The Jazz Room will celebrate 20th season headlined by Ravi Coltrane, Emmet Cohen, and Cyrille Aimée

By Cameron Lee

April 9, 2024

JazzArts Charlotte, the non-profit jazz organization founded by New Orleans native Lonnie Davis in 2009, will celebrate its 15th anniversary this year, and the 20th season of the popular concert series, Jazz Room. Started in 2011, Jazz Room has grown into one of the region’s top live jazz experiences hosting a diverse mix of internationally acclaimed musicians and vocalists through the years. 

Ravi Coltrane, the son of the legendary North Carolina native jazz musician John Coltrane and harpist Alice Coltrane, will perform in Charlotte for the first time in June.

The organization (originally JazzArts Initiative) got its start on a single stage at Festival in the Park in 2009, and has grown to add youth education programs, music workshops, and summer camps along with the popular Jazz Room series.

“I’m excited to celebrate 15 years of JazzArts Charlotte and presenting a very special season of the Jazz Room featuring the biggest names in jazz, who are regarded around the world,” said JazzArts Charlotte’s President and CEO Lonnie Davis.

Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month, the series will kick off with renowned jazz pianist and composer Emmet Cohen and his trio, April 19-20 at Stage Door Theater. Creator of the Masters Legacy Series, a project that pays tribute to musical legends, Cohen is a multidisciplinary jazz artist that has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Newport, Monterey, and North Sea jazz festivals.

Grammy-nominated saxophonist Ravi Coltrane will make his Jazz Room debut in June with his dynamic trio. The son of legendary jazz musician John Coltrane (who grew up in North Carolina) and harpist Alice Coltrane, he’ll perform his avant-garde compositions for the first time at Stage Door Theater June 14-15. 

French jazz vocalist Cyrille Aimée will also make her Jazz Room debut May 17-18. Winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival Vocal Competition and hailed as a “star in the galaxy of jazz singers” by The New York Times, Aimée is coming off the release of her breathtaking new album, à Fleur de Peau, in March. 

August will feature Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra member and legendary New Orleans drummer, Herlin Riley. Known to many as “The Groove Master,” Riley is a longtime collaborator of Wynton Marsalis and the late, great jazz pianist, Ahmad Jamal. He has also worked with artists such as Paul Simon, George Benson, Dr. John, Boz Scaggs, and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Riley is widely regarded as one of the best traditional jazz drummers performing today.

Over the years, Jazz Room has made space for diversity and innovation, and this season will continue that tradition with 20-year-old Indonesian jazz phenom, Joey Alexander. A musical prodigy who released his first album, My Favorite Things, in 2015, when he was just 11 years old, Alexander earned a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Album in 2016. He is coming off the release of Continuance, his seventh studio album released in November, and will perform with his trio June 26-27.

The 20th season of Jazz Room will culminate with the Afro-Cuban Latin jazz stylings of The Pedrito Martinez Group, led by multi-talented percussionist, singer, dancer, and bandleader, Pedrito Martinez. Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in partnership with Charlotte International Arts Festival, this high-energy concert will be sure to get you moving and grooving to the multicultural rhythms. 

“For 15 years, JazzArts Charlotte has filled a gap in this community by connecting people of all ages to the art form of jazz,” said Davis. “I am grateful that residents and visitors continue to embrace jazz and support our work.”

The 20th season of Jazz Room will kick off April 19-20 with Emmet Cohen and run through September 27-28 with The Pedro Martinez Group. Check out the full lineup at

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