Center City Jazz Festival Announces Final 2018 Lineup

The Center City Jazz Festival is ready to heat up Spring.  The 2018 Center City Jazz Festival, presented by Fifth City Productions and Turtle Studios, returns Saturday, April 28 from 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm. A total of 20 bands will be performing at five venues over six hours, all within walking distance of each other in the heart of Center City. This is the seventh year for the festival held every year in April during Jazz Appreciation Month.

This year’s scheduled performers includes musicians from Philadelphia, New York and the DC area. Musicians slated to appear include: New York City musical secret weapon, BigYuki,  a trio with a new sound infusing elements of Jazz, Classical, HipHop, Soul, Rock, Dance, and Electronica; .  Philly notables Jeff Bradshaw, a trombone virtuoso who has performed with Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Patti LaBelle, and more, and violinist Diane Monroe and vibraphonist Tony Miceli;  Jazz pianist Dave Kikoski, who has played with Pat Matheny, Ravi Coltrane, Chick Corea, and many others; Saxophone superstar Marcus Strickland and Twi-Life Delta; Saxophonist and composer, Sharel Cassity;  Dave Manley, guitarist who has toured and recorded with artists including: Herbie Hancock, Jill Scott, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Dave Chappelle, and more.  A full schedule and complete list of additional artists is below.

The five venues located within walking distance include:


“Every year I challenge myself to create a dream lineup of bands that would normally never be featured together on the same bill. The goal was certainly achieved this year. I’m very happy to present a very wide array of music from within the “jazz diaspora”, and am excited for everyone to explore these wonderful bands,” said Ernest Stuart, Founder/Artistic Director of the Center City Jazz Festival.


Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. One ticket provides access to all performances. The last three years shows were sold out prior to the festival. Fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance at


Full Schedule by Venue

Fergie’s Pub
1:00-2:00 V. Shayne Fredericks
2:30-3:30 Diane Monroe & Tony Miceli Duo
4:00-5:00 Lena Seikaly
5:30-6:30 Ken Fowser

1:00-2:00 Luke O’Reilly
2:30-3:30 Marcus Strickland And Twi-Life Delta
4:00-5:00 Bigyuki
5:30-6:30 Dai Miyazaki

Chris’ Jazz Cafe
1:15-2:15 Nicole Saphos
2:45-3:45 Sharel Cassity
4:15-5:15 Arturo Stable
5:45-6:45 Dave Kikoski

Franky Bradley’s
1:30-2:30 Ella Gahnt
3:00-4:00 Lucas Brown Quartet
4:30-5:30 Yuhan Su
6:00-7:00 Danny Janklow

Time Restaurant
1:45-2:45 Yesseh Furaha-Ali
3:15-4:15 Dave Manley
4:45-5:45 Chrome Els
6:15-7:15 Jeff Bradshaw Quartet

The Seventh Annual Center City Jazz Festival is sponsored by Fifth City Productions with the support of Turtle Studios.

Center City Jazz Festival
The inaugural Center City Jazz Festival took place in 2012 and featured original bands from the Philadelphia and NYC areas. Jazz lovers came out for an exhilarating day of great music, with bands performing in four packed venues, all centrally located in downtown Philadelphia and within short walking distance. Venues included Time Restaurant, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, Fergie’s Pub, and Milkboy Philadelphia. The 2012 Festival was made possible through an innovative Kickstarter campaign. Since then, the festival has grown each year, to huge success. Over 100 bands have performed in front of thousands of festival attendees. The up-and-coming Sixth Annual Center City Jazz Festival will follow three, back-to-back years of sold-out festivals. Past performers include a diverse range of instrumentalists and vocalists including Gretchen Parlato, Brandee Younger, Steve Coleman and the 5 Elements, Orrin Evans, Sean Jones, Denise King, Tim Warfield Jr., Justin Faulkner, Mary Halvorson, Janie Bunnett, The Huntertones, Bootsie Barnes, Tomas Fujiwara, Killiam Shakespeare, and The West Philadelphia Orchestra.

Ernest Stuart
Philadelphia native Ernest Stuart is the Founder/Artistic Director of the Center City Jazz Festival. Stuart is a graduate of Temple University where he earned a B.A. in Jazz Performance.
While attending Temple University Ernest Stuart became known as a versatile trombonist who could play various styles of music from jazz, salsa, R&B, neo-soul to hip-hop. After college Stuart moved to New York City, where he was a freelance jazz musician performing at clubs such as The Village Vanguard, The Iridium, Smoke and The Blue Note, among others. In 2010 Stuart returned to Philadelphia to record his debut CD “Solitary Walker” released in 2011 followed by “Love/Loss” in 2014 and “Same Walking Animals” in 2015. In addition to his solo efforts, Stuart was also a member of the Brooklyn-Bhangra band, Red Baraat.    

For more details on the Center City Jazz Festival visit

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