25th Annual Balcones Heights Jazz Festival
As San Antonio celebrates its Tricentennial, the City of Balcones Heights celebrates its 25th anniversary of providing renowned jazz performers from across the country. Since 1993, the Balcones Heights Jazz Festival has captivated jazz aficionados every summer with a free stellar line-up. This year’s performances feature a diverse line-up of headlining and special opening acts that have lit up the stage at Wonderland of the Americas. The performances begin with a special National Anthem performance by saxophonist and Precinct 2 Bexar County Commissioner Paul Elizondo, officially kicking off the festival’s 25th anniversary. Welcoming and returning performers include the U.S. Air Force Band of the West’s “Horn Band” Warhawk, Peter White and Will Donato on July 6; Nick Colionne and Ruben V with Onel Jimenez on July 13; Eric Darius and Cindy Bradley on July 20; and closing the summer event are Balcones Heights’ fan favorites Slim Man and Joseph Vincelli.
For four consecutive Friday evenings in July, the festival’s laid back and family-friendly atmosphere will welcome an estimated 4,000 jazz fans from in and around Texas. Regulars or “Jazz Babies” have been known to stake out their claim, with lawn chairs and blankets in tow, days in advance of the event at favorite spots along the edge of the sparkling reflecting pool and fountains of the city’s main hub, Wonderland of the Americas.
David Munoz, host of “Sunday Morning Jazz” on Q101.9 will emcee of the festival. He’s hosted the Jazz Festival for the past 24 years and has hosted the “Sunday Morning Jazz Show” for 28 years.
“We are excited to welcome a diverse line-up of headlining and opening act performances to the Balcones Heights Jazz Festival,” said Balcones Heights Director of Economic Development & Public Affairs, Lorenzo Nastasi. “We are thrilled to give our audience stellar performances from our talented and accomplished artists, making this year’s historic 25th Balcones Heights Jazz Festival one to remember.”
Where: Wonderland of the Americas Amphitheater, 4522 Fredericksburg Rd.
When: July 6, July 13, July 20, and July 27 (rain or shine)
7:30 pm – 10:00 pm (opening act at 7:30 p.m. / headliner at 9 p.m.)
More: Free General Admission. Outdoor seating on the amphitheater lawn is free on a first-come, first-serve basis. Food and beverages are available for purchase at a variety of booths, as well as the adjacent food court inside Wonderland of the Americas.
Follow us on Facebook Balcones Heights Jazz Festival, Twitter @BalconesJazz or via Instagram @BalconesJazz.
Map & Directions: http://www.reachfortheheights.org/jazz-festival/directions
25th Annual Balcones Heights Jazz Festival Line-up
July 6, 6:30 p.m. - Kick-off - Warhawk is a dynamic “Horn Band” from the United States Air Force Band of the West, stationed at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. This ensemble was formed in 2003 and consists of eight highly skilled airman musicians; piano, guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, trombone, saxophone and vocals. Their outstanding versatility and flexibility allows the group to cross several music genres by performing classis rock, R&B, pop, jazz, Latin, country and patriotic favorites. https://www.facebook.com/USAFBand
July 6, 7:30 p.m. - Will Donato - Opening Act - National recording artist and Saxophonist Will Donato, an exciting performer and award-winning composer. Will currently has a hit radio single with “SUPERSONIC” the title cut from his seventh solo CD release. He is one of music’s most dynamic performers, gifted with the ability to bond and connect with his audiences. http://www.willdonato.com/
July 6, 9:00 p.m. – Peter White – Headliner – Over the years, Peter White has maintained a reputation as one of the most versatile and prolific acoustic guitarists on the contemporary jazz landscape and has recorded 14 solo CDs. Armed with an unparalleled combination of lyricism and energy, he combines elements of jazz, pop and classical guitar to create a sound that is singular and at the same time accessible to a broad audience. His smooth, effortless guitar playing keeps his audiences mesmerized. He has performed countless times with some of the biggest names in the world, including rock star Al Stewart (“Year of the Cat” and “Time Passages”). http://www.peterwhite.com/
July 13, 7:30 p.m. – Ruben V with Onel Jimenez - Opening Act - Ruben V is an accomplished artist, guitar player and producer who has released eight solo CDs and 14 group albums and averages more than 120 shows a year. He’s built a huge following of Ruben V Band fans – all while keeping a sense of humor and a genuine Texas charm. His style encompasses a fresh, smooth blend of blues, Latin, soul, and rock- an ambitious mix of the music that moves him and in his skillful hands, becomes a truly energizing and enjoyable experience. “The power of music is amazing. I’ve known my whole life that this is what I’ve wanted to do and I’ve had confirmations at every step that this is what I’m supposed to do.” http://www.rubenv.com
Onel Jimenez - Onel Jimenez is a saxophonist that plays jazz with Ruben V and other talented area musicians. His edgy style fuses his musical experiences which include blues, rock, R&B, Latin and reggae. He made his way onto the San Antonio music scene playing with the Trinidad Panmasters. The Panmasters were one of the most popular bands in the area at that time and opened for The Wailers, Pato Banton, Burning Spear, Third World, Inner Circle, Lisa Lisa, Cheap Trick, and Huey Lewis and the News. https://onelmusic.com/
July 13, 9:00 p.m. – Nick Colionne - Headliner - Nick Colionne's guitar prowess and vocals have won him fans worldwide. His incredible stage performances show the versatility of this amazing artist. From jazz, R&B, blues, soul and funk - Nick does it all with style and dynamic energy. With a jazz style that is both urban and contemporary, Nick Colionne has blazed a trail to the top of the ranks of today’s stars. Combining jazz, R&B, blues and funk, he has an unmistakable sound and vibe that is instantly recognizable. Nick takes the guitar to unexpected places every time he performs and his rich baritone vocals delight his audiences. http://nickcolionne.com/
July 20, 7:30 p.m. – Cindy Bradley - Opening Act - Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Cindy enjoyed a varied career in music starting from a very young age. At the tender age of 12 she began performing professionally with a Buffalo area jazz band that consisted of all promising young musicians called “Sugar and Jazz.” The group consisted of kids from ages 12-17 and stressed the importance of professionalism and emulating the big band sounds of the 1940’s. Although she continued to perform in various jazz groups as she grew up, it was with this group that Cindy fell in love with performance, jazz music, and especially the trumpet. Cindy Bradley has blossomed into a powerful and charismatic presence at radio and on the contemporary jazz festival circuit, with 7 #1 Billboard singles along the way. Cindy has performed everywhere from the Seabreeze Jazz Festival, to the Dubai Jazz Fest. She won Best New Artist at the American Smooth Jazz Awards, Brass Player of the Year and Best New Artist at the Contemporary Jazz Awards, and was named Debut Artist of the Year by the Catalina Island Jazz Trax Festival and Smooth Jazz News. http://www.cindybradley.com/
July 20, 9:00 p.m. – Eric Darius - Headliner - Eric’s music innovatively crosses over all music boundaries from Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, to Pop, creating a very distinctive, fresh sound and approach that is uniquely his own. He has shared the stage with innumerable world renown, Grammy Award-winning artists, such as Prince, Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige, David Foster, Carlos Santana, Babyface, Wynton Marsalis & George Benson and he’s been featured on FOX’s hit TV show, The X Factor, and TNT’s hit drama series, Mob City. Eric is building bridges, forging new paths and ensuring that his heartfelt, organic and honest approach to the music will stand the test of time. http://ericdarius.com/
July 27, 6:30 p.m. – U.S. Army Band Ft. Sam Houston – Special performance – The 323rd Army, part of Army North, purpose is to provide moral and community support to all of the soldiers at Ft. Sam Houston and the citizens of San Antonio. The band consists of four members: Trumpet, Guitar, Bassist Drummer. http://www.music.army.mil
July 27, 7:30 p.m. – Joseph Vincelli - Joseph Vincelli’s signature is his passion towards his music. It is evident on the stage, in his recordings, with his speeches and in his books. What sets him apart from other jazz artists is his ability to create music from an array of sources which many others would consider stretching the limits. Joseph is a native of New Jersey, although the Dallas Morning News has fondly embraced him as a long- time resident of Texas. After spending his childhood in Eatontown, a community along the Jersey shore, he studied in Boston at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. It is here that he learned a deep appreciate for the art of improvisation. Joseph took his knowledge and set off for New York City and Los Angeles, giving him many career opportunities. http://www.josephvincelli.com/
July 27, 9:00 p.m. – Slim Man - Headliner: Singer, Song-writer, cook; this vocalist/bassist has been a fixture at the Balcones Heights Jazz Festival for many years and is always a crowd favorite. Slim Man wows the crowd with his voice and charm and now has 12 CDs to his credit. His newly released cook book, Slim Man Cooks, features 52 recipes of his own creation and 52 funny stories about growing up Slim. Slim Man is a two-timer- winning Best Jazz Vocalist at the Coachella Music Awards in 2016 and 2017. http://slimman.com/