Seabreeze Jazz Fest Kicks Off - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Seabreeze Jazz Fest Kicks Off

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Jazz music has once again reached the sands of Panama City Beach.

The Seabreeze Jazz Festival is back and bigger than ever in the brand new Aaron Bessant Amphitheater.

Thursday marked day one of the 4 day festival.

Each year, over 20,000 people come from all over the world to hear these top notch musicians.

"I came from Atlanta Georgia. This is an annual event for me. I really like coming down here. This is great. One of the best Jazz festivals out there," said attendee Jerry L. Gray.

Other attendees were in agreement, clapping, swaying and singing along to some of the best jazz musicians of our day.

"The best part of being a musician is the connection with people and bringing people together with music," said Headliners, Steve Oliver.

Oliver kicked off the night; his closing "Prince" tribute a hit among audience members.

The new facility was a hit for the veteran Seabreeze performer.

"I got to play on the past stages. Just having the wind barrier that you're surrounded by...as a performer, you don't get the wind gusts behind you crashing through the cymbals," he said.

With a new stage, the festival is expected to grow even more popular.

It recently earned a place in the top ten list of best jazz festivals nation wide.

This will mean increased law enforcement presence; yet for those like Bay County Sergeant Mark Tochterman, whose worked the Jazz Fest for four years, it's a blast to work as well as attend.

"I see the same people every year. All the VIP's. They all remember me, I take all their pictures. We have a good time," said Tochterman.

General admission price is 80 dollars a person, per night.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at several official venues across the Panhandle.

Visit http://www.seabreezejazzfestival.com for details.