What to Expect from the 2022 Houston Blues and Jazz Festival

A performance from The Cookers, Frank Lacy’s newest project, and more await you.

By Alexia Partouche

The Houston Blues & Jazz festival returns September 17-18 and September 24-25 for full two weekends of live performances and events.

Here in Houston, we don’t have to tell you that music is our lifeblood. From country legend to Lyle Lovett to Beyoncé (she needs no further introduction), we’ve produced some of the greatest musicians to grace stages worldwide. Across every genre, we’ve got it covered, including jazz. 

The Houston Jazz Collective’s annual Houston Blues and Jazz Festival brings some of the best local and national jazz and blues artists to Bayou City. Between performances from The Cookers, Andy Timmons, and Diunna Greenleaf, the four-night festival occurs across two weekends in September. It is already shaping up to be a can’t-miss event for fans. And to ensure you don’t miss out, we’ve put together a guide to everything you have to look forward to.

The Cookers, Nellie McKay, and Jack Whitten

Saturday, September 17 | 8 p.m. | Miller Outdoor Theatre | Free

Kicking off the festival at Miller Outdoor Theatre is a hard bop supergroup The Cookers performance featuring jazz icons Billy Harper, Billy Hart, David Weiss, George Cables, Eddie Henderson, Cecil McBee, and Donald Harrison. Opening for The Cookers is jazz musician and vocalist Nellie McKay, who will perform from her latest album, Sister Orchid. During the performances, audiences can spot the jazz-inspired artwork of National Medal of Arts winner Jack Whitten. 


Frank Lacy, Bayou City Funk, and Texas Southern University Jazz Ensemble

Sunday, September 18 | 3 - 10 p.m. | Axelrad Beer Garden | Free

On the second night of the festival, audiences can look forward to a host of fun performances at Axelrad Beer Garden. The Summer Jazz Workshop Band and the Texas Southern University Jazz Ensemble will open the night, followed by a high-energy performance from Bayou City Funk's seven-piece band. Finally, jazz trombonist Frank Lacy will close out the night with his latest project, Tromboniverse, which features a large group of trombonists supported by a rhythm section. 


Andy Timmons, James Francies, and MonoNeon

Saturday, September 24 | 6 p.m. | 713 Music Hall | Starting at $35

The festival's second weekend starts with a lineup of incredible performances at 713 Music Hall. Guitarist Andy Timmons will be joined by Grammy-award-winning organist Bobby Sparks for a blues-inspired performance. Jazz keyboardist James Francies will perform alongside saxophonist Chris Potter and drummer Jeff Tain Watts. Finally, bass guitarist MonoNeon, who has played for Prince, Ne-Yo, and Screaming Headless Torsos, will showcase his experimental jazz sound.

Eric Gales and Diunna Greenleaf 

Sunday, September 25 | 5 p.m. | The Rustic Downtown | $35

Last but certainly not least are two performances at The Rustic Downtown that feature the best in hybrid blues music. Native Houstonian and former president of the Houston Blues Society Diunna Greenleaf will be taking the stage to share her unique mix of jazz, gospel, and soul music, alongside her band Blue Mercy. Then, renowned guitarist Eric Gales will perform some of his distinctive blues and rock music, including songs from his newest album Crown, debuting at the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Blues Album chart. Opening for the two is local artists Mathias Lattin and The Mighty Orq.

For more information on the 2022 Houston Blues & Jazz Festival performances and events, visit here.

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