Selby Jazzfest returns with jazz standards, neo-soul headliner

Submitted photo Goapele

Holding fort on Selby Avenue for nearly two decades, the Selby Jazzfest has grown into a hallmark St. Paul event capping the summer.

The 18th annual and free festival returns once more Sept. 14 to send jazz fans, community members and passersby into the fall with smooth jazz standards, interesting local guests and jazz performers, and a neuvo soul headliner. 

“We have a great mix of genres along with local, regional and national acts,” said founder and Golden Thyme Coffee Cafe owner Mychael Wright in a press release. “We hope folks will be impressed.”

Jazz standards will be delivered by the band The Jazz Standards and their tunes influenced by legends like Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and The Jazz Messengers. 

Selby JazzFest, 2016
Steve Floyd/MSR News

Led by lifelong St. Paul resident Steve McCarty, the band’s wide range of influences make a classical-based but unique sound. They also borrow from Latin music, the blues and the jazz waltz tradition. 

Other acts include the Selby Ave. Brass Band, a Jazzfest mainstay; Boss Soul’s five-piece blend of bossa nova, Brazilian pop and Portuguese and English lyrics; and the exciting big-band exploits of the 50-plus members of Brio Bass.

Headlining the festival is Oakland, California singer, songwriter, producer, actress, designer and social activist Goapele. The internationally touring multi-hyphenate, who’s worked with West Coast institution talents like Snoop Dogg and E-40, and monster talents like Eric Benét, Soulive and Jeff Bhasker, has made five neo-soul records with jazz influences sealed by her sultry voice. 

Accompanying the festival’s free entertainment is a variety of food vendors, family activities, a health and wellness village, and artist demonstrations. 

The Selby Jazzfest is on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 11 am to 8 pm at the intersection of Selby Avenue and Milton Street in St. Paul.