Last summer, by coincidence, two local legislators asked JazzBoston to help make jazz a more important part of the cultural life in the neighborhoods they represented. Their requests gave us the theme for Jazz Week '15 - Jazz in the neighborhood - and inspired our plans for special events in Roxbury and Mattapan on the opening and closing weekends.
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With over 200 events in all kinds of styles and venues, jazz will be in those neighborhoods and others in and around the city when Jazz Week returns on April 24 for the 9th consecutive year. The 10-day celebration of the music and our lively local scene runs through May 3 and ties in, as always, with the national observance of April as Jazz Appreciation Month and Duke Ellington's birthday on April 29th, and since 2012, with International Jazz Day on April 30.
Highlights in the neighborhoods
The Makanda Saturday Night Gala Dance Party, co-hosted by JazzBoston and the Madison Park Development Corporation at Hibernian Hall, a celebration of the role of jazz in Roxbury's past, present and future, with music by the Makanda Project - April 25, free
A jazz walking tour through Lower Roxbury organized by Discover Roxbury, with stops at the sites of some of the most famous venues on the East Coast and stories from the oral histories of musicians and others who were there - April 25
MAAH Music Celebrates Black Boston with the Imagine Orchestra, a concert by Bill Banfield's new ensemble at the African Meeting House, co-presented by the Museum of African American History and JazzBoston, with an introduction by radio host Eric Jackson and storytelling tracing Roxbury's roots back to Beacon Hill and before - April 26
Mattapan Speaks Jazz, co-hosted by JazzBoston and the William E. Carter American Legion Post, an all-ages festive afternoon of performances by resident and visiting musicians, including Fritz Orvil and his band Melanj with vocalist Rebecca Zampa playing kompa, jazz and troubador; Frank Wilkins and WeJazzUp with pianist Rollins Ross and vocalist Athene Wilson; and members of the audience who take the mic during the WeJazzUp Vocal Showcase - May 2, free
More highlights around town and beyond
Here's a small sample of the many events scheduled for concert halls, clubs, museums, libraries, schools, hotels and restaurants throughout Greater Boston between April 24 and May 3:
The Terence Blanchard E-Collective and the Ravi Coltrane Quartet at the Berklee Performance Center - April 25
Paul Broadnax (piano, voice) and Peter Kontrimas (bass) at Act III in Littleton, the welcome reincarnation of Gwenn Vivian's former Acton Jazz Cafe - April 29
Acoustic classical guitarist Earl Klugh in a Live from Scullers performance hosted by Eric Jackson and broadcast on WGBH 89.7 - May1
Jazz on the Plaza, a Harvard Arts First Festival concert by the Harvard Jazz Band with special guests Vijay Iyer on piano and Ralph Peterson, Jr. on drums - May 1, free
International Jazz Day events
With encouragement from JazzBoston and jazz lovers on the Boston City Council, International Jazz Day, April 30, will get more attention locally than ever before.
After making history by filling the Council Chamber with jazz on IJD in 2014, JazzBoston has been invited to return to City Hall for an encore on the eve of jazz's day on the world calendar. On April 29, Ken Field's Revolutionary Snake Ensemble with guest Stan Strickland will play tunes based on the second line tradition of the street bands of New Orleans, where America's classical music originated. Also for the second year, the City Council will issue a Resolution recognizing April 30 as International Jazz Day in the City of Boston.
A special thank-you to Councilor-At-Large Michelle Wu and her colleagues Councilors Charles Yancey, Tito Jackson, and Ayanna Pressley for their year-round support of the music.
On April 30, NEC faculty and students will present a free concert in Williams Hall celebrating the diplomatic power of jazz, and Mehmet Ali Sanlikol & Whatsnext will celebrate at the Regattabar.
For details on these events and many more - including location, time, and ticket prices - see the Jazz Week events calendar and check regularly for updates.
Jazz Week 2015 is presented by State Street Corporation, a leading global financial institution headquartered in Boston. State Street Corporation is considered a creative driver in its field, just as jazz is in music, and JazzBoston is proud to have the company as our presenting partner for the second year.