The Houston Jazz Festival

September 18, 2021

Houston, Tx

The Houston Jazz Festival presents

American Masters

We are happy to announce the 2021 Houston Jazz Festival at Miller Outdoor Theater September 18, 2021 at 7pm.

The Houston Jazz Collective and The Miller Theatre Advisory Board in partnership with the Jack Whitten Estate, Hauser and Wirth, Chris Dave, and Mike Moreno headline the 2021 Houston Jazz Festival.

The event music will be performed live and will be streaming on several platforms some of which include NPR Live Sessions and Facebook Live.

When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Estimated running time: 3 hours
Where: Live stream only from Miller Outdoor
Details: free watch on YouTube – click link >

When / Where

Sunday, September 18, 2021

Streaming from Miller Theater on NPR Live Sessions / Houston Jazz Festival

Performance Schedule at Miller

7:00 pm |  Mike Moreno Quartet

8:30 pm | Chris Dave & The Drumhedz


Performances by Chris Dave & the Drumhedz, Mike Moreno Quartet

We are happy to announce the 2021 Houston Jazz Festival at Miller Outdoor Theater. The Houston Jazz Collective and The Miller Theatre Advisory Board in partnership with the Jack Whitten Estate, Hauser and Wirth, Chris Dave, and Mike Moreno headline the 2021 Houston Jazz Festival.

The union of these three Master Artists, Mr. Whitten, Mr. Dave and Mr. Moreno form a powerful tribute to the American Experience.

African-American painter and sculptor artist Jack Whitten (1939–2018) is best known for his rigorous experimentation with the materiality of painting. Using eggshells, acrylic paint, copper, and Styrofoam, he created unique textures and photographic light effects.  After attending Cooper Union in the early 60’s where he became entrenched in the New York jazz scene. He would count as his friends the jazz greats of the time. Jazz would play a major role in and inform much of his approach to the process of making art over his 50 plus year career.

The Whitten Estate graciously handpicked the images we will use as the set design.  These images will inform and inspire the performances at the festival. They include paintings in tribute to Charlie Parker, Coltrane, Duke, Miles, Bags, Lena Horne, John Lennon and Houston’s own Barbara Jordon. The Birth of Jazz, The Music Lesson and Cosmic Rhythms round out the selection.  

Chris “Daddy” Dave, masterful drummer, composer, and bandleader from Houston, Texas is an influential drummer in jazz, gospel, hip hop, noted for his extremely virtuosic sticking technique and ability to play with a high degree of syncopation.

Superlatives come easily when people start talking about the drumming of Dave, a 44-year-old Houston native who has become one of the best young drummers in the world while laying down the beat for a startling selection of artists that span jazz, soul and R&B, as well as some of the biggest pop acts of the past decade, including Adele, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber.

“A month later, I went to see Chris play live and was blown away, his approach to a groove is unlike any other drummer on Earth. If you think of it as just bars of music, a grid of where the beat can go, the thing that characterizes each individual drummer is the space they choose to fill. And nobody fills spaces like Chris. He puts notes in really unconventional places, yet he grooves like a mother (expletive). Nobody plays like that. Nobody in the world plays like him.” – Don Was Producer / Blue Note President

Jazz guitarist and composer Mike Moreno moved to New York City in the late 90’s to attend the New School University with the highest scholarship the school had ever given to a guitar player. He soon began playing gigs, working his way into the New York Jazz scene. After several years of paying dues with many bands around town, Mike gained the recognition needed to be called to perform and tour with some of the biggest names in the jazz world.  His agile guitar playing has attracted the attention of major artists such as Jeff Tain Watts, Greg Osby, and Kenny Garrett. According to an NPR interview in 2008, Moreno’s main musical influences include trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and pianist Herbie Hancock, as well as guitarists Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell.

“Mike Moreno is a masterful composer, with a sense of sophistication that belies his age, and an extraodinary improviser.”

Chris Dave

Chris Dave & the Drumhedz at the Houston Jazz Festival live stream from Miller Outdoor Theater

Streaming from Miller Outdoor Theater

This year the Miller is taking all precautions and has postponed all live events with an audience, however there will be streaming events held at the theater with no audience on location. It will entirely depend on the event. The Houston Jazz Festival fortunately will be live streaming from the Theater with live performers who will be making the trip from New York and other locations for this special performance. Performers will be practicing social distancing as per the CDC guidelines.
Miller Outdoor Theater offers the most diverse season of professional entertainment of any Houston performance venue, and it’s all FREE! Classical music, jazz, world music and dance, ballet, Shakespeare, musical theatre, classic films, and much, much more are included in this year’s outstanding line-up. Relax in the covered seating area or enjoy a pre-performance picnic on the hillside. All performances at Miller are family-friendly!


Our great sponsors

“Sponsored in part by the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board”

If events like this inspire you, Please take a brief moment to contribute

Highlights from the
2019 Houston Jazz Festival

At the 2019 Houston Jazz Festival last fall we were honored that the legend himself Hubert Laws and the Houston Jazz Collective band featuring Bobby Sparks, Shelley Carrol, Andre Hayward, & Mark Simmons took part in the Houston 2019 Jazz Festival at Miller Outdoor Theater on Saturday, Sept. 21st 7 pm.

The entire festival was held as a 2-day event. On Saturday, September 21st 2019 the opening night was at the Miller Outdoor Theater during the evening. The second day was a day until night event at Axelrad on Sunday, Sept. 22nd 2019. Doc Loc and the Swangers, Kim Prevost & Bill Solley and many other artists took part in the memorable outdoor event. 

The festival was hosted by Houston Jazz Collective a non-profit 501 (c) organization. Your donations are what help make these events happen. Please enjoy and share this video that showcases some highlights from the 2019 Houston Jazz Festival.

The Mission

In the Spirit of Jazz, our mission is to entertain, enrich and expand the community for Jazz through Performance, Education and Advocacy.

Houston Jazz Collective Organization &
Houston Jazz Collective Performance Group

The Houston Jazz Collective is an non-profit organization that is a producer of events including the Houston Jazz Festival, other local jazz events and believe strongly in our educational outreach program. It is also the name of the performing entity, a “jazz band” or stated another way, “a collective”. The collective is comprised of well known, as well as local musicians or any musicians that believe in our greater vision.

Want to join us in making a difference? Our current focus is delivering a great Houston Jazz Festival this Fall 2019 at The Miller Outdoor Theater.  Any donation will help make an impact!

Past Events

The Contemporary Arts Museum

August 1st 2019 6:30-7:30 at the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston “The Don Wilkerson Tribute Featuring Shelley Carrol and The Houston Jazz Collective”.

Special Event: Second set of the Don Wilkerson Tribute at
Cafe 4212 with special guests

August 1st 2019 8:30pm after the Contemporary Arts Museum the second set of “The Don Wilkerson Tribute Featuring Shelley Carrol and The Houston Jazz Collective” was be held at Cafe 4212 Restaurant & Bar with host T.R. Reed.

In this line-up The Houston Jazz Collective features Shelley Carrol, Andre Hayward, Bobby Sparks and Mark Simmons:

Here is sample of a Houston Jazz Collective’s All Star Tribute performance playing Houston Saxophonist legend Arnett Cobb’s most famous tune “Smooth Sailing” for the Houston Public Media’s Skyline Sessions filmed at the University of Houston Studios.

Jazz Musicology:
The Educational Outreach Program

The organization’s mission also encompasses an education program called Jazz Musicology. It has several branch programs, one of which is “The Houston Center for After School Jazz Programs”. In this video you will see Bob Dorough, Andre Hayward & Shelley Carrol mentoring & entertaining the youth at the Boys and Girl Harbor, a charitable facility for abused, abandoned, neglected children ages (5-18) during an afternoon day program. 

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