4th Ave Jazz
A Taste of Jazz
4th Ave Jazz Festival
TASTE OF 4TH AVENUE JAZZ FESTIVAL is a one day jazz festival presented annually since 2003 in Birmingham’s Historic 4th Avenue District Downtown. TASTE OF 4TH AVENUE JAZZ FESTIVAL is organized and managed by Urban Impact, Incorporated, a non-profit 501c3 organization and is FREE to attendees.
Past festival performers have included Kim Waters, Ben Tankard, Norman Brown, Jazz In Pink, Euge Groove, Paul Taylor, Cleve Eaton, Ronnie Laws, Bobbi Humphrey, Eric Essix, Michael Ward, Joey Sommerville, Birmingham Heritage Band, Gabbie McGee, Foxxy Fatts & Company, Daniel “Jose” Carr, Jr., On Purpose, Bo Berry, Tekneek, N'fusion feat. James Crumb, Jr., RAW Jazz Trio, DieDra, Tekneek and Dee Lucas.
We promise you a great time in the Magic City as you "CAPTURE THE FLAVOR" of some cool swinging jazz!
4th Avenue History
HISTORIC 4TH AVENUE is a part of the African American business district formed in Birmingham just after 1910. In a pattern characteristic of Southern cities found during Reconstruction, African American businesses developed alongside those of other races in many sections of the downtown area.
After the turn of the century, laws authorizing the distinct separation of “the races” and subsequent restrictions placed on African American firms forced the growing African American business community into an area along Third, Fourth and Fifth Avenues North, from 15th to 18th Streets. Segregation and discrimination created a small world in which African American enterprise was accepted and to which African Americans had open access. This area served as the business, social and cultural center for African Americans with activities similar to those in the predominantly non-black districts. Businesses located in the area included barber and beauty shops, mortuaries, saloons, restaurants, theatres, photographic studios, and motels. Businesses in the district and their successors continued to do well throughout the 60’s.
The African American business district had a thriving nightlife. On Friday and Saturday nights, the streets were filled with crowds of people visiting bars or just out for a stroll. Live entertainment made the district “the place to be.” Monroe Kennedy, a blind bookie, made sure that Fourth Avenue got its fair share of the “Big Swing Bands.” This seven-story building was designed by African American architects, Taylor & Persley and built by Windham Brothers Construction Company, another African American-owned business. Not only was the Masonic Temple used for entertainment, it housed African American professional offices and was the state headquarters for the Masons and Order of Eastern Stars.
Today, many of the long-closed buildings have reopened as new businesses. Fourth Avenue District is once again home to several African American-owned restaurants. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Kelly Ingram Park, & 16th Street Baptist Church are also part of the district. The old Carver Theatre is now home to both the Carver Performing Arts Theatre and the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame where exhibits include a look at the jazz legends from the area. Eddie Kendrick of the Temptations was born in Birmingham and never forgot his Birmingham roots. He returned to Birmingham for his finals days, before passing on in 1992. In 1999, Eddie Kendrick Memorial Park with a statue of Eddie singing and original Temptations was dedicated.
For more information about Birmingham Tourism check out Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau website.