After last year’s stellar lineup and local legend Tommy Lipuma’s 80th birthday party bash, it would seem that the good folks over at Tri-C would have a difficult time finding artists to top the 2016 edition, right?

Well, they’ve crafted a phenomenal lineup of musicians to give last year’s crop a serious run for their money. Here’s the press release sent to me from the Jazz Fest:

Lineup Announced for 38th Annual Tri-C JazzFest

World-class artists heading to Cleveland for eight concerts June 22-24

CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) has announced the lineup of ticketed concerts for the 38th annual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland, presented by KeyBank, June 22-24 at Playhouse Square.

This year’s JazzFest features eight shows inside Playhouse Square’s historic venues. The festival will showcase jazz icons with decades of hits, artists at the pinnacle of their craft and emerging talent just beginning to etch their names in the industry.

“These world-class artists reflect the diversity, power and soul that make this music such a beautiful art form,” said Terri Pontremoli, director of the festival. “We’re looking forward to celebrating jazz culture with Cleveland and regional audiences.”

Here is the concert lineup, with show times and locations; ticketing information follows:

Thursday, June 22

Dianne Reeves/Chris Botti
— 7:30 p.m., Connor Palace
With a buttery-rich and fluid voice, the legendary Dianne Reeves has won five Grammys for Best Vocal Jazz Performance. Trumpeter Chris Botti also is a Grammy winner, with four albums having reached No. 1 on Billboard’s jazz charts.

Friday, June 23

Terence Blanchard’s Blue Note Sessions — 6 p.m., Ohio Theatre
Trumpeter Terence Blanchard and a few musical friends – Kenny Barron, Ravi Coltrane, Carl Allen and David Pulphus – perform music he composed for the Robert DeNiro film The Comedian, in theaters Feb. 3.

Boney James/Norman Brown — 8 p.m., Connor Palace
Saxophonist Boney James fused a love for vintage soul music with mastery of modern production to become one of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Artists of the Decade for the 2000s. Norman Brown – a guitarist, composer and singer – has offered tasty sonic tidbits of classic R&B and contemporary jazz for two decades.

Saturday, June 24

Jane Bunnett and Maqueque/Alicia Olatuja — 1 p.m., Allen Theatre
Saxophonist Jane Bunnett, a Juno Award winner, routinely launches creative and exciting projects with Cuban artists such as the five young women in Maqueque. Newcomer Alicia Olatuja earned praise from the New York Times as “a singer with a strong and luscious tone and an amiably regal presence on stage.”

Diego Figueiredo/Anat Cohen Choro Ensemble — 3:30 p.m., Ohio Theatre
Guitarist Diego Figueiredo fuses jazz, bossa nova and classical in a way that made him a winner of the Montreux Jazz Competition and VISA Prize. Anat Cohen, a clarinetist and saxophonist, blends Latin-infused original jazz with the rich musical traditions of Brazil in her Choro Aventuroso program.

Kamasi Washington — 6 p.m., Allen Theatre
Kamasi Washington and his band, The Next Step, offer a modern spin on a big band with two drummers, two acoustic bassists, keyboards, three horns, a pianist and a vocalist. He recently worked on Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly.

Boz Scaggs/Catherine Russell — 8:05 p.m., Connor Palace
Boz Scaggs performed with the Steve Miller Band in the ’60s before embarking on a solo career that produced classic albums such as Silk Degrees (1976) and Middle Man (1980). Catherine Russell’s musical resume includes six chart-topping albums and a Grammy as a featured artist on the Boardwalk Empire soundtrack.

Terence Blanchard’s E-Collective — 10:15 p.m., Allen Theatre
Terence Blanchard’s E-Collective offers a socially conscious journey into an exciting zone of grooved fusion teeming with funk, R&B and blues. He recorded his next album, Caravan, during live performances with the E-Collective in Cleveland, Minneapolis and Dallas earlier this year.

Festival passes – which offer VIP seating to all eight ticketed concerts, plus other perks – are now on sale for $250. Call 216-640-8800 to purchase.

Individual tickets will go on sale at a later date through the Playhouse Square Box Office.

The 2017 JazzFest will also include free outdoor concerts at Playhouse Square on the Strassman Insurance Stage from 3 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday on festival weekend. The popular performances will feature local talent selected by a jury of music industry experts.

The festival typically draws tens of thousands of people downtown for the three-day experience. For a full roster of Tri-C JazzFest events, including free community concerts in the months leading up to the festival, visit

Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland is presented by KeyBank and made possible by Cuyahoga Community College, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, Strassman Insurance Services, Inc. and a growing list of donors and members.