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Jazz in the Square

September 9, 2023 @ 2:00 pm 6:00 pm EDT

Join the Billie Holiday Center for Liberation Arts, and founding director Lawrence Jackson, for Jazz in Lafayette Square, a musical celebration of the rich and important legacy of Baltimore’s own jazz legend Billie Holiday. Held at Lafayette Square Park, corner of Arlington Avenue and Lafayette Street.

Performances will be provided by The Nasar Abadey Jazz Quartet–Sean Jones (trumpet), Herman Burney (bass), Richard Johnson (keys) and Abadey (drums)–with special guest vocalist, recording artist Charenée Wade, professor of vocals and Jazz Studies at Peabody. Product vendors will be on hand as well as community organizations with displays and information sharing throughout the day. Additional performers this year include DJ Charles Dockins, and the Peabody Jazz Graduate Fellowship. The festival will be hosted by renowned poet, writer, and professor Kondwani Fidel and is free to the public. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and lounge chairs.

Lafayette Square is an anchor of Baltimore’s African American religious life, hosting St. James Episcopal Church, one of the city’s three black congregations dating its origins before the 1830s, St. John’s AME Church, Metropolitan Methodist Church, and Star of Bethlehem Spiritual Temple.  Two of the oldest African American Christian congregations in the United States, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal and Sharp Street United Memorial are only four blocks away.  Billie Holiday herself lived on both Fremont Street and Argyle Avenue, just off of Lafayette, and the fountainhead of the City’s jazz heritage was at the Royal Theater (1922-1971), located at Pennsylvania and Lafayette Avenue. 

Register on Eventbrite.


Location: Lafayette Square Park @ N Arlington and W Lafayette Ave

Baltimore, MD United States + Google Map