The Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival is coming back home. Festival president Mickey James has announced plans to remain at the event’s traditional site on Carver Street in the city’s Booker T. Washington neighborhood.
Earlier efforts to move to the former Myrtle Square Mall space on Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach were put on hold after the neighborhood reached out. “We had an overwhelming request by the local community to continue the jazz festival on Carver Street,” James says, “and we decided it was an honor to see such tremendous support and commitment from the community.”
The Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival was founded in 2016 in the hopes of revitalizing this historic street, which is home to Charlie’s Place. Once a hot-bed for African-American music performers, the venue had fallen into disrepair before civic leaders including the late Herbert Riley spearheaded a refurbishing effort.
Originally expected to bring 1,500-2,000 fans, the Myrtle Beach Jazz Festival has grown exponentially since then as visitors from all around join a celebration of music, local vendors, fellowship and shag dancing. The fourth annual event returns Oct. 4-6, 2019, between 18th Ave. North to 21st Ave. North on Carver Street in Myrtle Beach, S.C. As always, admission is free.
James originally said a proposed move to nearby Kings Highway would provide more space and visibility for this quickly expanding non-profit project. He still hopes to see the jazz festival, which was initially billed as “Myrtle Beach’s Backyard Jam,” continue to evolve into one of the premier events of its kind.
“We hope this change will give the community a chance to feel inspired and motivated to help continue to grow the festival in attendance each year,” James adds.
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