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September with JazzBoston

Table of contents: Look for JazzBoston at Beantown! Dudley Jazz Festival Recap with Fred Woodard I Newport, through young eyes and ears Boston Jazz Brunches I Member's Connection: Win free tickets I No-cost jazz

Newsletter Editor: Grace-Mary Burega, Managing Editor: Jon Taubman
Executive Editor: Emmett Price

Look for JazzBoston at Beantown!

JazzBoston will be in the middle of the action with activities for all ages when the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival returns to Columbus Ave. on Saturday, Sept. 24, noon – 6 PM. Once again we’ll collaborate with our partners to entertain and inform you:

Be part of a work of art – with ArtsBoston.

Test your blowing power using a meter or a horn, win prizes – with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Lung Center.

Meet the managers of some of Greater Boston’s newest jazz venues – with JazzBoston’s membership partners.

Find out about the campaign for a Boston Jazz Heritage Trail – with the Museum of African American History.

Check the JazzBoston website for details as the date approaches.

Dudley Jazz Festival Recap with Fred Woodard

Pauline Bilsky (JazzBoston President) with Fred Woodard (Dudley Jazz Festival)

The Dudley Jazz Festival made its debut Saturday, August 20 at Mary Hannon Park in Dorchester. The event was presented by Creative Cultural Arts Inc. with support from the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative and funding from the Mabel Louise Riley Foundation.

The event featured four Boston-based bands: Stan Strickland,The Fred Woodard Collective, The Makanda Project and Eula Lawrence with The John Pierce Trio.

JazzBoston was present at the festival to support the overlapping goals of Creative Cultural Arts: to make high-quality live jazz available to people at affordable prices in their own neighborhood.

I was able to talk with Dudley Jazz Festival founder, Fred Woodard. 

GM: Can you talk about how the idea to create a new jazz festival in the Dorchester community came to be? Did you come up with the idea or were you asked to take this on?
FW: I came up with the idea because I felt it would be good for the community to have access to the music. Usually the cost to hear jazz musicians has a higher ticket price, so I wanted to offer a free event. I live in the community and applied for grants to make this possible.

GM: As a performer yourself, can you describe your experience leading the festival? How was this different from also playing in it?
FW: It was a juggling act. I’m a teacher as well, so I had the summer to plan, along with a committee of folks and like-minded people to help. I had to prepare the booking, the other musicians, and rehearse my own band. This was a challenge, but it fell into place because I put in a lot of the time to plan the musical presentation.

GM: The event featured Boston-based bands. Can you describe how you picked the other performers and their ties to the neighborhood?
FW: I wanted performers close to the area, yes, as well as a variety of performers. I’m a guitarist, so that’s one kind of jazz performance. Stan Strickland plays saxophone, reeds, and sings, so that added a special flavor to the acts. He also had a dancer for some numbers, making it unique. The Makanda Project was a big band. Eula Lawrence is a vocalist, and added a special touch by engaging the audience.

GM: Describe how the festival played out. What were your experiences from the day and the reception?
FW: The festival came off excellent, just as I envisioned it. All the groups played well. I was particularly impressed by Eula Lawrence, and learned a lot from her performance engagement. Strickland had unique arrangements of jazz standards and a dancer; you hardly ever see that. I was also impressed by the number of people that came out as well, and the number of musicians that came. Not a lot of peers go out to hear each other, so this was special. There was also spoken word poetry and live painting at the festival to present other artistic mediums.

GM: Do you have any plans for the future? For another jazz festival to make Dudley annual, or even a series of concerts for the Neighborhood Initiative?
Yes, I want to do another festival next year to be an annual event. There was a lot of positive feedback from the musicians and general public. The grant makers were present and liked the event. I hope to have more grant opportunities so the festival can be even better and so we can do outreach. We would need things like an awning to cover the stage. I hope to keep doing this every year and I hope at one point we could also do free music performances in between each festival.

GM: Any other thoughts about the festival?
FW: I would like to say thanks to the people that came out and came out early. Also, a lot of people stayed for the entire time. I’m glad every band had a good audience. People don’t always come to new festivals, because they aren’t always advertised, so this was special. 

The 2016 Newport Jazz Festival, through young eyes and ears

This summer the Newport Festivals Foundation (NFF), Natixis Global Asset Management, and JazzBoston partnered once again to bring young jazz enthusiasts from Boston’s public schools to Newport’s Fort Adams State Park for the opening day of the granddaddy of all jazz festivals. JazzBoston was the catalyst for the partnership, launched in 2014. Our Boston Public School liaison this year was Paul Pitts, Director of Visual and Performing Arts at the Boston Latin School. (All photos by Jean Hangarter)

Many thanks to George Wein and John Hailer for their dedication to connecting young people to the music

We are committed to making certain that the Newport Jazz Festival has a far-reaching impact on younger generations.a
                                                                                     –George Wein, founder of the Newport Jazz Festival

We can think of no better setting to introduce young students … to the beauty and excitement of the culture of jazz and to begin the process of inspiring the next generation of jazz enthusiasts. 
                                                         –John Hailer, President and CEO of Natixis Global Asset Management

First stop, the Natixis hospitality tent for lunch and a poncho

Next, Storyville, for a workshop with Wesley J. Watkins, IV, aka Dr. Wes, founder of the Jazz & Democracy Project®

What if America’s DNA were encoded in one of its greatest indigenous art forms? What if the keys to America’s realizing its own democratic ideals were embedded in that art form?
–Dr. Wes

Good jazz is a metaphor for a well functioning democracy.

-Dr. Wes

What is bad jazz a metaphor for? What makes jazz bad? 

–Dr. Wes

When someone solos too long.

–A student

Then it was all music
Among the favorites were Galactic, Tierney Sutton, and Kamasi Washington.

Heading for their bus, tired but happy, at 6pm

On the ride home, we asked students to tell us what stood out for them about the day.

The day was so fun because we got to listen to all types of Jazz all day.

–Trumpeter, age 13

I was inspired by how the performers played. Their emotions were expressed in their music as well as physically.

–Flutist, age 11

One thing that stood out for me was how the performers expressed their feelings while playing. They never just played notes on a sheet.

–Cellist, age 11

What stood out for me was the different styles of the bands even though they were categorized as Jazz.

–Vocalist, age 12

There were some really nice bands on the Fort stage. Kamasi Washington sounded really good and another band playing a song about New Orleans sounded awesome.

–Trombonist, age 16

The music was incredible.

–Vocalist, age 13

Boston Jazz Brunches
Beehive jazz brunch

There are many opportunities to hear live jazz in the Boston area. There are numerous clubs and festivals, as well as live music offered at restaurants or bars. One particular trend in live entertainment is for venues to host jazz brunches. These brunches, held on weekend mornings, are perfect to catch up with friends, enjoy new food, and engage in a relaxing set of live music. This informal atmosphere is perfect for any level of jazz fan, from new to lifelong listeners, and a great way to bring younger children to hear jazz. 

The Beat Hotel in Boston offers frequent Sunday brunches from 10 AM to 2 PM. Located in the heart of Harvard Square, the Beat Hotel offers a fresh, seasonal menu. The venue offers live music by cutting edge musicians in jazz, blues, funk, R&B and world music.

The Beehive in Boston delivers a Sunday jazz brunch from 10 AM to 3 PM weekly. The Beehive is a Bohemian eatery and bar that serves simple, satisfying comfort food. Amongst the backdrop of an eclectic, funky, yet elegant art space, the Beehive jazz brunch is suitable for adults and children. 

Daryl’s in Boston serves up soul, spice and all that jazz in its weekly Sunday morning brunch. Southern comfort food and flavorful meal options can be enjoyed next to sounds full of rhythm and soul.

Lucky’s Lounge in Boston offers weekend morning jazz brunches, including the wildly popular Sinatra Sunday Brunch. The Sinatra-themed menu serves up classics such as the Blue-Eyes Benedict and the My Way Special while the band serves up classic tunes such as "Come Fly With Me."

Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge presents a fabulous Sunday Jazz Brunch from 10 AM to 3 PM weekly. Enjoy Eggs Benedict, Croissant French Toast and other delicious items from the award winning brunch menu, while listening to some of the area's best jazz performers. 

Thelonious Monkfish, the popular sushi and Asian-fusion restaurant in Cambridge, delivers a weekly jazz brunch on Sunday mornings in its Jazz Baroness room. Equipped with a professional Yamaha piano, this intimate setting is perfect for duos and trios. Menu items include the Monk's Dream roll and the Mad Monk Noodles.

Volunteer opportunities

A non-profit thrives with a strong network of donors, partners and volunteers. Email us at if you are able to assist, or would like more information on any of the following volunteer opportunities.
  • Tabling at Beantown Jazz Festival: September 24th
  • Spreading the word on social media
  • Graphic design
  • Marketing
  • Assistance with JazzBird®, JazzBoston’s free global radio app
Member's Connection
Clockwise from top: Omara Portuondo, Ran Blake, Bobby Caldwell
Free Ticket Drawing
If you are a JazzBoston member, write to: now to enter a drawing for free tickets to any of the events listed below, and please note which shows and dates you are interested in.
You must be a JazzBoston member to be eligible to win.

Not a member? Join JazzBoston today for as low as $20/year and participate in our free ticket drawing listed in every issue of the JazzBoston newsletter. Members also receive discounts at participating venues. See the full list of venues here.

World Music/CRASHarts is offering a pair of tickets to the following show: 
Scullers is offering a pair of tickets to the following shows:  Regattabar is offering a pair of tickets to the following shows:
Tell us how we're doing
We want to hear from you. Email and share your thoughts on our organization, newsletter, the website. User feedback is a critical piece in making effective organizational change. Your opinion matters!
No-cost jazz
Clockwise from top: Filmprov, Dave Holland, Joanne Brackeen

Tracy Clark
Vocalist Tracy Clark is joined by a band of accomplished musicians including pianist, Bob Christopherson who also arranges all of The Tracy Clark Trio songs, and Greg Holt, on bass. 7 PM, Saturday, September 10, The Middle Gray, 6 Station Street, Brookline.

String Department Faculty Concert
Berklee’s string department presents an eclectic program. 7:30 PM, Tuesday, September 13, David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston Street, Boston.

Solo/Duo Guitar Faculty Night V
Kim Perlak and Larry Baione will share the stage with colleagues who perform in the classical, jazz, fingerstyle, folk, slide, and blues styles. 7:30 PM, Wednesday, September 14, David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston Street, Boston.

Music of Dave Holland
Awarded an honorary degree by NEC in spring 2004, that fall Holland began a series of residencies here in which he shares the many dimensions of his activities as soloist, composer, bandleader, and all-round musician. The concert will feature student ensembles. 8 PM, Thursday, September 15, NEC's Brown Hall, 290 Huntington Ave, Boston.

Joanne Brackeen
Pianist Joanne Brackeen will present some of her sabbatical selections created in the fall of 2015. The compositions are her current magical images and sparkling views of life through music as it exists in the world today, yet still including historic influences. Jazz with a touch of the future included! 7 PM, Monday, September 19, Berk Recital Hall, 1140 Boylston Street, Boston.

Vintage Vocal Quartet
The Vintage Vocal Quartet brings to life the sweet harmonies of the big band era while providing their own swinging instrumental accompaniment. 7 PM, Monday, September 19, Oliver Colvin Recital Hall, 1140 Boylston Street, Boston.

New Songs for the 21st Century
Join us for a spirited evening of post-1960 jazz and creatively improvised music with words that tell new stories. The quintet includes Lisa Thorson, voice; Daniela Schachter, piano and voice; David Clark, bass; George Schuller, drums; Cercie Miller, reeds; and special guests. 7 PM, Tuesday, September 20, Berk Recital Hall, 1140 Boylston Street, Boston.

Ensemble of Irreproduceable Outcomes
Led by Brian Padavic, the Ensemble of Irreproduceable Outcomes brings its delightful and unique improvisations to Berklee. 1 PM, Wednesday, September 21, Berk Recital Hall, 1140 Boylston Street, Boston

Ethan Iverson Masterclass
Renowned pianist, composer and NEC faculty member Ethan Iverson – best known for his work with The Bad Plus – will present a master class with fellow faculty member Billy Hart, drums, and NEC alum Ben Street on bass. 1 PM, Friday, September 23, NEC’s Brown Hall, 290 Huntington Avenue, Boston. 

Group Jazz 100 Holds Open Rehearsal
The group Jazz 100, along with John Patitucci and Joe Lovano, will hold an open rehearsal. The band will include Danilo Perez, Chris Potter, Avishai Cohen, Wycliffe Gordon, Lizz Wright, Ben Street, Adam Cruz, and Roman Diaz. 2 PM, Thursday, September 29, Zero Gravity Room, 1260 Boylston Street, Boston.

Marcus Prince: Seventh Degree in Concert
Marcus Prince presents groovy jazz, R&B, and funk. 10 PM, Tuesday, October 4, Berklee Dining Hall, 160 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston.

Sheila Jordan Vocal Masterclass
Sheila Jordan is not only one of the premier singers in jazz, she is also in demand worldwide for her stimulating vocal workshops. A superb scat singer, Sheila received the Jazz Masters Award 2012 from the National Endowment for the Arts. 10 AM, Wednesday, October 5, David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston Street, Boston.

Brazilian Clinic with Zé Paulo Becker and Semente
A clinic/performance of traditional Brazilian samba, choro, and baião by noted guitarist and educator Zé Paulo Becker with the renowned quintet Semente. 1 PM, Friday, October 7, David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston Street, Boston.

FiLmprov, an ever-evolving experiment in the union of film, musical improvisation, poetry, and beyond, began its performance history in a café setting. Explore FILM + improvisation = FiLmprov. 7:30 PM, Thursday, October 13, Center for Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue, Somerville.

Notable Events

24th Annual Cambridge Carnival International
Cambridge’s largest festival is held next to MIT and includes ethnic foods, 3 live music zones, a Kidsfest. Cambridge Carnival is a colorful and festive celebration that celebrates Cambridge’s diverse and international community. This free festival, embarking on its 24th year, is considered a Cambridge Institution, and is the largest festival in Cambridge, with thousands of attendees. The highlight of the festival is a grand costume parade accompanied by rich rhythmic musicality promoting all types of cultures. Participants can be seen as revelers masquerading through the streets in dazzling handmade costumes, dancing to the beat of the Carnival. 12-7 PM, Sunday, September 11, Kendall Square, Cambridge.

The Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival
The Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival is Boston’s biggest block party—a free, annual, outdoor public concert that has delighted hundreds of thousands of music lovers over the years with its host of jazz, Latin, blues, funk, and groove performances, along with KidsJam, an instrument petting zoo, and an array of food vendors. Each year, the community comes together in a bond forged in the joy of great live music. The theme of this year’s festival is “Jazz: A Peace Supreme.” 12-6 PM, Saturday, September 24, Columbus Avenue, Boston. 

Illustrious Aardvark Jazz Orchestra To Open 44th Season
The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra kicks off its 44th season at Scullers Jazz Club Boston with an exhilarating show including music from on Aardvark’s latest CD Passages on the Leo Records label.  Also on tap: the world premiere of Mark Harvey’s Northeast Express, plus the Duke Ellington-Juan Tizol classic "Caravan" and the Duke Ellington-Johnny Hodges ballad "Jeep's Blues." Visit the JazzBoston website for ticket information. 8 PM, Thursday, September 29, Scullers Jazz Club, Doubletree Suites By Hilton Boston-Cambridge, Boston. Join now and enter the free ticket drawing in the Member's Connection above to win free tickets to this event. 

Fall ArtWeek
ArtWeek Boston, an award-winning creative festival for all, will take place September 30 – October 9 in Boston and beyond. More than 150 exciting events – most of which are free – can be found at

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