Baltimore Jazz Alliance

Baltimore Jazz Fest 2019 Thanks You


[Photos courtesy of Steve Oney]

On Father’s Day 2019, BJA presented Baltimore Jazz Fest, a free day-long festival that featured some of the best jazz in town. I say the BJA presented, but in reality, this was truly a community effort. When we first presented Baltimore Jazz Fest in 2016, at Druid Hill Park, we also had great support, but it was a big effort for our small organization, and while we tried to repeat it the following year, we really didn’t have the resources to make it happen right away. We kept hearing from people “When are you going to do it again?”, and “How can I help?”, and so when St. John’s Episcopal Church in Waverly approached us with the idea of holding a Father’s Day event on Greenmount Avenue, the Fest was reborn.

St. John’s is a beautiful, historic church with multiple buildings and outdoor areas, and is interested in participating more in the surrounding community. Another neighborhood resident, Linda Richardson of LCR Jazzy Productions put them in touch with us, and worked with both of us to plan and organize. But still, it takes a lot — of time, of money, of connections — to produce an event like this, and it was still more than BJA and these partners could take on alone; luckily we didn’t have to. We contacted our friends and partners in the jazz community and secured their help in hiring — and paying — the performers, giving them a chance both to promote their organizations and also to highlight artists with whom they have a special relationship.

Some of Baltimore’s premier jazz presenters stepped up to the call: Contemporary Arts, Germano’s Cabaret, Jazzway 6004, Bertha’s, and Keystone Korner all sponsored performances, making this truly a community effort. We deeply appreciate these organizations, not only for helping us to make this event a reality, but for standing together to help launch an event that really belongs to the whole Baltimore jazz community. We also are deeply grateful to the many other supporters of this event, including the Maryland State Arts Council, 32nd Street Market, Mid-Atlantic Drums, AAPS Productions, UrbanThink Media, Chamber Music America, and the many individuals who volunteered time and resources to make this a success.

And indeed it was a success! First off, despite the threat of rain, the weather held and gave us a beautiful day to perform and enjoy live jazz. We had a steady stream of audience members, from our opening with the amazing Baltimore School for the Arts Big Band to the rousing closing act by Rufus Roundtree and da B’more Brass Factory. Each artist artist put on an amazing show — in addition to those above, Todd Marcus and his jazz orchestra, the Kings of Crownsville, the Eric Kennedy Ensemble, and the Women of Baltimore Jazz Collective all dazzled the audience with a variety of styles and excellent musicianship. Over and over I’ve heard how much people enjoyed every single act, and the atmosphere was definitely a reflection of the value placed on great music, with audience coming from all around the area and mingling with neighbors from the surrounding blocks to enjoy the sun, sounds, and the company of the jazz community.

Baltimore Jazz Alliance, along with St. John’s and LCR Jazz Productions, are committed to continuing this event and helping it to grow, with the support of the community. To any who want to see it grow, or who have ideas to improve it, please reach out to us! While BJA serves as the organizing force, this is truly a grass-roots effort, and it will continue to grow as we all continue to lead it. Thanks again to all our performers, sponsors, audiences, vendors, and volunteers, and we’ll see you next year at Baltimore Jazz Fest.

-Ian Rashkin, President Baltimore Jazz Alliance

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Press Release: Baltimore Jazz Fest 2022

  • What: Baltimore Jazz Fest (https://baltimorejazzfest.com)
  • When: Sunday, June 19, 2022 (Father’s Day & Juneteenth)
  • Where: Grounds of St. John’s in the Village, 3009 Greenmount Avenue, Baltimore
  • Who: Baltimore Jazz Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation
  • Contact: info@baltimorejazzfest.com

To celebrate Father’s Day and to highlight Baltimore’s rich and robust jazz scene, the Baltimore Jazz Alliance (BJA) is partnering with St. John’s Episcopal Church (http://www.stjohnsinthevillage.org/) to hold an all-day festival from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm on Sunday, June 19th 2022, on the grounds of the church at 3009 Greenmount Avenue in Waverly, a bustling neighborhood in North Baltimore City. This free event will feature a full day of live music, showcasing a variety of amazing artists from the Baltimore area, as well as activities for kids and adults alike.


Food and beverages, including beer and wine, will be available for sale, as well as arts, crafts, and information for various local vendors. BJA’s “Musical Instrument Petting Zoo” will provide an opportunity for children to see up close, learn about, and try out some of the instruments commonly used in jazz ensembles.


The idea for this event came from a desire by the church to find new ways to use their remarkable facilities to benefit the community. Linda Richardson of Jazzy Productions and the BJA formed a plan to host the one-day event, which was an amazing success in 2019. After two years of pandemic precautions preventing social gatherings, the Baltimore Jazz Alliance is pleased, honored and excited to host the event again in 2022. More information on this year’s event, as well as the 2019 event can be found here: https://baltimorejazzfest.com/


Sponsorship opportunities are available. Individuals and businesses who would like to help support this festival and jazz in Baltimore should contact the BJA via our sponsorship page: https://baltimorejazzfest.com/sponsor/
Further details and updates will be provided through the BJA website, e-mail list, and social media pages.


The Baltimore Jazz Alliance promotes and supports jazz in the Baltimore region for the benefit of both artists and audiences by presenting, educating, collaborating, and informing, to foster the rich legacy of jazz in our community. For more information, visit https://baltimorejazz.com.

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Baltimore Jazz Fest 2020 Canceled

Baltimore Jazz Alliance is sad to announce that we have made the difficult decision to cancel Baltimore Jazz Fest 2020. Given the current safety concerns and resulting uncertainty for the coming months, it was obvious that we could not present the festival in June this year. While we did consider postponing to a later time of the year, we had to accept that not only is it difficult to plan our own logistics based on an uncertain timeline, it is also a challenge for our sponsors, many of whose businesses are suffering due to the shutdown.

We want to be sure we present a safe and exciting event for everyone to enjoy, and so we have decided to focus our efforts on 2021 (June 20, to be exact). We will provide further information later in the year, and meanwhile, we wish the best to all of you and look forward to supporting more live jazz as soon as conditions allow.

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2019 Festival Schedule

Welcome to the 2019 Baltimore Jazz Fest

This year’s event features 6 amazing groups, each brought to you by a different organization within the Baltimore jazz community. We hope you enjoy every one of them, and we a very grateful to our sponsors for coming together to bring you this free event!

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Press Release 2019

BALTIMORE JAZZ ALLIANCE HOSTS 2019 FATHER’S DAY JAZZ FEST IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ST. JOHN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH IN WAVERLY

BALTIMORE, MD. The city of Baltimore really lives up to its moniker, “Charm City,” with its many cultural, historic, and artistic attractions. Among them is its rich and lively jazz scene, where on any night of the week, lovers of this quintessential American musical genre can find great music being played in clubs, bars, and concert halls.

To highlight and celebrate jazz in Charm City, the Baltimore Jazz Alliance (BJA) is partnering with St. John’s Episcopal Church to hold a free all-day festival from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm on June 16th 2019, on the grounds of the church at 3009 Greenmount Avenue in Waverly, a bustling neighborhood of small businesses as diverse as Main Street Hats, Normal’s Books and Records, 901 Arts, and Peabody Heights Brewery, as well as home to the thriving 32nd Street Farmers Market. Parking is plentiful, and there is an indoor option in case of rain. Also partnering with BJA and the church is LCR Jazzy Events, an events management company specializing in events for non-profits.

This free event will feature a full day of live music (jazz, with a hint of blues and some funk), plus a collection of classic cars, activities for kids, and food, beer, and wine. The event will showcase a variety of artists from the Baltimore area, introducing them to some new audiences, while giving existing fans an opportunity to enjoy them in a festive outdoor setting that’s fun for the whole family. BJA’s “Musical Instrument Petting Zoo” will provide an opportunity for children to see up close, learn about, and try out, some of the instruments commonly used in jazz ensembles.

The event will be free to the public, with food and drink available for purchase. There will also be spaces for vendors, including informational booths from local organizations.

Baltimore Jazz Alliance 847 N. Howard Street Baltimore, MD 21201
The music line-up includes: • Headliner Rufus Roundtree and Da B’more Brass Factory playing New Orleans-style jazz and funk • The Kings of Crownsville, a six-piece ensemble featuring an eclectic mix of straightahead and New Orleans-style jazz, R&B, and American pop • The Eric Kennedy Ensemble (straight-ahead jazz), led by drummer Eric Kennedy • The all-female Women of Baltimore Jazz Collective) (straight-ahead jazz), led by Delandria Mills (flute) and Charmaine Michelle (trumpet), with Rachel Winder (alto sax and vocals), Sequoia Snyder (piano), Amy Shook (bass), and Sheritta Harris (drums).

The lineup is still in the works and will include more popular Baltimore artists, sponsored in part by local presenters such as Contemporary Arts, Germano’s Cabaret, and Jazzway 6004, with additional sponsorship from Maryland State Arts Council, 32nd Street Market, and more. Further details will be provided through the BJA website, e-mail list, and social media pages.

The idea for this event came from a desire by the church to find new ways to use their remarkable facilities to benefit the surrounding community. Linda Richardson of Jazzy Events offered to help them coordinate it, and she reached out to the BJA for help with involving the larger Baltimore jazz community. Together they formed a plan to host the one-day event.

The goal of this event is threefold. It will be a welcoming event for a vibrant and diverse neighborhood, in a space that is easily accessible and central to the neighborhood, but which is currently under-utilized by the community. The hosts expect to draw attendees from around the region, and to give them a glimpse of the Waverly neighborhood and all it has to offer. From the greater Baltimore jazz community perspective, the goal of festival is similar to many of BJA’s past events – providing an opportunity for local jazz artists to perform for new audiences, and to introduce more people to the wealth of great jazz talent available in our area.

Baltimore has a rich jazz history and a thriving jazz culture, and there has been widely expressed interest in and support for creating a Baltimore jazz festival that could serve as an anchor for this cultural scene. In fall of 2016, the BJA, in partnership with the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, mounted a jazz fest in Druid Hill Park, which despite the pouring rain, attracted some 300 people to hear a varied line-up of Baltimore jazz musicians. Since then, the BJA has continued to plan for future festivals, beginning with this one. The BJA hopes to make this an annual occasion which can grow over time and bring increasing cultural interest to the Waverly neighborhood.

Sponsorship opportunities are available, so individuals and businesses who would like to help support this festival and jazz in Baltimore should reach out. Contact the BJA at info@baltimorejazz.com to discuss different levels of participation, or to volunteer to help out at the festival.

The Baltimore Jazz Alliance continues to serve the local jazz community through all those and many other efforts, funded in part by membership dues and newsletter advertisements, with additional support from Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, as well as individual and corporate donors. For more information, visit https://baltimorejazz.com.

 

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2017 Baltimore Jazz Fest Canceled

It is with much regret that we announce the cancellation of the Baltimore Jazz Fest 2017. Many factors went into this decision — including, of course, the difficulty in obtaining funds. BJA was committed to making this a free event, and also one that paid fair wages to its performers; as you probably know, we are an all-volunteer organization with limited time, and ultimately we had to make the decision that while it may have been possible to continue to cut corners and present a smaller and more community-based event, it just did not seem to a good use of our limited time. The Baltimore Jazz Alliance is not primarily a presenting organization, and while this event seemed to be a worthwhile effort, we had to be careful not to let it distract from our main mission – promoting the existing Baltimore jazz scene.

The good news is, there is a lot going on in the area these days. Small festivals and block parties seems to abound, and to be featuring more jazz than they had been recently. The Baltimore City Department of Recreation & Parks is hosting a great number of free jazz events this summer, and new venues have been popping up for live jazz quite frequently of late. The BJA will continue to do all we can to support live jazz, by promoting these venues (new and old), special events, and artists through our newsletter, website, and social media, and if the time comes when hosting a full scale Jazz Fest seems more like a feasible endeavor, you’ll be hearing from us. Until then, be sure to visit http://baltimorejazz.com for information about all the jazz going on in the area. Best wishes, and keep swinging.

Sincerely,
The Baltimore Jazz Alliance

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Artist submissions for 2017 now closed

Thanks to everyone who submitted their information – we will be evaluating all submissions and will be contacting some of you soon with invitations to perform.

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Now accepting artist submissions for 2017!

We’re pleased to announce we are now accepting submissions for artists to be included in the 2017 Baltimore Jazz Fest, to be held on September 16th. Click below for more information. Submissions accepted until May 15th only!

Artists will be selected by invitation or by application. The application process provides a path for our committee to look at artists in a new way.

Artist Submission Form

All artists interested in being considered should include:

  1. Three songs in the style which you perform. CDs are acceptable but links to electronic versions are preferable.

Links to music on artists’ website and YouTube video(s) are also acceptable.

  1. Biography (500-800 words) please include past performance  and recording credits, education, and relationship to the Baltimore jazz scene
  2. Photograph (300 dpi from 1-3 MB preferred)
  3. Contact information: name of contact person, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail and website
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Announcing Baltimore Jazz Fest 2017

Current plans are for Baltimore Jazz Fest to take place in Druid Hill Park on September 16, 2017. Many more details to follow…

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