Our current partnerships with The Lung Center at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, ArtsBoston, the Museum of African American History, and the Roxbury Cultural District demonstrate the reach of JazzBoston’s network and reputation into the broader arts and culture community and beyond. In each case, we are working to break new ground together.
BWH Lung Center
At Brigham & Women’s Hospital, we are teaming musicians and physicians in a project to develop rehabilitative therapies for lung disorders based on the breathing and blowing techniques of jazz wind instrumentalists and vocalists. We expect this work to evolve into a formal, publishable academic study. We are also exploring ways to use jazz to make therapy sessions more interesting and motivating, and we have collaborated with BWH and a community association on Mission Hill to put on a jazzy health and wellness fair focused on increasing awareness of the importance of lung health. BWH has also invited us to bring jazz to two of their internal celebrations.
Despite the disparity in our size, we see this partnership as a natural because BWH is known for innovation, and there is nothing more innovative than jazz.
In late 2015 we began a partnership with ArtsBoston to combine our Jazz and Blues calendars. For JazzBoston, this was another step toward integrating the jazz community into the broader arts community and a way to dramatically broaden the potential exposure for jazz events. For ArtsBoston, our listings have added significantly to the Jazz/Blues events they can offer their huge audience. This was also the organization’s first calendar partnership, and it is expected to become a model for collaborations with ArtsBoston members in other disciplines. Both parties agree the partnership is a “win-win.”
Museum of African American History
Our relationship with the Museum of African American History began as a marketing and producing partnership for the Museum’s jazz programming, then evolved into a shared vision for a Boston Jazz Heritage Trail™ that would be a living history connecting Boston’s jazz past to its present and future. We co-presented our first concert, “MAAH Music Celebrates Black Boston,” on the kickoff weekend of Jazz Week 2015, which was focused on Roxbury. More recently, we presented “A Musical Tribute to Boston Jazz Giants,” honoring Singer Mae Arnette, composer and pianist Ran Blake, and drummer Roy Haynes and announcing the campaign to create a Boston Jazz Heritage Trail™. This is a long-term project. We expect MAAH to be a key partner on the Trail and we a re looking for more.
Roxbury Cultural District
Our newest partner is the Roxbury Cultural District, designated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council on May 18, 2017. We see this partnership as another natural for JazzBoston since Roxbury gave jazz its first home in Boston. For the last few years, we have been working with Councilor Tito Jackson, Hibernian Hall, and others to stimulate a jazz renaissance in Roxbury; a JazzBoston director has been on RCD’s steering committee from the beginning and will serve on its board; and JazzBoston was proud to host representatives of the RDC in one of our booths at the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival this fall for their first public introduction.
We think it’s safe to say that the RCD is the jazziest of the 43 cultural districts in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Besides all its other cultural assets, Roxbury is where Boston jazz began. We’d like to see Boston’s Jazz Heritage Trail begin there too.