The Jefferson Street Jazz and Blues Festival made an admirable pivot in 2020. The streaming version of the festival, which included filmed performances as well as interviews, raised more than $20,000 for the community nonprofit Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership. This year, the celebration returns in person. On Saturday, July 24, an outstanding lineup will convene on the campus of Fisk University, at an outdoor stage on the track near the Henderson A. Johnson Gymnasium and the biology labs.
At the top of the bill is R&B group After 7, whose self-titled 1989 album and 1992 release Takin’ My Time both went platinum. They’ll perform with Joe Johnson and Friends and Angela Winbush. Kevon and Melvin Edmonds, older brothers of legendary R&B producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, started After 7 in 1987. Melvin died in 2019, but Kevon and fellow co-founder Keith Mitchell continue their work with Danny McClain rounding out the trio.
There’s a slew of local talent too, including the internationally revered Fisk Jubilee Singers, rump-motivating brass band Brassville and singer CoJo Ko. Geo Cooper and Friends of Autumn will also play, bringing a taste of the magic of Autumn, an inventive R&B group made up of Fisk alums that was most active in the 1980s.
Tickets run $20-$50 and are available via Eventbrite. Proceeds are earmarked as a contribution to the Fisk Jubilee Singers’ 150th anniversary fundraising efforts. Check out the Jefferson Street Jazz and Blues Festival website for all the details. Below, check out the schedule.
- noon-3 p.m.: Free Children's Pavilion open
- 3 p.m.: Gates open for festival seating
- 3:55 p.m.: Fisk Jubilee Singers
- 4 p.m.: Blair Bryant
- 4:45 p.m.: Herschel Bailey
- 5:30 p.m.: CoJo Ko
- 6:15 p.m.: Brassville
- 7 p.m.: Stacy Mitchhart
- 7:45 p.m.: Geo Cooper and Friends of Autumn
- 8:30 p.m.: Joe Johnson and Friends featuring Angela Winbush and After 7