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Gladys Knight, New Edition, Charlie Wilson & More Kick Off The Summer Season At Hampton Jazz Festival

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Next week marks the official start of summer and you know what that means: more concerts and music festivals than you can count using both hands (and feet for that matter). Not to worry, though, we've got you covered here at SBHQ. So when you're ready to make your summer plans, consider us your guide for all Bounce-worthy events.

First up and right on the heels of the summer solstice is the 49th Annual Hampton Jazz Festival, taking place on June 24th-26th in Hampton, VA. With its long history of incredible artists, good folks and fun, the three-day event is a favorite among the concert-going crowds. This year, the event aims to keep its good reputation in tact with a diverse lineup of HJF veterans and newcomers.

The festival will begin in royal fashion with none other than the Empress of Soul, Gladys Knight. The classy icon has been making appearances at the HJF for over forty years, so we'd say she's clearly the right person to kick off the event on a high note. Michael McDonald will also be on hand to serve up some blue-eyed soul with his unique vocals. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue are sure to keep the audience on its feet with their N'awlins sound while Leela James' fiery vocals will keep the energy going well into the night.

Always a crowd-pleaser, New Edition is set to have us throwback grooving for Day 2. While NE keep it hot for you," Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds will no doubt bring "the cool" with his smooth voice and an impressive catalogue of hits. Prince collaborator and gifted singer/songwriter/musician Judith Hill will grace the HJF stage for the first time while repeat performers Forte Jazz Band featuring Brian Pinner will once again prove why they're one of the hottest local bands around.

Incomparable soul man Charlie Wilson will ensure the festival leaves a lasting impression on its final day. At just over six feet tall, Uncle Charlie is literally an R&B titan; but with her powerhouse voice and energetic presence, diminutive diva Stephanie Mills will show the crowd that she is a giant in her own right. Versatile jazz man Boney James is a festival favorite who always puts on a great show. Lastly, local artist Joselyn Best is set to move the audience with her inspirational lyrics.

Tickets are available at the Hampton Coliseum Box Office (for local residents) or online via Ticketmaster. HJF organizers are also giving fans a chance to win free tickets via the following announcement: "This week we'll be having a contest to find ‪#HamptonJazzFest‬ BIGGEST FAN! Like, share and follow us on our social media accounts and tune in for the prize announcement!" If you're feeling lucky or just want to support good music, be sure to keep up with the Hampton Jazz Festival via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for contest updates and visit the website for additional concert info.


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