Uptown Jazz Fest 2018

R&B/Soul group DW3 (who have performed at every Uptown Jazz Festival to date) performed last year at the seventh annual Uptown Jazz Festival on Saturday at Houghton Park. They are scheduled to play again this Saturday.

North Long Beach is getting jazzy at the eighth annual Uptown Jazz Festival, happening this Saturday, July 6, at Houghton Park.

"Every summer, the Uptown community and the Long Beach community as a whole looks forward to coming together to celebrate some good music," Rex Richardson, Ninth District City Councilman, said. 

The event is a collection of artists playing everything from classic to new age jazz, and according to Richardson, that's what makes the event even more special.

"This year we've got a mix of some newcomers like Con Funk Shun as well as some groups that have played with us every year, like Boxcar 7," he said. "We've also got local up-and-comers like Tatiana Tate Quartet. She grew up in North Long Beach learning how to play the trumpet and now she's here playing with her own quartet."

Other scheduled acts include Susie Hansen's Latin Jazz Band, Biscuits & Gravy, DW3 and DJ Mr. Quick. And from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Guy Black from KJLH radio will be broadcasting live from the park.

And the crowds get big.

Last year, more than 6,000 attendees showed up to enjoy the event and Richardson said that he wouldn't be surprised if the crowds were a little bigger this Saturday.

"We've gotten crowds like that for the last five years or so, so I would expect the same or more this weekend," he said. "There's been a bigger response online too, with close to eight thousand responding with their interest in going."

Guests can bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnic baskets, but canopies and tents are not permitted. Alcohol is available at designated wine and beer garden tents. There will be food and merchandise vendors, as well as several information tables.

Limited parking is available, but guests are encouraged to walk to the park (if they live in surrounding neighborhoods) or bike or carpool as any available spaces tend to fill up fast.

The eighth annual Uptown Jazz Festival is happening from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, at Houghton Park, 6301 Myrtle Ave.

Festival sponsors are Richardson's office, Second District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, Port of Long Beach, Long Beach Water, Long Beach Transit, Trustee Udak-Joe Ntuk and Republic Services. 

For more information, go to facebook.com and search for "8th Annual Uptown Jazz Festival Feat. Con Funk Shun and DW3" or call the office of Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson at 562-570-6137.

Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at sstutzman@gazettes.com.

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