Jonathan Russell Returns For 2016 Jazz Festival

JonathanRussellNCJF welcomes back violinist Jonathan Russell to the 36th Annual NCJF!  Jonathan first played at our festival in 2007, when he was the 11 year old violin prodigy who amazed us all.  This will be his 6th “return engagement” in Wilmington and we are very excited to hear him again!  Check his bio page to see his accomplishments since he was here last – now at NYU, where he recently received the Paul Simon Scholarship Award, studying among other things, film scoring.  While here Jonathan will again hold a jazz violin masterclass/workshop for local violin students.  This is a class that always fills up quickly, so if you know of anyone who would like to participate, please have them watch this website for our registration form for the workshops, or email

NCJF Partners With Dreams of Wilmington


The North Carolina Jazz Festival has recently added to its Jazz Education Program a partnership with Dreams INC, a local non-profit organization which provides youth in need, with high quality classes in the literary, visual, and performing arts. This is done through afterschool programs.

Our participation in this program is to fund local professional jazz musicians to give monthly workshops under the direction of local guitarist Roger Davis, teaching artist at Dreams. On October 27, 2014, we are excited to have local musician and UNCW professor, Mike Waddell, come and teach the students all about the clarinet and saxophone.

We are pleased to be able to take part in spreading the artistry of jazz to a group of students who might not otherwise have this opportunity, and at the same time recognize the high level of musicianship in our local jazz community.

It is our mission to inspire the next generation of jazz enthusiasts and students through free workshops and professionally led master classes.

NCJF recipient of new grants for 2015

Guitar MC

North Carolina Jazz Festival (NCJF) is pleased to announce being the recipient of the following grants for 2015:

  • • Landfall Foundation for $2,000
    • North Carolina Grassroots for $2,000

North Carolina Jazz Festival will use this money for three educational programs consisting of free Master Classes for music students, a concert/workshop at Roland Grise Middle School and one at D.C.Virgo Preparatory Academy.  Over 650 students in all are expected to attend.  These programs will help the music students and middle school students learn more about jazz music from professional musicians, add to their enjoyment of learning and create audiences of the future.  For some students, this will be their initial introduction to jazz and may encourage them to play a musical instrument or at least expand their understanding and appreciation of jazz.  This is especially important at DC Virgo, where after school programs are used to help reduce youth violence as part of the school’s Youth Enrichment  Zone.  Following the master classes, those students will be invited to attend the Friday evening performance (at no charge) where they will see/hear their master class teachers, along with the other all-star musicians of the North Carolina Jazz Festival, present world class jazz!



I would like to contribute $_________toward tickets for a student(s) who participates in the NCJF Student Master Class program to attend that evening’s concert.

The students who participate in the Master Classes appreciate and have a great respect for the “world-class musicians” who donate their time to teach these jazz classes.  After the Master Classes, students can have an opportunity to see the musicians performing live on stage.  The students benefit greatly by watching these musicians play jazz together and to see what the North Carolina Jazz Festival is all about!

This year’s master class teachers will be Nate Najar (guitar), Bria Skonberg (trumpet), Adrian Cunningham (reeds), Vincent Gardner  (horns), Jonathan Russell  (violin) and Chuck Redd (percussion).

In many instances the North Carolina Jazz Festival will be the first time these young musicians will have been exposed to a live jazz event.  So we thank you for making this possible, for it may have a direct influence on a budding talent and help keep the future of jazz alive!

All Master Class Supporters will be listed in the 2015 NCJF program booklet as donors to our jazz youth program.  If you prefer not to have your name  included in the list please note.


Donor Name_______________________________________________________


E-mail address______________________________________________________

Phone #___________________________________________________________

Please note here if you do not want to be listed as a donor__________________  

 Please make checks payable to NCJF, with a notation “for master class students”                                     

Bucky Pizzarelli and Ed Polcer Honored by N C Jazz Festival @ Wilmington

Sandy Evans and Bucky Pizzarelli

NC Jazz Festival @ Wilmington president Sandy Evans presents Bucky Pizzaarelli with his plaque

World renowned musicians, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli and cornetist Ed Polcer were honored at this year’s Patron’s Brunch with the presentation of individually crafted plaques created by local artist Justine Ferrari of Creations by Justine. 

Ed Polcer






This was Bucky’s 12th appearance at the festival and Ed’s 21st.  The NCJF board of directors made this presentation as a token of our appreciation of the gift of jazz excellence that these musicians have given and continue to give to audiences around the globe, but particularly here in Wilmington, NC.



Brazilian Vocalist To Open 34TH NC Jazz Festival @ Wilmington

Maucha AdnetlargerContinuing in our efforts to bring different styles of jazz to the North Carolina Jazz Festival’s opening night each year, the NCJF will present a tribute to the great Brazilian Jazz musician Antonio Carlos Jobim on Thursday night, at our 34th annual event.

Headlining this segment will be Brazilian born vocalist Maucha  Adnet, who sang with Jobim for 10 years.  A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she now resides in New York City, where she is a busy performer.

Joining  Maucha for this salute to Brazilian Jazz will be NYC’s Harry Allen on tenor sax; Israeli born Ehud Asherie – piano; Tampa native Nate Najar – guitar; Australia/NYC’s Nicki Parrott – bass; and internationally acclaimed, U.S. born, Chuck Redd on drums.  This great American Heritage, JAZZ, is loved and played world-wide, and we are proud to bring some of the best international jazz musicians together on our stage to perform a style of jazz nurtured in Brazil.

Just a few of the other all-star performers for our 2014 jazz weekend will be trumpeter/vocalist  Bria Skonberg, formerly from  British Columbia, now living in NYC; Aussie reedman Adrian Cunningham, cornetist Ed Polcer (NYC & NOLA) and America’s favorite guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli.

Friday and Saturday nights will feature our traditional 6 or 7 sets, each with a different leader.

NC Jazz Festival at Wilmington again given Top 20 Award!

The North Carolina Jazz Festival at Wilmington has again been chosen as one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society.

The Southeast Tourism Society is dedicated to the promotion of travel to and within Southeastern states, recognizing the importance of festivals, events and attractions in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The STS Top 20 Events publication receives extensive exposure in print media, web, and television and radio in the U.S. and Canada.  Over 1,600 newspapers, magazines, radio & television stations, AAA’s and others receive the listings.  The Top 20 Events are listed on the Southeast Tourism Society website and on their consumer website www.escapetothe  The Top 20 Events pages are consistently among the most visited pages on the STS sites.

We really appreciate this recognition and are proud to have received it every year since 2007.

NCJF Online Store

Over the years many of our jazz lovers have requested various shirts, sweatshirts, fleece vests, and other items sporting our NCJF logo.

We have found a company that will allow us to offer a large variety of quality items with our new North Carolina Jazz Festival logo with the ” @ Wilmington”  addition – leaving no doubt of where this annual jazz festival is held! 


These purchases can be made only  through our online store, here on our website!  Your choices will be custom made for you and will be sent directly to you, with a delivery time of approximately 2 weeks.

Be one of the first to show your support of jazz and the North Carolina Jazz Festival by wearing one of our attractive shirts or carrying your laptop, groceries or beach towels in one of our logoed bags!  Look smart and at the same time help us spread the word about our great jazz festival here in Wilmington, NC.

Artwork to benefit the North Carolina Jazz Festival


This 8″X12″ wall plaque entitled ” 3 Horn men and a Wood-y” was created as a commemoration of the 2012 NC Jazz Festival.  Local sculptress Justine Ferreri  and her husband Guy have long been supporters of jazz and the North Carolina Jazz Festival.  They have twice donated pieces of jazz art for our annual raffle, and now Justine  has created this original kiln-fired clay piece, which has also been fired with 14 carat gold instruments, as a fund raiser for us.  The plaque can be purchased for $75, of which $25 will be donated to the NCJF. 

To order please contact Creations by Justine, 225 South Water St. – Chandler’s Wharf, Wilmington, NC 28401 or call 910-763-4545.

Justine’s larger piece of “jazz art”, donated for our 2012 annual raffle to benefit NCJF, earned over $1,100 for our non-profit organization.  We thank Creations by Justine for their generosity and continued support of live jazz and the North Carolina Jazz Festival.

Festival Promotional Video

Check out the video of the North Carolina Jazz Festival & Get Your Tickets Now!


Festival Tickets Make Great Gifts!

Give  NC Jazz Festival tickets to your friends and family.

General Admission Tickets: Thurs. Evening (3 hr. concert) $35.

Fri. & Sat. Evenings (4 hr. concert) $50.

Military $25  –  Students $15   each night

These may be purchased on line by credit card on the website.  You may also purchase them at the Audio Lab,5732 Oleander Dr. in Wilmington.

General Admission reservations made for tables of 10 only, all others are first come /first seated.  Seating for this event is cabaret style in tables of 10.

For more information please call 910-793-1111 or e-mail or