Boston’s Biggest Block Party

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The 2017 Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival will take place Saturday, September 30 from 12 to 6 PM. on Columbus Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and Burke Street in Boston’s historic South End. The festival is Boston’s biggest block party—a free, annual, outdoor public concert that has drawn as many as 80,000 in recent years with its host of jazz, Latin, blues, and funk performances, along with KidsJam, an instrument petting zoo, and an array of food vendors.


Curated by Berklee Professor Terri Lyne Carrington B.M. ’83 ’03H, a Grammy Award–winning drummer and composer, this year’s event will feature Lizz Wright, Emily Estefan B.M. ’16, the Blue Man Group Boston Drum-Off, Camille Thurman and the Darrell Green Trio, and Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol B.M. ’97 and Whatsnext? on the Capital One Café Stage (Massachusetts Avenue and Columbus Avenue); and Kina Zoré, the Artistry of Jazz Horn, Marko Djordjevic and Sveti, Assol Garcia, and Oscar Stagnaro and the Peruvian Tinge on the Hep C Hope Stage (Burke Street). Debbie and Friends, a Grammy-winning children’s music band, will play two sets in the Capital One Café Kids Zone area (Douglas Park).


The Corea/Gadd Band, featuring music legends Chick Corea and Steve Gadd, will close out the festivities with a ticketed concert on Sunday, October 1 at the Berklee Performance Center (BPC). Tickets are available at the BPC box office (136 Massachusetts Avenue) or online at


The fourth annual Blue Man Group Boston Drum-Off, a competition to find the most talented young drummer in New England, will be held for the first time at the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival. Five selected finalists will perform in front of the festival crowd and judges’ panel. The winning drummer will perform live with Blue Man Group and receive more than $6,000 worth of prizes. Last year’s winner, Jarrell Campbell, is a student at Berklee.


Also returning to the festival is KidsJam, an interactive program led by Berklee’s Music Education Department that introduces young children to a variety of musical activities, including singing, sound exploration, and playing rhythm instruments, as well as creating, listening, and responding to music.


Check for updates and a full schedule of events.