JazzBoston at a Glance — 2011
We invite you to take a pictorial tour of JazzBoston's activities in 2011 and a look at the year ahead.
JazzBoston takes a group of Boston fanåticos de jazz to the Panama Jazz Festival. This unforgettable experience, organized in partnership with the Danilo Pérez Foundation, included access to music clinics and concerts day and night, a private tour of the Panama Canal's Miraflores Locks, receptions with the U.S. Ambassador to Panama and the Canal Administration, environmental excursions, and an all-day free festival in the Plaza Catedral of the Old City. (Danilo Pérez in front, second from left; Patricia Zarate at far right. Toddi Norum photo.)
Our annual Members and Friends Appreciation Party brings together 150 denizens of Greater Boston's jazz scene at Ryles Jazz Club. WGBH 89.7 host Steve Schwartz was the guest of honor and Ryles proprietor GaryMitchell was the gracious host of the event, which also celebrated JazzBoston's 5th birthday. Tom Everett, Director of Harvard University Bands and the Harvard Jazz Program, spoke about Steve's contributions to the scene. It was the third consecutive year for this festive event. (Steve Schwartz with his new JazzBoston wardrobe. Toddi Norum photo.)
Riffs & Raps® — Jazzin' the Generations begins touring all 26 Boston Public Library branches. JazzBoston developed this program at the request of the Boston Public LIbrary, our long-time partner. Designed to reach out to seniors while bridging the gap between generations, the program engages, enchants, and educates audiences from toddlers to octogenarians. It is funded by the Boston Public Library Foundation. (Dotty Guild photo.)
Jazz Week '11 — This is Jazz makes Boston's dynamic jazz scene visible from near and far, breaking past records with nearly 300 events at 90+ venues all over the Greater Boston area. A collaboration of the entire jazz community coordinated and promoted by JazzBoston, the 10-day celebrationn of the music was proclaimed by the Mayors of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville and recognized by the Governor in his Jazz Month Proclamation. To make the music accessible to all, JazzBoston once again produced a variety of free events in public places around the city. Jazz Week partners included the New England Conservatory, Berklee College of Music, Boston Public Library, Greter Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, MassJazz, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, American Airlines, the Bostson Phoenix, and WGBH Radio. (Wannetta Jackson and Grace Kelly, All-Star Jazz Jam tribute to Eric Jackson in celebration of the 30th anniversary of his show on WGBH 89.7. Stu Rosner photo.)
Boston Jazz Heroes party brings together celebrants from around the city's diverse jazz community. Musicians, fans, and local political leaders gathered at Wally's Jazz Cafe to pay tribute to the historic club's owners, Elynor Walcott and her sons Paul, Frank, and Lloyd Poindexter, named "Jazz Heroes" by the Jazz Journalists Association. WGBH Radio hosts Eric Jackson and Steve Schwartz presented the award on behalf of the JJA.The family also received a Governor's Citation and resolutions from the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Boston City Council. JazzBoston nominated the family for the JJA award and organized the party in partnership with the JJA. (Front, left to right: Eric Jackson, State Reps Byron Rushing and Gloria Fox, JazzBoston Executive Director Pauline Bilsky, Elynor Walcott, Lloyd Poindexter, Urban League of Massachusetts CEO Darnell Williams. Back, left to right: City Councilor Tito Jackson, Steve Schwartz, Senior Advisor to the Governor for Community Affairs Ron Bell, Paul Poindexter, Frank Poindexter. Matthew Lee photo for the Globe.)
JazzBoston holds the first ever Music Media Meet-and-Greet. Our most recent connect-the-community event provided a unique networking opportunity for an array of people engaged in communicating about the music — writers, bloggers, radio and TV hosts, video producers, web designers, photographers, musicians, and others working in traditional and new media. Organized in partnership with JJA President Howard Mandel, the event was hosted by Darryl Settles at Darryl's Corner Bar in the South End. (Howard Mandel and music writer Bob Blumenthal. Kayana Szymczak photo for the Globe.)
JazzBoston @ BeanTown connects artists and audiences. JazzBoston was in the middle of the action at the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival once again, where our popular Meet Boston's Musicians program drew hundreds of visitors to talk with some of the area's most creative jazz artists and hear them play. WGBH host Eric Jackson was on hand to help keep the conversation flowing. Jazz lovers of all ages also stepped up to the video camera in our mini TV studio to answer the question, "What's your jazz®" and become part of JazzBoston's grassroots audience-building campaign. (Pat Williams, publisher of The Word.)
Riffs & Raps® — Find YOUR Jazz returns to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester for the 3rd consecutive year. Led by master teachers/performers Arni Cheatham and Bill Lowe, JazzBoston's after-school program of workshops and performance uses jazz to empower at-risk young people to express themselves, build their pride in their cultural heritage,and foster the development of the skills they need to succeed in work and life. Only 7 weeks long, the program had a powerful impact on its 20 participants from the Blue Hill and Dorchester BGCs. A teenager whose family broke up during the second week never missed a session. The Boston Public Library Foundation funded the pilot. Subsequent funding has come from the Clipper Ship Foundation, Boston Cultural Council, and Music and Youth Initiative. (Bill Lowe in back at left, Arni Cheatham in front at right.)
Riffs & Raps® — Jazzin’ the Generations completes a successful tour of the Boston Public Library system, with many invitations to return. The program’s three leaders — Arni Cheatham, Bill Lowe, and Kevin Harris — combined careful planning with highly developed improvisatory skills to make on-the-spot adjustments for the different demographics they encountered at each branch. Audiences of all ages participated by clapping or tapping the beat, harmonizing, and playing “the poor man’s saxophone,” straws bent to demonstrate the function of the reed. (Dotty Guild helped distribute straws.)
Riffs & Raps® — Find YOUR Jazz concludes the fall program with a rousing performance. The boundaries between genres and generations faded as students and teachers performed their stories for family and friends. Everyone had a role, and the pride was palpable. Our near-term goal is to return to the Blue Hill and Dorchester Boys & Girls Clubs in both the spring and the fall. Longer term we want to extend the program to other BGCs in low-income communities.
Our Events Calendar will have a mobile app. Recognized as Greater Boston’s jazz clearinghouse, www.jazzboston.org offers the only events calendar just for jazz, a jukebox with new tunes from Boston-based musicians, directories of musicians and venues, an evolving chronicle of Boston’s jazz history, jazz news from all over, and an array of other informational and educational resources — all free. To keep pace with the technology, we will continue to upgrade our website as quickly as resources permit.
We will host a Community Conversation open to all stakeholders in Greater Boston’s jazz scene. We believe a collective effort makes the entire scene stronger. From time to time we bring together representatives from every part of our diverse jazz community to talk about ways we can work together to ensure that jazz remains a vital element of our city’s cultural life. Our next meeting will be in January.
Boston will be the international jazz capital of the world during Jazz Week '12 from April 27 to May 6. Jazz Week ’12 International will put the spotlight on the cultural diversity that gives the Boston jazz scene its unique flavor with performances by hundreds of talented musicians, both home grown and from around the globe, and cross-cultural collaborations that highlight the power of jazz to create unity from diversity. We’re seeking sponsors now so we can continue to expand participation in the 10-day celebration.
To download a PDF of JazzBoston at a Glance — 2011, click here.