Seabreeze Jazz Festival 2009 at Pier Park

by February 4, 2009 • 14 comments

The Seabreeze Jazz Festival is coming to Pier Park in April, bringing not only something new to our area because of Pier Park, but also a huge list of artists and a promise of a high-quality, entertaining weekend.

The weekend will start Thursday April 16th at 7 pm with a dinner Cruise with Alex Bugnon on board the Salaris dinner yacht from the Bay Point Marina.   Friday, gates open at 5 pm at the Pier Park Amphitheatre (aka, Aaron Bessant Park) with jazz to begin filling the air at 6 pm.  At 8:30 pm, an All-Star Jam will begin featuring various artists such as Nick Colionne, Shilts, and Four 80 East.

The festival will continue Saturday morning at 9 am and continue with food and jazz all day long.

The general admission cost each day is $80 per person with a weekend pass being sold ad $130 per person.  The VIP pass is $375 per person and includes all performances all weekend, on-site VIP parking, early admission, covered seating with closeup view of performances, breakfast and lunch on Saturday and Sunday with evening food included Friday through Sunday – oh, and the VIP tickets are sold out, according to the website.  If you want to eat on the Solaris, tickets are $135 per person.

Full event details:

General Admission Each Day: $80 per person
Weekend Pass: $130 per person
VIP Weekend Pass: $375 per person

Thursday, April 16 through Sunday, April 19
(see attached schedule)

Pier Park – Amphitheater
600 Pier Park Drive
Panama City Beach, FL 32413

2009 Seabreeze Jazz Festival Schedule
Pier Park Amphitheater Panama City Beach, FL
Presented By ResortQuest

Festival Host: Nick Colionne

Thursday, April 16

7 p.m.
Smooth Jazz Dinner Cruise with Alex Bugnon
Presented by Marriott Bay Point Resort
Aboard The Solaris dinner yacht; boarding begins at 6 p.m. at the Bay Point Marina

Friday, April 17

(Gates open at 5 p.m.)

6 – 7:45 p.m.
Urban Jazz Coalition

8:30 p.m.
Smooth Jazz All-Star Jam
Featuring Nick Colionne, Shilts, Four 80 East, Brian Simpson, Matt Marshak, Joyce Cooling, Nils, Alex, Bugnon, Eric Darius, Althea Rene, Jackiem Joyner and special guests

10:30 p.m.
Jazz Under the Stars Party
With Urban Jazz Coalition and friends
(Pier Park Special Club Location)
Sponsored by Smooth Lounge dot com

Saturday, April 18

(Gates open at 9 a.m. – VIP early entry at 8:30 a.m.)

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Althea Rene

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Eric Darius

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
The Seabreeze Groove Project
Featuring Four 80 East, Shilts and Matt Marshak
Sponsored by Smooth Lounge dot com

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Joyce Cooling

5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Will Downing

7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Wayman Tisdale

9:30 p.m.
Jazz Under the Stars Party
With Four 80 East, Shilts, Matt Marshak and friends
(Pier Park Special Club Location)
Sponsored by Smooth Lounge dot com

Sunday, April 19

(Gates open at 9 a.m. – VIP early entry at 8:30 a.m.)

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Jones and Company

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Roman Street

1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Brian Simpson / Nils / Jackiem Joyner

3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Warren Hill

5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Nick Colionne

7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Boney James

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1 jamnolfin February 4, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Im glad we are getting these events. That being said, Im not paying $130 unless they get some really big name netertainment. I paid $30 a day last year at NO Jazzfest to see numerous top notch bands. I paid $60 for awesome seats to see Tina Turner. Ive seen Boney James at least 10 times.


2 A. Beahon February 5, 2009 at 11:32 pm

Alex Bugnon and Boney James are fabulous entertainers who have been around for a long time. Earl Klugh is another great artist – however – when can we expect to see the likes of Diana Krall, Jesse Cook. Chris Standring – ?? This festival seems to be waaaaaay overpriced but a nice injection into an area where the “margaritaville” genre seems to be the norm. Hope it’s here to stay.


3 Steve Earle February 8, 2009 at 2:36 pm

As a longtime jazz fan and someone who goes to concerts all over the country, I’m smiling at the comments about pricing. Apparently folks in the area are not used to big jazz festivals because the pricing for this is right in line with other major jazz festivals and in fact is lower than most. $65 for a full day of top notch talent vs $60 for a two hour show by, sorry to say, a very old and tired Tina Turner doesn’t really compare in my book, but to each his own!

I’ve been to this event three times when it was at Santa Rosa Beach and the caliber of artists they bring in is top drawer. You’ll never see Diana Krall at this, people have no clue what she charges apparently. Re Jesse Cook, he’d be a good future artist I agree. Chris Standring would make a good afternoon act, darned good player. I applaud these promoters, they don’t do the same old line-up so many of the other festivals do. They keep it fresh and have new talent coming in every year so it’s one I keep coming back to.

Re this year’s line-up: Anyone who has seen Boney James 10 times must like him! A little Boney trivia – he wears a new pair of sneakers at every performance. Nobody’s seen Will Downing down here, it’s the first time for him and he’s huge, what a voice. Wayman Tisdale is coming back after some serious surgery and puts on a really great show, has some R&B cover tunes in the show that are a lot of fun. Nick Colionne is an enormous talent and is hosting the Jam Session (ever been to a jam session full of pros?… electrifying and one of a kind events…sorry but good local bands, no matter how many of them, can’t hold a candle to this type of entertainment!). He has a headline show and is the host for the whole weekend. The guy is a powerhouse entertainer – killer guitarist and singer – and funny as heck. Joyce Cooling is talented, gorgeous and classy and has a little Brazilian thing going on these days, really looking forward to her show. Warren Hill has been sitting at the top of the charts for months and will be at the festival. And on and on. If you know contemporary jazz you know this is a dynamite line-up. These people all perform with an energy level that relates not one bit to what you hear on the radio!

The local acts are a nod to the local talent pool and are on early so if you’ve seen them a hundred times you can miss then with no guilt. I find every once in a while that some local group really has juice so I try to catch them myself.

I think Panama City Beach scored a real coup in getting the Seabreeze Jazz Festival. I’m surprised at the general lack of enthusiasm exhibited by the first two posters. If PCB wants to become a national player/destination for major entertainment events and the boost that brings to the local economy it needs to support new events coming in. These aren’t local cover bands at local clubs. I’ll be there, and I’m from Atlanta!


4 Chris February 8, 2009 at 2:44 pm

The lineup is fabulous, top-tier, award-winning “A” artists – and this Festival is going to be a huge boost to Panama City Beach this year and in years to come. As a contemporary jazz fan who goes to 6-10 of these festivals per year, I can say that the SEABREEZE JAZZ FESTIVAL is the premier jazz festival in the country. I am coming to PCB for this event from Philadelphia.


5 mary February 8, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Wow, what a great lineup, count me in. The Seabreeze jazz fest website has the complete lineup and ticket info, as well as hotel info.

AQUA is within walking distance and is one of the nicest resort condos there is.


6 Rick February 9, 2009 at 8:36 am

THANK YOU Steve Earle for your comments. It is nice to hear from someone outside of the market, and have their thoughts and ideas heard, and you obviously are very “up” on the current Jazz Talent out there. Although I enjoy listening to Jazz as well as most other styles of music I am not so “up” on the Jazz Talent. Can someone please fill me in on Alex Bugnon. I am assuming he must be a BIG NAME artist to justify the Solaris dinner cruise tickets being $135per person.(part of this price is the “deadhead” to and from Destin) I’d also like to know who is organizing this and bringing in a Destin boat when you have the Betsy Ann Riverboat and The Lady Anderson both right here in town, with their owners supporting other local business owners, and both boats quite capable of hosting this cruise. It infuriates me to hear people say that we need more attractions for Panama City Beach, when you don’t support the ones you have. And with our economy in the condition it is in, you’d better start, because it is doubtful anything new and substantial is coming anytime soon.
That being said, I am glad to see new “events” like the Jazz Festival coming to the Panama City area. I also believe it is great that it is being hosted at Pier Park. Like or not folks, Pier Park is the new heartbeat of this beach and if it doesn’t succeed, we are all in for some very unfavorable surprises.


7 mary February 9, 2009 at 10:08 am

The Seabreeze Jazz Fest is promoted and organized by the SEABREEZE RADIO STATION (Carter Broadcasting) in Destin, FL. The website for the event is

The Seabreeze Jazz Festival used to be held annually in Santa Rosa Beach; it was moved to Panama City Beach for this year.

Lots of helpful info on the website!


8 Kerry February 10, 2009 at 10:59 am

Coming from a person that travels to St. Lucia, Monterery,New Orleans and Barbados festivals. I’ve attended every one of the Seabreeze festival. The reason for this is simply, Seabreeze Festival brings together a collection of great artists. Most of the other festivals will bring in a very high profile artist and the remaining artist for that day are local talent, upcoming or suspect at best. They follow this model for the entire festival.

Instead of having a constant flow of fans all day long, most people chose to catch the big show. This is great for PCB and Pier Park. Supporting PCB from the ATL. Embrace it and enjoy… It’s a good thing. Unlike MTV’s Spring Break..


9 tom February 10, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Can’t wait for this festival, so happy to hear about the new location in PCB. We plan to stay at AQUA so we can walk to the Festival (we are coming from NJ!!!!)- they are giving good discounts for jazz fest attendees. The last several Seabreeze Festivals in Santa Rosa Beach were wonderful, great artists and lineup – and this year promises more of the great artists in a bigger and better location.


10 lana February 10, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Great job Steve Earle! My husband I have been attending this festival for years and are looking forward to this one too. To have this in our backyard and not have the expense of traveling like our friends from Atlanta and beyond do is something we should be greatful for AND SUPPORT. Ticket price is very reasonable for the talent and entertainment of an entire weekend!!! Thank you Seabreeze.


11 Bill and Diane March 3, 2009 at 9:52 am

Its GREAT for the well off but you know the rest of us the working class , its much to high a price.Panama City has turned into a spot just for the UPPER CLASS.To bad at one time it was for everyone.


12 Jason Koertge March 3, 2009 at 10:03 am

Bill and Diane, interesting comment. Compare it to comment number 3:


13 Lamar April 5, 2009 at 9:19 pm

My first festival was last year,we made our reservation last may 2008.{For this year} Need iI say anymore. Birmingham


14 Jeanie May 18, 2009 at 2:21 am

I thought $80 for a day ticket @ The Seabreeze Festival was expensive. Would check it out since I really wanted to see Joyce Cooling. SHE ROCKED! The outside atmosphere, breezy, sunny afternoon and all the cool people I met was worth every cent. Not to mention the meet & greets, CD signing and to talk with your favorite artists and get pics with them….. way cool. Joyce was soooo nice, a great musical artist and spent time with her fans. (I only wish I had stayed longer to see Mr Tisdale preform – it may have been one of his last).
$80 was a very low price to pay for such quality music and the opportunities to get up close and personal. I’ll attend the next one, pay the price and be very happy about it!