Jazz Week '14: No Walls

Spring is here, and Jazz Week has returned  for the 8th consecutive year since it was revived by JazzBoston in collaboration with the artists, organizations, and venues of Greater Boston’s jazz community.

Sing in the rain, sing in the sunshine, or sing in the shower, but get out and hear the music live during this 10-day celebration of jazz and our unique Boston jazz scene.

As always, Jazz Week has been scheduled to tie in with the Smithsonian’s national observance of April as Jazz Appreciation Month and Duke Ellington’s birthday on April 29th – and since 2012, with International Jazz Day on April 30.  Jazz Week is also Boston’s contriibution to Jazz April, the campaign launched by the Jazz Journalists Association in 2013 to call attention to Jazz Appreciation Month, International Jazz Day, and local jazz celebrations in April,  making this the month where everyone everywhere is touched in some way by the power and just plain fun of the music we call jazz.

Highlighting the unique role jazz plays worldwide in breaking down racial and cultural barriers, the theme of Jazz Week ’14 is No Walls: A salute to the power of jazz to bring people together.

No Walls is also the title of an anthemic composition by Aardvark Jazz Orchestra director Mark Sumner Harvey that is the first official song ever associated with Jazz Week. JazzBoston and Harvey, a member of the organization's Board of Directors and the force behind the original Boston Jazz Week in the 1970s and '80s, have invited musicians to perform No Walls throughout the week, each ensemble in its own style. Interested musicians should contact the composer at nowalls@jazzboston.org for more informationand a lead sheet.

No Walls: Boston Celebrates International Jazz Day, April 30
April 30 is the day, jazz is the music, and Emmanuel Church is the place to bring our city's diverse sounds and communities together for a far-reaching concert that is free and open to all. Boston's first celebration of International Jazz Day and the centerpiece of Jazz Week '14, the concert will be opened by Danilo Pérez, pianist, composer, educator, social activist, and UNESCO Artist for Peace.

Among the concert's co-hosts will be JazzBoston board members José Massó and Emmett G. Price III, Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, and Boston City Councilors Michelle Wu and Tito Jackson.

In the lineup:

  • Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, an improvisational  second-line brass band performing in New Orleans Mardi Gras-style costumes and masks
  • Either/Orchestra with Afrro-Caribbean sounds laid on jazz styles from trad, swing,and bop to avant and fusion
  • Musaner, an Armenian ensemble that bridges East and West
  • Watchout Creole Jazz,whose name speaks for itself
  • Zérui, a group of masters who have toured with all the music superstars of the Cape Verdean global community
  •  The Jason Palmer Band and The Floorlords, Boston's premiere break-dancing artists, in a continuation of the longstanding relationship between jazz and hip-hop culture.

Roy Haynes Award and musical tribute for Fred Taylor, May 4
Another major highlight of the week will be JazzBoston’s tribute to legendary Boston music impresario Fred Taylor at Sculler’s Jazz Club on May 4. Taylor, who celebrates the 50th anniversary of the opening of his iconic clubs, Paul’s Mall and the Jazz Workshop this year along with nearly 25 years as Scullers entertainment director, will become the third recipient of JazzBoston’s Roy Haynes Award, which recognizes  “exceptional contributions to jazz and the  jazz community.” Among the many Friends of Fred who will sing and play for him are Rebecca Parris, Yoko Miwa, Grace Kelly, Bob Gulotti, and Amanda Carr. Hosting the event will be dean of radio  jazz hosts  Eric Jackson, the second recipient of the award. (Haynes himself was the first.) 

Other JazzBoston special events

  • Boston Jazz Hero Award presentation and party, April 27. Boston’s jazz community gathers to honor Emilio Lyons, known throughout the jazz world as “the Sax Doctor of Boston,” as he receives the Jazz Journalists Association’s 2014 Boston Jazz Hero award at a party at Wally’s Jazz Café. The event, hosted by JazzBoston and the Wally’s family, is free and open to the public.
  • Meet the Next Generation of Jazz, April 29. A two-part collaboration, daytime and evening, of JazzBoston and the Boston Public Schools demonstrates the impact of music education on young people from kindergarten to grade 12. Schools participating in BPS Jazz Open Studios, 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM, are inviting friends and neighbors into classrooms and auditoriums to see firsthand what arts education looks like. From 5:30  to 8:30 PM, JazzBoston’s second annual High School Jazz Band Showcase puts students from five schools on stage at the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. Jazz radio hosts, including Eric Jackson (WGBH), Bonnie Johnson (WICN),and David “Jazman” Johnson (TOUCH), introduce the bands. Both events are free and open to the public.
  • A series of House Concerts hosted by music lovers for their neighbors and friends, with assistance from JazzBoston in matching hosts and ensembles and organizing the event. Introduced during Jazz Week ’13, the concept of house concerts was inspired by both the loft scene of the 70s and the do-it-yourself spirit of today. To find out whether there's a House Concert scheduled near you, write to jazzweek@jazzboston.org.

For details on these and more than 100 other Jazz Week events, see the Jazz Week ’14 Schedule of Events at www.jazzboston.org. A Jazz Week brochure also will be available at sites in and around the city, including clubs, libraries, visitors centers, hotels, museums, galleries, and schools.

For a history of Jazz Week since its 2007 revival by JazzBoston, click here.

Thank you to our partners and sponsors!
Presenting partner for Jazz Week '14 is State Street Corporation, a leading global financial institution headquartered in Boston and serving institutional investors operating in more than 100 geographic markets worldwide, including the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Jazz Week ‘14 is also funded, in part, by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism. Meet the Next Generation of Jazz is a partnership of the Newport Festivals Foundation, JazzBoston, and the Boston Public Schools. Other sponsors include Berklee College of Music for the eighth year, and Scullers Jazz Club.

The Arts Fuse, Boston’s online arts magazine, is the online media sponsor for Jazz Week ’14, and the Bay State Banner is the print sponsor.