See who's jazzing up St. Paul for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival


You can get your jazz fix this weekend at the 18th annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

The free festivities kicked off Thursday, and they're held mostly in the Lowertown area of Downtown St. Paul at a bunch of different venues. So if you're trying to avoid music this weekend, good luck with that.

The venues include stages at Mears and Kellogg Parks, the Como Lakeside Pavilion and Hat Trick Lounge. To see the full list of venues, click here.

And it's going to be busy. According to MinnPost, 40,000 people are expected to attend. That's 10,000 more than last year.

The site says there will be a lot of local talent, too. More than 300 Minnesota artists are set to play. That's in addition to musicians from other states and countries.

Who's performing?

One of Thursday's headlining performances was the youngest the Twin Cities Jazz Festival has ever had – 12-year-old Joey Alexander.

He was born in Indonesia and taught himself to play at the age of six, his website says.

Trombonist Delfaeyo Marsalis also headlined on Thursday. Yes, he's the brother of Wynton and Brandon Marsalis and he performed in St. Paul with his quartet.

His dad, Ellis Marsalis, is being featured on Friday.

A homegrown act is also featured Friday: Sonny Knight and the Lakers.

Sonny Knight is a retired truck driver who's based in Minneapolis with his band of men.

There's also a performance celebrating Minnesota's women in jazz. It's called the Jazz Women's All Stars and it's hosted by Minnesota's own Patty Peterson.

She put together a band of local female talents for Friday's performance.

There's a pretty unique act set for Saturday night. Michael Franti and Spearhead has a high-energy take on jazz.

He's also known to use music as a means to promote societal chance.

Check out his style for yourself.

To see all the artists and a full schedule of events, click here.

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