Anyone who thinks Jazz is a dying music form hasn’t been to the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. Jazz the musical genre that shocked and awed when it first erupted onto the scene in the early 20th century. The music that inspired a new gusto for life. The music that broke all the rules and relished in it.
Jazz of the past, present, and future is spectacular, and the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival aims to share, show, and teach the community all about it. This year marks the beloved festivals 34th year and it’s looking to be one of the best years yet!
One of the largest annual festivals in Vermont, the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival takes place from June 2nd – 11th and is a 10-day celebration of live music for all ages. The festival features some free live music on four stages in downtown Burlington, headlining shows at the historic Flynn Center for the Performing Arts and the Waterfront Tent, and nightly showcases in restaurants and venues all over the city. Basically, for 10 days Burlington transforms into one giant party. It’s rad.
Fancy yourself a taste of the Festival? Get your tail up (or down depending on where you are) to Burlington, Vermont!
What to Do In Burlington, Vermont
The town of Burlington alone is well-worth a visit, and now with the Festival around the corner, there’s no better time to visit! If you do decide to swing by Burlington over the course of the Festival, here are our recommendations on what to do, see, and listen to during the festival:
Listen/See: Pink Martini
Joie de vivre. If you want to know what that is, then you’ll want to plan your trip around the Pink Martini performance. A rollicking tour-de-genre that switches between musical genres and styles as quickly as a New York bartender shakes up your cocktail. With a multilingual repertoire, the group has performed on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout the world. This event will take place on Friday, June 2nd at 8 p.m. on the Flynn Mainstage and tickets range from $25-60.
Listen/See: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Nothing short of a trombone genius, Trombone Shorty switches to trumpet with no warning, has appeared on stage with Bo Diddley at four years old and was performing with fellow Crescent City native Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra by the time he was 13. He and his band have played the Grammys, appeared regularly in the HBO hit series Treme, and performed at the White House. His band, Orleans Avenue, is a volcanic fusion of funk, rock, and hip-hop. This event will take place on Thursday, June 8th at 5 p.m. at the Waterfront Tent and tickets are $40.
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Listen/See: Arrested Development Featuring Operation: Prince featuring Craig Mitchell & the Purple Ones
Creating and sharing socially-conscious music since 1991, Arrested Development can be described as hip-hop trailblazers. Within each of their songs, the group analyzes and celebrates black reality which results in fluid, beat-heavy work that is of equal force and funk. This event will take place on Saturday, June 10th at 6 p.m. at the Waterfront Tent and tickets are $35.
Listen/See: Diana Krall
A three-time Grammy-winner and the top-selling female jazz artist of the past 30 years, Diana Krall is sensational. With each new record, she expands the boundaries of her range without compromising herself and her essence. This event will take place on Friday, June 9th at 8 p.m. on the Flynn Mainstage and tickets cost between $50-100.
Do/Taste: Stock up on Fresh Foods and Finds at the Burlington Farmer’s Market
Depending on when you swing into town for the festival, you might get the chance to check out the incredible Burlington Farmer’s Market! Held every Saturday, the Farmer’s Market provides a welcoming venue for visitors and locals alike to shop directly from Vermont farmers, and artisans in the city’s historic downtown.
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Do/See: Church Street Marketplace
Downtown Burlington is a happening place to be, and in between musical events, we recommend checking out the Church Street Marketplace. Essentially, the marketplace is an open-air shopping and dining mall, with a delightful mix of historic buildings, shops, cuisine, entertainment, bookstores, and plenty of music.
Those who have a taste for jazz tend to have excellent taste in all things if we do say so ourselves. To further enhance your Festival experience, book your stay nearby at The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa. More than a countryside resort, The Essex is a full sensory experience. As you rest and relax between musical events, you can enjoy the vast amenities of The Essex. For cuisine connoisseurs, sign up for one of our iconic Cook Academy classes. To truly feel rejuvenated enjoy a treatment at the Spa. Golf, swimming, and exploring the charming grounds are all available at any time for your enjoyment.
We hope you’re able to attend one or more of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival events, and if you have any questions regarding the festival or our resort, please contact us!