JazzFest Headliners

The 2020 Pensacola JazzFest is CANCELED. New headliners will be announced in early 2021 for a May 2021 festival.

National headliners

Saxophonist Larry Panella

Larry Panella is a jazz saxophonist and educator at the University of Southern Mississippi where he serves as the director of Jazz Studies. He has performed with numerous artists and entertainers including the Phil Collins Big Band, the Woody Herman Orchestra and Natalie Cole. His recordings include his newly released CD “Larry Panella: The Gestures Project,” and “Larry Panella: Under the Influence,” as well as releases with the Phil Collins Big Band, the Collection Jazz Orchestra, the Ashley Alexander Big Band, John Mahoney Big Band and Chris Cortez.

Jazz pianist Tony Viviano

Pianist and composer Tony Viviano has performed in many venues throughout Michigan as well as around the world. Encompassing the classic styles of jazz piano artistry, he is a mainstay in the Michigan jazz piano scene.  An opener for the John Pizzarelli Trio, Chic Corea, Herbie Mann and Auturo Sandoval, Viviano’s compositional skills can be heard on his albums “Lydianosis” and “My Pal Al” – containing all original works encompassing many styles of jazz, uniquely intermixed with classical motifs along with diverse melodies rooted in modern acoustic jazz. Borrowing from the likes of Joe Zawinul, Chic Corea and Bud Powell, his music is harmonically refreshing and complex.

Saxophonist Doug Horn

Doug Horn plays alto, tenor and soprano sax and flute. Well-versed in the musical styles of bebop, swing, Latin, blues and ballads, Horn’s style reflects influences from such jazz giants as Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, Phil Woods, Dexter Gordon and Stan Getz. Among the notable musicians he has performed with are Phil Woods, Jimmy Forest, Clare Fisher, Claude Black, Eddie Russ, Clark Terry, Marcus Belgrave, Jack Mcduff, Bill Watrous, Don Menza and Dizzy Gillespie.

Horn has been performing for 54 years in Michigan and around various parts of the world. He is retired from 26 years in Ann Arbor Schools as a band director.

Local/regional headliners

Trumpeter Jonathan Martin

Jonathan Martin has been a member of the United States Air Force “Band of the West,” in addition to the Quad Cities, Owensboro, Lexington and Pensacola Symphony Orchestras. He has performed in almost every genre of music, and has performed throughout the United States and Europe with a diverse array of artists including: Dizzy Gillespie, Bob Mintzer, Tom Scott, Frank Sinatra Jr., Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Dionne Warwick, The Temptations, The Four Tops and many more. As a jazz-ensemble director, Martin has worked with Bobby Shew, Randy Brecker, Bob Berg, Wayne Bergeron, Andy Martin, Bob Sheppard and Conrad Herwig. Martin has one jazz recording as a leader entitled “Standard Jazz.”

Jack Zoesch Quartet

Originally from Rochester, N.Y., Zoesch started piano at a young age. He has performed with such musicians as Wynton Marsallis, Ted Poor, Ike Sturm, John Fedchock, and Michael League. Although classically trained, early in high school, he discovered jazz and never looked back. The son of a music teacher, he has enjoyed playing and performing all kinds of music his entire life. After attending Wake Forest University, he moved to Washington DC, where he performed at a variety of venues.

Glenn Parker Band

Regarded as one of the greatest rhythm and blues bands on the Gulf Coast, the Glenn Parker Band is truly a pleasure to experience. Having been a Gulf Coast treasure for many year, their sound is smooth and sophisticated. Playing jazz, blues, classic R&B and soft rock, the band always leaves audiences wanting more. Glenn Parker, a native Floridian, has been a headliner in Las Vegas and many venues throughout the Southeast. It is rare to find this creative combination in a quintet.

Jazz pianist Alex Nollan

Alex Nollan is an award-winning jazz pianist, composer and recording artist. He earned a B.A. in music at Rhodes College and studied jazz for four years on the graduate level at the University of Tennessee. Notable teachers of his include Michael Jefry Stevens, Gerald Stephens, Bobby Lyle and Donald Brown.

Brown is also his mentor and the producer of his debut CD, “Stand” (2019). The CD features saxophonist Don Aliquo, bassist Neal Bowen, drummer Renardo

Nobius (Network of Brothers in United Sound)

Combing influences from across the ages, Nobius blends soul, funk, jazz, pop and R&B into an unforgettable experience. Recently awarded “Best Wedding Band” of Pensacola by Pensacola’s Inweekly, Nobius plans to get your party movin’ and your booty groovin’.

Nobius band members: Miguel Aldahondo Jr., vocals/ keyboard; Zach Callahan, saxophone; John Callahan, bass; Chris Cantin, drums/percussion; Trevor King, trumpet; Jacob Palmer, guitar/vocals.

Isabelle Schrack Band

The Isabelle Schrack Band features Isabelle Schrack on keys and vocals, Max Levesque on bass, Jensen Cadenhead on drums, Noemi Ruiz on trumpet, and Duncan Miller on sax. The band met at the University of West Florida. They enjoy playing jazz, pop and fusion genres. The band has played Pensacola’s Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival, Rosemary Beach Uncorked, the 30A Concert Series, Northwest Fest, Panama City’s Pirate Fest, MOJO in Mobile, Gulf Power, and Jazz Pensacola.

La’Roy Bodiford Quartet

Former Marine, La’Roy Bodiford fell in love with jazz music as a young child. He found himself staying up way past his bedtime listening to a local radio station on a tape player radio his sister gave him. Bodiford’s love of music became a dream, a dream he began chasing when he joined the 6th-grade band of Luverne Elementary in Luverne, Ala. From 6th grade until he graduated high school, Bodiford frequently auditioned and made All-State Band and All-State Jazz Band. After high school, he spent four years serving our country as a member of United States Marine Corps. Upon completing his time with the Marines, Bodiford’s dream became his passion and career. He has toured with American Idol winner Ruben Studdard and shared the stage with other jazz artists such as Jeff Lorber, Rick Braun, Brian Culbertson, and many more. From a love to a dream then to a passion, many things have changed since Bodiford was a child listening to the radio, but his relationship with music has remained the same. 

Fais Do-Do

A fais do-do is a Cajun dance party, originating before WWII, and with its emblematic Louisianan music, the band Fais Do-Do is an experience worth savoring. The band’s deep, Acadian rhythms feather onto the traditional music of an ancient era, bringing the sounds of a moss-covered world to vivid life. Watch the arcing energy and enjoy the danceable rhythms that have serenaded the shuffling dance steps of a rich and colorful American culture.

Fais Do-Do band members: Chris Nida, bass/vocal; Doug Dickerson, guitar/vocal; Teddy Lehmann, washboard/vocal; John Link, keys/sax/vocal; Fred Domulot, drums/vocal.

Chip Herrington Quintet

When Chip Herrington was 7-years-old, he found an old cornet and beginner band book in the attic of his home in Columbia, Miss. By the end of the day, he had taught himself the C scale and could play several songs from the book. He’s been playing ever since. Herrington is best known as the trumpet player for Wet Willie (Hurricane Horns) and as band leader of The Mobile Big Band Society of Mobile, Ala. But he’s also performed with familiar artists such as Aretha Franklin and Lou Rawls. He is also a regular studio player being heard on recordings by Eric Erdman, Donna Hall, Tom Riepl and others. His latest efforts have focused on bringing more authentic jazz to the Mobile, Alabama area. Featuring pianist Gino Rosaria, drummer Pete Wehner, bassist David Webb and saxophonist Shane Philen, The Chip Jazz 5 deliver something that has become very rare — real acoustic jazz in a traditional club setting… “Lounge jazz,” if you will.

Excelsior Brass Band

The Excelsior Band is a 10-piece marching brass band consisting of three trumpets, three saxophones, one trombone, a tuba, bass drum and snare drum. The group also performs as a quintet, as requested for smaller events.

The Excelsior Band has a very rich history. It was founded by John A. Pope to celebrate the birth of his son, John C. Pope in Mobile, Ala., on Nov. 23, 1883. The Excelsior Band has marched the streets of downtown Mobile for more than 100 years in various Mardi Gras parades. The band, which plays Dixieland and conventional jazz, performs regularly along the Gulf Coast and is recognized for providing the unique sounds associated with the carnival season in Mobile, the birthplace of Mardi Gras in the United States.

The musical hodge-podge that makes up the Excelsior medley floats in the swing of Carnival cheer with such favorites as “Margie,” “Hello Dolly,” “St. Louis Blues,” “South Rampart Street Parade” and, of course, “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

Band members come from diverse occupational backgrounds and all are highly touted in the Mobile area for their many years of musical contributions throughout the city.