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From Lexington, KY and Cincinnati, OH, Driving South on I-75:

Take I-75 South to exit 77 for KY-595 S

Turn left onto KY-595 S/Walnut Meadow Road

Turn right onto Walnut Meadow Road

Continue onto Main Street

Boone Tavern will be on the left

From Knoxville, Driving North on I-75:

Take I-75 North to exit 76 for KY-21

Turn right onto KY-21 E/Chestnut Street

Continue onto Estill Street

Take a sharp right onto South Main Street

Boone Tavern will be on the left

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We are sorry to say that our wonderful coordinator, Laura Bost, has moved out of town with her family to pursue new opportunities so we are unable to continue the festival past its inaugural year.  We wish them all the best.

James Powell Quartet: 2:30 - 3:30pm

James Powell is a guitarist, composer, and educator. He works as a freelance musician performing live, writing and arranging music, and offering online lessons. James was the 1st chair guitarist in the KMEA All-State Jazz Ensemble. He was also a participant in the KMEA All-State Guitar Orchestra. He has been a member in multiple jazz bands, currently playing for the EKU Jazz Ensemble. He has experience playing in musicals, choirs, guitar orchestras, marching bands, and other various ensembles. James is currently pursuing a B.M. in Music Performance at Eastern Kentucky University.

Masterclass: 1-2pm

Michael Cruse, our Pinnacle Jazzfest featured artist, has been privately teaching trumpet, piano, voice and drums since 2012, and directs the jazz combo groups at Emory University. Helping his students to unlock their potential and grow as musicians is tremendously rewarding and brings him great joy. This session is open to public viewing. He will be providing instruction to this exciting line-up of musicians:

Colin Richey (Berea) - drummer

Sam Werner-Wilson (Versailles) - guitar

James Powell (Richmond) - guitar

Bruce Lewis Trio: 4 - 5pm

Bruce Lewis (guitar/vocals/arranger) is a globally renowned musician who spent much of his career playing and touring in Europe while living in Budapest, Hungary. He is accomplished in various musical styles, with numerous recordings to his name.

Tripp Bratton (percussion) is one of the most versatile and sought-after percussionists in the area. He also holds positions at both Centre College and Berea College, teaching and directing their percussion and jazz fusion ensembles.

Tom Covello started playing the electric bass as a teenager in New York. He went on to study at the famed Berklee College of Music and since then has performed and recorded with numerous local, regional and international musicians.

Bruce, Tripp, and Tom along with Keith McCutchen are members of the exciting new event band, Kynetic. (

Will Boyd and Kelle Jolly: 5:30 - 6:30pm

Will Boyd co-leads this group with his wife, jazz radio host, and founder of the Knoxville Women in Jazz Jam Festival, Kelle Jolly. Will is a multi-reed instrumentalist, composer, and educator. He hails from soul sax tradition like artists Eddie Harris, Hank Crawford, David "Fat Head" Newman, King Curtis and Yusef Lateef. Originally from Orangeburg SC by way of Queens NY, Will currently resides in Knoxville TN. He is a member of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra and currently has 3 solo albums “Live at the Red Piano Lounge”, “Freedom Soul Jazz”, and "Soulful Noise". Will and Kelle perform around the US as well as abroad including many trips touring Japan. They appeared on Season 6 of the cooking show “The Jazzy Vegetarian” with Laura Theodore for the Create Channel. They received the MLK award for the arts in 2013. They are featured on the soundtrack for the PBS documentary on painter Beauford Delaney, and performed in the premier performances of "Shadow Light" (an opera celebrating the life of Beauford Delaney) with the Marble City Opera. Will also appears in the 2nd episode of “Live at Lucille’s”, season 1 (a live jazz concert series on East TN PBS) as a member of the Kenneth Brown Quintet.

Featured Headliner

Michael Cruse Band: 7 - 8:30pm

Jazz artist and composer Michael Cruse is known for his unique take on the singing and trumpet-playing style of the incomparable Louis Armstrong. Cruse’s compositions and arrangements have been used in television, film, and commercial music. Born into a gospel family, Cruse developed a deep love for performing music at a young age. His uncle, Charles Quillings, who taught and performed with Les McCann, taught him the trumpet and how to read and write his own music. Cruse studied jazz performance and composition at the University of Cincinnati–College Conservatory of Music. After graduating, he released his first CD titled Unbridled featuring the Michael Cruse Quintet. He is a faculty member at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he is the trombone, trumpet, and combo instructor. Cruse frequently performs in the Atlanta area and tours nationally in various concert halls, jazz festivals, and jazz clubs. His latest single, You (2020), is available on music streaming platforms.

Jazz Jam with The Michael Cruse Band:

9 - 10:30pm

Don't miss this opportunity to join in and jam with the band! The Michael Cruse Band will host this session. The jazz jam will offer seasoned veterans a place to meet, perform, and network. It also presents up-and-comers with the opportunity to learn from experienced performers. 

Locally Owned Restaurants

The Historic Boone Tavern Hotel and Restaurant of Berea College - The bluegrass of Kentucky meets the rolling hills of Appalachia at The Historic Boone Tavern Hotel & Restaurant. Our storied hotel in Berea, KY is in its second century of providing guests with the pinnacle of southern hospitality and charm. 

Honeysuckle Dining and Bourbon House - The fusion of all things Southern with hints of modern and world influences.

Native Bagel - Fresh, NY style, hand-rolled bagels, coffee drinks, tasty sandwiches, and delicious sweets

Nightjar- Burgers, sausages, drinks, & good times from the Native Bagel Company crew.

Noodle Nirvana - A divine build your own noodle bowl experience with a side of world peace.

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