Old-school and new-school music collided at the Atlanta Jazz Festival

Old-school and new-school music collided at the Atlanta Jazz Festival
The 2022 Atlanta Jazz Festival at Piedmont Park in Atlanta (Photo credit: Rashad Milligan for rolling out)

The 2022 Atlanta Jazz Festival was free fun for the entire family at Piedmont Park over Memorial Day weekend.

Saturday’s headliners included Masego and Herbie Hancock, a mixture of the new school and old school.


Masego, 28, entered the music industry with a unique approach. He plays all of the typical instruments of a jazz musician in addition to singing, but his millennial influences shine through his lyrics to occasionally rapping and using some of the current slang like “yams.” He’s had a number of viral moments since his breakout 2015 single “Girls That Dance,” including being sampled by Drake on the rap superstar’s opening track “Champagne Poetry” from his last album Certified Lover Boy.

After Masego performed the improvised megahit “Tadow,” which has over 400 million views on YouTube, to close his set, he thanked Atlanta and the legendary Hancock.


Hancock, 82, arrived on stage a few minutes later as the sun set and gave a full show for fans of all generations, closing out with “Chameleon.” The crowd stood up to dance, laugh and clap along with the set as Hancock also showed off his mastery of call-and-response.

“Are we having a good time, Atlanta?!!” he asked multiple times throughout the set.

The Atlanta Jazz Festival is one of the largest free jazz festivals in America. On Memorial Day weekend, it marks the start of summer in the capital of the South.

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