Festival Fury: An Inside Look at the Atlanta Jazz Festival

by: Chinita Tate-Burroughs


The 41st annual Atlanta Jazz Festival took place on Memorial day weekend, May 26 and 27th.  Not even the forecast of rain could keep thousands of devoted jazz listeners away from the annual Atlanta Jazz Festival held in Piedmont Park.  Across 3 stages, this year’s Saturday lineup featured performances by numerous women including Dianne Reeves, Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science, Jazzmeia Horn, Camille Thurman, Linda Han May Oh, Ingrid Jenson, and Tia Fuller to name a few. The festival continued on Sunday featuring jazz artists like The Bad Plus, Matthew Whitaker, Russell Malone, Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles, and Jon Batiste and The Dap Kings.

 John Batiste and the Dap Kings at The 2018 Edition of The Atlanta Jazz Fest |  Image by:  Chinita Tate-Burroughs
John Batiste and the Dap Kings |  Image by: Chinita Tate-Burroughs

John Batiste and the Dap Kings at The 2018 Edition of The Atlanta Jazz Fest |  Image by: Chinita Tate-Burroughs

 Dianne Reeves  at The 2018 Edition of The Atlanta Jazz Fest | Image by  Chinita Tate-Burroughs
Dianne Reeves | Image by Chinita Tate-Burroughs

I am totally excited around Memorial Day weekend, because this weekend begins the trek of festival season.  Not only do I get the chance to meet up with friends that share the same love of the festivals as I do, but its a chance to fellowship, eat great food, and listen to great music as well.  

Something that stood out to me this year during conversations with the patrons of the festival happened to be a discussion with a retired police officer.  He told me, along with a group of annual festival goers, that he started covering the Atlanta Jazz Festival over 20 years ago. When his sergeant learned of his love for jazz music, he would have him help cover detail for the festival annually.   

So, for this first trek of the music festival season, my approach for this series of photographs was to express what I heard and felt, through capturing portraits of the various performers.  

Here are some of my favorites!