The Northampton Jazz Festival would like to thank the scores of people, businesses and organizations that made the 2021 jazz festival such a success.
The Northampton Jazz Festival, now in its 10th year, holds fast to its mission of carrying forward the uniquely American musical tradition we call jazz, while also bringing visitors to downtown Northampton to support the local economy.
We were fortunate that the weather was divine, the music delightful, and the community spirit lively on Friday and Saturday, October 1 & 2 throughout downtown Northampton. We staged 15 music concerts by over 50 musicians in 10 different locations over two days, filling the air with the sounds of live music and the venues and streets with concert-goers.
The nine-member board of the Northampton Jazz Festival is the engine behind the success of this year’s festival, but we were beyond fortunate to bolster our ranks with no less than 34 expert volunteers who imbued the festival with openness, accessibility and a welcoming spirit for which we are incredibly grateful.
We had to cancel the 2020 festival due to the pandemic, but our corporate, business and organizational sponsors were there for us this again year, providing the highest level of financial and in-kind advertising support we have ever received. The City of Northampton once again had our backs, supporting us with partnership from Brian Foote and team at the Northampton Arts Council, Debra J’Anthony and her pros at the Academy of Music, the DPW, City Police, and the Mayor’s office. There would be no Northampton Jazz Festival without your support – offered in a myriad of valuable ways.
Finally, and so importantly, the collaboration with the Pioneer Valley Women’s March, which held a rally for hundreds at the steps of City Hall simultaneous to the festival, went smoothly and harmoniously. We were thrilled to see marchers dance to the beat of the Expandable Brass Band as they marched together to Pulaski Park after the rally.
We are assembling a gallery of photos of this year’s fest by local photographers Julian Parker-Burns and Jonathan Caplan. Check back to northamptonjazzfest.org/gallery to view them soon.
Ruth Griggs, President
Have you been out to live arts lately? Have you thrilled to witness musicians and actors as they move you to laugh, cry, sing, and dance, and as you push them to dig deeper with your own creative response to them? I was blessed to take part in several live music events this fall. Laudable Productions gave us two nights of music at Mill Pond Park in Easthampton. And the Northampton Jazz Festival offered music on the streets and in the establishments of Paradise City as music lovers enjoyed dozens of concerts, almost all of then free for the taking. Most special to me was Cocomama in Pulaski Park and the Art Blakey Centennial Celebration at the Academy of Music. Thank you to the organizers and patrons of live music events like these. You work so hard! I hope you know how huge a gift you bestow on your communities.
Rick Stone, Greenfield. MA