Ché performing at JWJ Hip Hop FestivalChé performing at JWJ Hip Hop Festival
Duval singer and rapper, and member of local hip-hop collective L.O.V.E. Culture, Ché performing at last year's JWJ Hip Hop Festival. Ché hosts this year's fest, which honors the late Paten Locke | Credit: Courtesy of JWJ Park

ARTS PICKS | Feb. 17-19

Published on February 15, 2023 at 12:22 pm

Jacksonville Today Arts and Culture Editor Matt Shaw shares his top 3 arts and culture picks for the weekend.


JWJ Hip Hop Festival 

James Weldon Johnson Park | Downtown Jacksonville

As hip hop is celebrating its golden anniversary – a 50-year period in which it went from underground culture to the most popular musical genre in the world – the JWJ Hip Hop Festival returns with a lineup of emcees, lyricists, visual artists and DJs. This year’s fest will also honor Paten Locke, highlighting the life and work of the late, and unimpeachably great Jacksonville rapper and producer, with performances by some of his longtime collaborators. The event is from noon-5 p.m. More info here.

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Mobarick Abdullah III & Philip Bennett Walker: Party with #TheMP 

Elizabeth Sarah Collections Gallery | Atlantic Beach 

Visual artists and frequent collaborators Mobarick Adbullah III and Philip Bennett Walker present Party with #TheMP, an exhibit of new and old work at Atlantic Beach’s Elizabeth Sarah Collections Gallery. Together, the Beaches-based Walker and Pittsburgh-bred Abdullah III have shown their colorful, collaborative paintings in major cities across the U.S. An opening event is held on Saturday from 6-9 p.m. It’s free to attend, but guests are encouraged to RSVP. Do so here

Saturday & Sunday 

Discover Fort Mose Jazz & Blues Series

Fort Mose | Fort Mose State Park 

Though Friday’s Gladys Knight performance is sold out, there are still tickets available for the two-show finale of the second annual Discover Fort Mose Jazz & Blues Series, taking place at Fort Mose State Park, the site of the first free Black settlement in what is now the United States. Roots singer-songwriter and banjo virtuoso Rhiannon Giddens performs Saturday. Blues-guitar hero Christone “Kingfish” Ingram headlines Sunday’s show. Both concerts start at 7 p.m. Proceeds of this series continue to support the construction of an on-site fort representation and development of additional interpretive resources. Checkout this feature from the Jacksonville Music Experience to learn more about the historical importance of the festival site. Tickets and more info here

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author image Arts & Culture Editor Matthew Shaw is a writer, editor and musician. His writing has appeared in Folio Weekly, Edible Northeast Florida, The Surfer's Journal, and SURFER Magazine, and he's reported on national stories for The New York Times. He was previously editor in chief of the Void Magazine.

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