The Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival!

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Autumn in Boston — it’s a great season to get outdoors and discover the cultural riches that define Massachusetts’ capital city.

This weekend, you can see and hear Boston at its finest by checking out the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival, taking place Saturday, September 29 from noon to 6:00 p.m.

Now in its 12th year, this outdoor festival presents dozens of terrific jazz performers singing, jamming, and making great music on multiple stages along the city streets and nearby parks. Set in Boston’s fashionable South End, BeanTown starts at the Massachusetts Avenue and Columbus Avenue intersection, which becomes a traffic-free pedestrian mall for seven blocks, featuring a veritable street fair of music.

Music is the main attraction, but don’t overlook the dozens of food vendors representing global tastes and traditions, along with retail tents, artisan displays, instrument makers, and thousands of local residents, college students, and visitors from around the world — all enjoying the vibe.

And best of all, the Berklee BeanTown Festival is free!

‘Women in Jazz’ is the theme of this year’s festival, so you’ll get to hear some formidable female jazz musicians, starting with BeanTown’s artistic director and jazz drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, whose album, The Mosaic Project, won a 2012 Grammy Award.

Another Grammy winner taking the stage is singer/songwriter Paula Cole, a Berklee alum whose compositions have been covered by Herbie Hancock, Annie Lenox and others. Saxophone star Tia Fuller, who tours the world with Beyonce, is on the marquee, along with musicians from Brazil, Korea and other parts of the world.

You can find a full schedule of this year’s festival lineup here.

The Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival, hosted by the Berklee College of Music, is just one of the signature events that make Massachusetts such a vibrant jazz state. From Boston to the Berkshires, and from Cape Cod to the North Shore, you can find jazz any night of the week, in night clubs, concert halls, hotel lounges, restaurants and cafés, by visiting www.MassJazz.com.

You can also find MassJazz on Facebook & Twitter. For information about visiting Massachusetts any time of the year, head to Massvacation.com.

Michael Quinlin is founder and director of MassJazz, and publisher of the annual MassJazz Travel Guide. He sends out a daily blog on jazz events taking place in Massachusetts, focusing on both international artists coming to town, as well as great local acts playing in cities and towns across the Bay State.

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