Table of contents:

Messages from outgoing President Pauline Bilsky and incoming President Ken Field;

Tributes from Founding Directors Emeritus Mark Harvey and Larry Simpson;

Welcome to Ken Field;

Jazz During the Pandemic;

Closing note from our Board of Directors.

A message from outgoing President Pauline Bilsky

To my friends and colleagues in the jazz community and beyond:

After nearly 15 years as president of JazzBoston, it’s time for a change. To give the organization the opportunity for new leadership and myself more time to follow my long-standing passion for jazz activism, on June 30 I officially stepped down from my position as president and resigned from the Board of Directors. Working with collaborators and allies, I plan to focus on projects that mobilize the power of jazz and the exceptional talent of Boston’s jazz community to help shape a more equitable and inclusive “new normal” for post-pandemic life in our city. I believe jazz can be particularly powerful in countering cultural racism.

Leading JazzBoston from its beginning has been exciting, challenging, and fun. As a transplanted New Yorker, I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from Boston’s most distinguished jazz artists, educators, and musical warriors. It was an honor to bestow JazzBoston’s highest honor, the Roy Haynes Award “for exceptional contributions to jazz and the jazz community,” on several of them, including Eric Jackson, Fred Taylor, Mark Harvey, and Leonard Brown – after bestowing it first on Roy himself. 

And lastly, a big thank-you to a few of the people who have always been available to give me advice when I needed it: Allan Chase, Mark Harvey, Mel King, Larry Simpson, and the coolest pro bono attorney a nonprofit could wish for, Jay Mahler, who has been with JazzBoston since day one.

What the world needs now is more jazz!

Pauline Bilsky

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