- Kamasi Washington
Saxophonist and bandleader Lakecia Benjamin serves as guest curator for the 40th anniversary edition of the jazz fest, succeeding last year's guest cuarator Michael Mwenso. While the festival is shorter this year — reduced to five days from the traditional 10 — Benjamin and the Flynn have stocked the lineup with marquee talent, including legends of the genre and fresh faces in modern jazz.
Samara Joy, a 2023 Grammy Award-winner for Best New Artist and Best Jazz Vocal Album, opens the festival on Wednesday, June 7, on the Flynn Main Stage. She'll be joined by composer Samora Pinderhughes along with Benjamin and her band Phoenix.
That show is one of only two ticketed events. The other closes the festival on Sunday, June 11, also on the Flynn Main Stage. Vermont artist Myra Flynn debuts her new album, Roar of the Queen, supported by an all-star Vermont band, including Mike Gordon, Dave Grippo, Joe Moore, Sage Horsey, Nick Cassarino and the Lake Champlain Mass Choir.
- Georgia Anne Muldrow
The Vermont Comedy Club will again transform into an after-hours jazz club called Big Joe's in honor of Burlington saxophone legend "Big" Joe Burrell.
Burlington's Waterfront Park also hosts two free, big-name shows.
On Friday, June 9, three-time Grammy Award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Memphis Soulphony take the stage, along with Zambian rapper Sampa the Great.
On Saturday, June 10, Kamasi Washington headlines the Waterfront Stage. The renowned saxophonist returns after playing the 2017 festival. Soul singer Cory Henry and the legendary Zamrock act WITCH (We Intend to Cause Havoc) open.
Other artists appearing this year include singer and multi-instrumentalist Georgia Ann Muldrow, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello and the Sun Ra Arkestra, directed by 98-year-old jazz icon Marshall Allen.
"I'm overjoyed to finally announce this lineup for the 40th Burlington Discover Jazz Festival," Benjamin wrote in a press release. "It's taken a lot of hard work to put this together and I know everyone is going to be buzzing about the jam-packed five days, full of jazz legends, leading lights of the modern scene, and hot rising artists who are pushing the genre forward."
- Lakecia Benjamin
"The jazz festival is one of the best times of the year in Vermont," Flynn executive director Jay Wahl wrote. "The whole city really comes alive with music. We're humbled to work with so many brilliant artists, both local and visiting, to make this year's milestone festival one to remember."
Tickets are available at flynnvt.org.