by Crystal Curran
Due to the current regulations regarding community health and limitations on public gatherings, The Board and Advisors have made the heavy decision to postpone the 2020 festival scheduled for the first weekend in October.
The Northampton Jazz Festival is a celebration of jazz music held yearly in downtown Northampton, collaborating with local businesses and talented musicians to provide the community with an unforgettable experience. From jazz strolls to intimate venues with Grammy Award winning performers, this weekend has become a staple of the community. This year’s lineup was set to include musicians that have performed on Broadway, held Billboard Top 100 titles, and been celebrated in DownBeat jazz magazine. We intend to secure as many of these musicians for their 2021 season as we can, such as the all-female combo Lioness and the Art Blakey Centennial Celebration.
President Ruth Griggs who has lead the festival for three years laments on behalf of the organization that “we are truly saddened by the reality that this coronavirus has forced on us, but our most important goal is to provide a pleasurable, meaningful and safe experience for our jazz fans, jazz musicians and to our community partners. Unfortunately, we recognize that we just won’t be able to achieve that in this pandemic environment.”
While the festival may not grace the streets of downtown Northampton this year, the organization plans to maintain a strong social media presence to connect jazz lovers with live concerts they can safely watch from home.
The Board of Directors is working under the guidance of both city and state public health officials to collaborate with local musicians, city partners, and downtown businesses; through these means, they are creating a plan of how the organization can still provide the town with quality jazz performances in a safe way. As Massachusetts transitions through its four-phase plan, more details will be confirmed. While the festival can not continue as intended this year, we hope to bring a celebration of jazz music to the community in any form we can.
About Crystal Curran
Crystal Curran is the 2020 marketing intern for the Northampton Jazz Festival. She is going to be a senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall of 2020, where she majors in music education and psychology, and is pursuing certificates in arts management and social work. She is heavily involved in the university’s ensembles, ranging from being a member of the flute Field Staff for marching band to being a member of the top auditioned choir, Chamber Choir. She also served as Vice President of House Council for the BCG cluster.