Closing the Gap in Health Care and Charleston Gaillard Center Present

Lowcountry Jazz Festival 2024: Day 1

Aug 31, 2024 at 7:00 pm
Tickets Start at $68 (Plus Applicable Fees)

About the Show

The Charleston Gaillard Center is pleased to announce its continued partnership with Closing the Gap in Health Care to present the annual Lowcountry Jazz Festival this Labor Day weekend. Under the artistic direction of producer Tony Clarke, in collaboration with the Gaillard Center’s artistic team, the Festival boasts an impressive lineup of award-winning jazz singers and musicians, including headliners Samara Joy and Brian Culbertson. More than a series of concerts, the Lowcountry Jazz Festival is a multifaceted cultural experience that has become an annual highlight of Charleston’s artistic calendar, bringing together a vibrant community of musicians and music lovers. 

Drawing on the rich tradition of jazz in the South, this season’s Festival unites venerable masters and emerging talents to celebrate this enduring genre and its profound connections to Charleston. As a pivotal hub for African American music from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Charleston played a crucial role in the evolution of jazz, nurturing some of its earliest pioneers and ensembles. This Festival honors that heritage, showcasing world-class performances in the heart of a city that continues to influence and shape the jazz landscape.

Saturday night’s performance features the headline act of three-time Grammy Award winner Samara Joy, whose self-titled, chart-topping debut album electrified the jazz scene in 2021. At just 24 years old, Joy has captivated a new generation of listeners, amassing over one million followers on social media and introducing new audiences to the vibrant world of jazz. The “smooth, but funky” Braxton Brothers and contemporary jazz masters Marion Meadows (soprano saxophonist/composer) and Alex Bugnon (jazz pianist/composer) open. Sunday opens with British jazz/funk band Incognito, and Brian Culbertson closes the Festival with a show stopping performance of genre-defying excellence. 

Returning to the Gaillard Center this year is the much-anticipated All White Party, the Festival’s opening-night event on Friday, August 30. Guests are invited to don their finest white attire and mingle with fellow jazz enthusiasts in a festive atmosphere featuring performances by Art Sherrod, Lin Rountree, and Ragan Whiteside.

In addition to annually bringing together jazz fans from across the Southeast, the Festival is the primary fundraiser for Closing the Gap in Health Care, Inc. 

Daily Lineup Below (subject to change)

All White Party

Art Sherrod

Art Sherrod Jr, national recording artist, Billboard charting saxophonist and entertainer, brings forth a new energy and excitement to the stage of Smooth Jazz and Gospel Jazz. Art’s soulful and funky style will have you bobbing your head and on your feet partying like it’s 1999. As a native of Palestine Texas, Art was heavily influenced by the music of his environment which ranged from Rhythm and Blues, Pop, Rock N’ Roll, Country, Rap, Hip-Hop, Gospel and of course Jazz! His love for music, entertainment, and appreciation for the arts has afforded him the opportunity to perform on stages throughout the United States and overseas.

Lin Rountree

Lin Rountree, also known as The Soul-Trumpeter, is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. With a whopping eight solo projects and an impressive 21 chart-topping Billboard singles (including FOUR #1 hits), he has solidified his place as a leading innovator in the Instrumental Soul/R&B genre. Collaborating with some of the industry’s top R&B/Contemporary Jazz artists, Lin’s talent knows no bounds.

Ragan Whiteside

Flute-playing soul-jazz phenomenon Ragan Whiteside has become one of the genre’s most consistently dynamic and popular artists. Thanks to her incredible skill and creativity on her chosen instrument, as well as her charismatic presence on stage, Whiteside is at the top of her game. That was demonstrated in October 2022, when she became the first artist to win the competitive Best Contemporary Jazz Artist Award at the inaugural Jazz Music Awards, held at the Cobb Energy Centre in Atlanta. Whiteside is also a 2023 NAACP Image Award Nominee and four-time nominee for the Smooth Jazz Network’s Best Artist Award.


Braxton Brothers

The Braxton Brothers, Nelson and Wayne, bring over two decades of exceptional music to the smooth jazz scene, earning a revered spot as the “funky twins of Smooth Jazz.” They started their illustrious career in 1996, captivating audiences with their debut album that stormed the charts and helped establish the 6-string bass and saxophone combination as signature elements of their sound. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the brothers not only perform but write, record, and produce their own music, creating a distinctively melodic, smooth, yet groovy sonic experience.

Marion Meadows & Alex Bugnon

Marion Meadows was born in West Virginia and grew up in Stamford, Connecticut. He began playing the clarinet and studying classical music at the age of nine. He started playing tenor sax in high school, and then migrated to soprano sax. His passion for various types of music led him down an eclectic musical path.

Jazz pianist Alex Bugnon has been a prolific, energetic force on the contemporary music scene for more than two decades. A renowned musician/composer/bandleader, Bugnon hales from the picturesque town of Montreux, Switzerland – site of the world famous Jazz Festival.  No doubt, the annual convergence in his hometown and in his own home, of some of music’s most illustrious names played a role in his decision to pursue a musical career, as did his early friendship with Herbie Hancock.  The fact that his uncle was the legendary Donald Byrd only served to further his decision.


Samara Joy

With three GRAMMY wins and a chart-topping debut album already under her belt, 24-year-old Samara Joy makes her case to join the likes of Sarah, Ella, and Billie as the next mononymous jazz singing sensation recorded by the venerable Verve Records. Her voice, rich and velvety yet precociously refined, has already earned her fans like Anita Baker and Regina King and appearances on the TODAY Show, The Tonight Show w/Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show w/Stephen Colbert, CBS Mornings, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and more, in addition to millions of likes on TikTok — securing her status as perhaps the first Gen Z jazz vocal star. The New York Times praised the “silky-voiced rising star” for “helping jazz take a youthful turn” while NPR All Things Considered named her a “classic jazz singer from a new generation.”



Incognito was founded by Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick and Paul Williams in 1979 and soon after they hit the ground running with the hit single Parisienne Girl.  Their first album Jazz Funk in 1981, was an instrumental tour de force, with guests including Hugh Masekela horns-men Peter Segona and Claude Deppa, UK’s legendary Saxophonist Ray Carless and legendary Jamaican trombonist Vin Gordon.

Brian Culbertson

Over the course of crafting a 25-album catalog and architecting nearly 40 Billboard No. 1 singles as a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, Brian Culbertson has charted his own unique course in music. Label him jazz and he makes a funk record. Call him an R&B artist and he drops an acoustic jazz trio collection. Brand him pop and he creates a 32-minute New Age opus. And you’d be hard pressed to name another instrumentalist of his ilk who can mount an elaborately designed concert production that will keep him on the road for three consecutive months.

About Closing the Gap in Health Care

The Lowcountry Jazz Festival is the primary fundraiser for Closing the Gap in Health Care, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose primary mission is decreasing health disparities and increasing health literacy, especially for African Americans and the underserved in our community, South Carolina, and the nation.

The organization airs radio and television health tips, publishes a weekly e-newsletter, and provides information on social media to improve health literacy. Lectures, seminars, and youth and community activities are also provided by Closing the Gap in Health Care, Inc.

Proceeds from the Festival support the mission of Closing the Gap in Health Care, Inc. and the Thaddeus John Bell, M.D. Endowment Fund. This scholarship fund was created conjointly with the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina to assist students who pursue a health science degree and graduate from the Medical University of South Carolina. This will facilitate an increase in the number of African American health providers in the state.

The Lowcountry Jazz Festival and Closing the Gap in Health Care, Inc. have made contributions, exceeding $250,000, to the Thaddeus John Bell, M.D. Endowment Fund!

Please note that for this performance online purchases have a limit of eight (8) tickets per customer. To purchase additional tickets or to inquire about group sales, please contact the ticket office directly at (843) 242-3099.