About the Show
Under the artistic direction of producer Tony Clarke, in collaboration with the Gaillard Center’s artistic team, the festival returns with a stellar lineup of award-winning jazz singers and musicians Dave Koz & Friends, Gregory Porter, Avery*Sunshine, and Jonathan Butler.
This year, the finest smooth jazz combined with bluesy soul will create a relevant sound that resonates with the region’s discerning music audiences young and old. Charleston, South Carolina played an important role in the early development of jazz. It was a thriving center of African American music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and was home to many of the first jazz musicians and bands. The city was also a major port, which helped to spread jazz music to other parts of the country and the world. The weekend celebrates these genres in the heart of downtown Charleston, allowing attendees to experience this vibrant cultural city with a fitting soundtrack.
The Festival is welcoming back the soulful sounds of jazz legend Dave Koz, the renowned saxophonist who delivers an unforgettable performance every time he takes the stage, and adding headliner GRAMMY award-winning artist Gregory Porter, whose cross-pollinated brand combines jazz, soul, and gospel. Inspirational singer-songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Butler and vibrant, soulful singer, pianist, and composer Avery*Sunshine will open.
The Gaillard is cementing its role as a leading non-profit performing arts center in the Southeast dedicated to commissioning and presenting ambitious cultural programming and popular performances that engage audiences, foster community, and prompt essential dialogue. Central to this is the Labor Day weekend, which sees the Lowcountry Jazz Festival take over the building.
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.
Receive 10% off when you purchase tickets to both days!
Saturday, September 2
Opener: Jonathan Butler
Headliner: Gregory Porter
Sunday, September 3
Headliner: Dave Koz Summer Horns
with Candy Dulfer, Eric Darius, & Maysa Leak
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!
About the Artists
Acclaimed singer-songwriter Gregory Porter was raised in Bakersfield, California, and began singing in small jazz clubs in San Diego and later New York City, where his music career began to ascend with the release of his first two albums—Water (2010) and Be Good (2012). In 2013, he released his Blue Note debut Liquid Spirit which quickly grew into a global phenomenon, selling more than a million albums and earning Porter his first GRAMMY Award with NPR declaring him “America’s Next Great Jazz Singer.” His 2016 follow-up Take Me To The Alley won Porter his second GRAMMY for Best Vocal Jazz Album and firmly established him as his generation’s most soulful jazz singer-songwriter. In 2017, Porter released the heartfelt tribute album Nat King Cole & Me and in 2020 returned to his original songwriting on the uplifting ALL RISE. Porter has hosted the podcast The Hang, as well as his own cooking show The PorterHouse.
Beloved singer and guitarist Jonathan Butler announces his new album, Ubuntu, available everywhere on April 28th via Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group. The 11 track collection, produced by Marcus Miller (Miles Davis, Luther Vandross) is Butler’s tenth for the label and his twenty-eighth release overall.
In a time when artists of optimism are at a premium, Butler is a shining example of purposeful excellence. From recording local hits as a teenager growing up during the apartheid of South Africa, Butler went on to become a world-renowned singer, guitarist and songwriter delivering soulful salvos of R&B, gospel, jazz and pop. Touring professionally by age 7, Butler’s first single, “Please Stay,” was the first by a Black artist played on white radio in segregated South Africa and won a Sarie Award (the country’s equivalent to a Grammy). Committed to conveying stirring messages of freedom and unity through his music, Jonathan became a national icon. His music even provided solace to Nelson Mandela, who later met Butler and told him that listening to his music had helped him endure time in prison.
On his upcoming album Butler swings full circle back to his homeland, marinating in all the richness of its musical culture yet with a message for the brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity around the globe.
Butler defines Ubuntu as, “A philosophy based in South Africa and spread by Archbishop Desmond Tutu which states, ‘I am me because of you. You are you because of me. We are not separate. We are connected.’”
Ubuntu is comprised of both emotionally moving instrumentals such as the title track (a harmonic convergence of ostinatos) and the tenderly gorgeous “Peace in Shelter” co-composed with Yellowjackets keyboardist Russell Ferrante (one of three featuring Butler’s wife Nadira Kimberly Scruggs on violin) and vocals that include the message songs “Rainbow Nation” (about the ongoing battle of Equalizers vs. Dividers), “Our Voices Matter” (‘If we look within, we won’t go without’) and “When Love Comes In” featuring blues singer Keb’Mo’. The instant attention grabber is a cover of Stevie Wonder’s classic “Superwoman” with Wonder on harmonica.
Jonathan Butler sees himself as a messenger more than ever before despite a past that has found him balancing pop hits like “Lies” and “Sarah Sarah” with gospel gems and jazz mood music. During America’s soul-numbing days of the COVID pandemic, Black Lives Matter, a too close for comfort presidential race and an economy on the ropes, a shut-in Butler was restless. “The death of George Floyd polarized or awakened musicians I know,” he states. “Some spoke out, others did not, claiming, ‘I’m an artist not a politician!’ My song ‘Our Voices Matter’ came out of that. You’re either silent and complicit or you speak out.”
Through Ubuntu his messages of love, peace and unity ring strong and true because they emanate from the heart of a man who has witnessed and experienced the most glowing of good triumphs over the darkest of evils. Like the philosophy of Ubuntu he shares on his latest album, and the great men Tutu, Mandela and Wonder before him, Butler has a vision to do even more to attain peace and collaboration among all people to change the world.
Pre-Save Ubuntu here.
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.