gunn’s imaginative trumpet playing has earned him respect and recognition for pushing the boundaries of jazz.  With a singular style that incorporates influences of masters like Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, and the underrated Booker Little; Gunn has gained a following for his own music through touring and well-received albums, including the Grammy-nominated Ethnomusicology, Vol. 1 and Ethnomusicology Vol. 2.


One of the most sought after jazz and R&B drummers of his generation, Lil John Roberts has maintained his status in the industry as the ultimate heartbeat. As a teenager he played with the Duke Ellington Orchestra in a project that was created and directed by Wynton Marsalis. He has worked with numerous jazz greats including Herbie Hancock, Rachelle Ferrelle, George Duke and Kirk Whalum. And he’s toured with Dionne Farris, Xscape, Monica, The Goodie Mob, JOI, Janet Jackson, Prince and many more.


The Park Tavern is located next to Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta, at 500 10th Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309. They offer a wide assortment of handcrafted draft beers, wine, hard ciders and unique cocktails.

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