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SummerArts: Jazz

W.C. Handy Music Festival (Florence, AL)

Various venues

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(July 20-29, 2012) The W.C. Handy Music Festival is a ten-day event held in the Muscle Shoals region of northwestern Alabama, an area known as “The Hit Recording Capitol of the World”. Celebrating the “Father of Blues” himself, the festival began in 1982 with Dizzy Gillespie as its headliner. Today, with 300 events spanning everything from blues and jazz to art exhibits, theater events and a 5k run, this festival’s got it all. Past headliners include Ellis Marsalis, Diane Schuur, Nancy Wilson, Manhattan Transfer, Take 6, Ramsey Lewis, and many others. Tickets are highly affordable for the headlining concerts ($25-35) and many of the events are free and open to the public. Tickets are available through the website. (MS)

W.C. Handy Music Festival Information

  • Public Transportation: Varies by venue
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Depends on venue, but generally good
  • Performances/Programs: Over 200 performances are presented during the festival
  • Ticket Prices: Almost all concerts are presented free of charge. Ticketed event prices vary.