Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz kicks off this week

Hartford preparing for jazz festival
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 7:03 PM EDT

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – It’s going to be a very busy weekend in Hartford.

The 31st Annual Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz is taking place in the capital city.

It’s the biggest event in Hartford during the summer and brings people from all over the region.

40,000 to 50,000 people are expected in Bushnell Park for the festival.

City leaders held a press conference Wednesday on the festival:

Hartford is gearing up for its Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz and its 'Summer in the City' initiative.

Tents have already gone up and volunteers are working on setting up the stage.

There’s a lot of excitement for this event each year.

Hartford Steel Symphony is one of the local groups of musicians getting ready to perform at the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz This Weekend.

“I’m looking forward to being relaxed and listening to the music because the music sounds good in jazz,” said Delano Greenidge with the Hartford Steel Symphony.

Greenidge is 13 years old and this will be his first time performing at the jazz fest.

For the last three decades, thousands of people have been coming to Bushnell Park each summer for the event.

It’s the largest free jazz festival in all of New England.

“This is what makes a claim for the city of Hartford. So we are excited about this weekend. This is who we are,” said Dr. Shelley Best with the Greater Hartford Arts Council.

A special energy that spreads throughout the city as national acts and local artists perform.

“There’s so much hidden talent and genres and people and stuff like this brings out everybody,” said Ayize French with the Hartford Steel Symphony.

“It’s good that a lot of bands and stuff are coming out and you get to hear stuff like this and you get to hear rings that you never heard before,” said Michael Edwards, also with the Hartford Steel Symphony.

Drone 3 gave a glimpse of the preparations underway.

In addition to jazz fest, many other festivals are taking place in Hartford from now until mid-September.

It’s part of the Summer in the City series bringing free, family friendly celebrations of art, music and culture to the capital city.

“As a city, we’re also proud to commit some of our American Rescue Plan dollars to making sure we can strengthen and grow this summer in the city series not just in this year, but in the years ahead,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.

The jazz fest kicks off Thursday and continues through Sunday.

For more details, click here.