NEW YORK CITY — After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live music around the world for more than a year, Jazzmobile – New York City’s longest running live jazz concert series – returned July 7 with SUMMERFEST 2021.
The 57th annual festival, dedicated to co-founder Dr. Billy Taylor in honor of his 100th Birthday, takes over stages across the city to present a diverse roster of jazz icons and emerging artists. Although audiences will be limited, Jazzmobile’s much-anticipated return promises to be another outstanding year of high-quality performances by world class performers that will fill New York’s cultural landscape with jazz in all its forms, including straight-ahead, swing, blues, Latin, and Afro-Cuban. The season will also salute the “intergalactic” poet, composer, musician SunRa, and more.
“We are grateful to our sponsors, friends and festival family for their continued support throughout this very difficult time,” said Robin Bell-Stevens, Jazzmobile Director and Summerfest Executive Producer. “Many of our audience members have been attending our concerts for all five decades. They enjoyed our virtual concerts, but have let us know that they are eager to join us in the parks and other outdoor venues. Jazzmobile is thrilled to welcome back artists, audiences and live music on July 7.”
On Wednesdays, Jazzmobile will be in residence at Grant’s Tomb and on Fridays they “return home” to the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park. The festival also will bring events to all other boroughs throughout New York City. This year SUMMERFEST is travelling to Westchester County and two of their main events include “Taylor-Made” a tribute to the music of Dr. Billy Taylor in honor of his 100th Birthday. A partnership with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, it will be presented in Damrosch Park as part of “Restart Stages.”
Jazzmobile joins again with the Central Park Conservancy for the Park’s premier jazz event, Great Jazz on the Great Hill, as well as with Co-Op City, Snug Harbor, The Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park, and Bryant Park. Growing partnerships with other cultural and community organizations to date include: the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Harlem Week, New Heritage Theater, Harlem One Stop, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, NYC & Co, New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Heritage, National Park Services, Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, Jazz Power Kids, Harlem Stage, and SummerStage.
Annually, Jazzmobile’s Summerfest presents free concerts to thousands of New Yorkers, tourists and other visitors. The line-up of artists that Jazzmobile is presenting, June through August, include T.K. Blue, Tammy McCann, Winard Harper, Antonio Hart, Sipho Kunene & Woza Masekela, Ray Martinez, Antoinette Montague, Bobby Sanabria, Camille Thurman, Alyson Williams and the Dizzy Gillespie Band.
In June, Black Music Appreciation Month, Jazzmobile presented live performances in Co-Op City, St. Albans Park, Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park and Marcus Garvey Park, where Jazzmobile was a partner for a Juneteenth celebration. The free, outdoor screening of Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), presented by Target in association with Capital One, City Parks Foundation, SummerStage, NYC Parks’ Historic Harlem Parks and Jazzmobile, also included a live DJ set with Questlove and a concert presented by Jazzmobile with “Ray Chew Live” featuring Gladys Knight and the Fifth Dimension’s Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. Summer of Soul, which showcases never-before-seen footage from the momentous 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival held in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park), will begin airing on Hulu on July 2. For more information about SUMMERFEST and Jazzmobile, go to www.jazzmobile.org. Follow Jazzmobile on Facebook | Jazzmobile; Twitter | @jazzmobileNYC; Instagram | Instagram #jazzmobile
SUMMER SEASON SCHEDULE
All programs are weather permitting and subject to change.
(W) Wednesdays: General Grant Memorial Museum | Riverside Dr. @ W. 122nd St. 7-8:30PM (F) Fridays: Richard Rodgers Amphitheater/Marcus Garvey Park | 5th @ W. 124th St. 7-8:30PM (Followed by “Seize the King” Classical Theater of Harlem: July 9,16,23)
(F) 7/16 Jazz Power Initiative: Tribute to SunRa with Musician Instructors & Students, 7:00PM
(F) 7/16 Damrosch Park: “Lincoln Center Restart Stages” 8:00PM “ Taylor Made: A 100th Birthday Tribute to Dr. Billy Taylor,” a Founder of Jazzmobile
(W) 7/21 Danny Mixon (piano) Quartet
(Sun) 7/25 Winard Harper & Jeli Posse at Snug Harbor, Staten Island 2:00-3:30
(W) 7/28 Patience Higgins (sax) Sugar Hill Quartet
(F) 7/30 Phil Young (drums) Experience
(M) 8/3 NATIONAL NIGHT OUT Collaborating with the 32nd Precinct on West 135th St @ Dizzy Gillespie Mural Claudia Hayden (flute & reeds) Project, a tribute to Dizzy 7:00PM
(W) 8/4 Winard Harper Jeli Posse
(F) 8/6 Tammy McCann (vocals): Yes, Mahalia, a tribute to Gospel Queen Mahalia Jackson
(Sat) 8/7 Great Jazz on the Great Hill with the Central Park Conservancy | Central Park |
(W) 8/11 Tribute to Hugh Masekela: Sipho Kunene & Woza Masekela
(Th) 8/12 Co-Naming | W. 126th St Madison & Fifth Avenue for photographer “Ed Kane – Great Day in Harlem Way:” Patience Higgins (sax & reeds) Quartet 2:00-4:00 PM
(F) 8/13 Nubian Ball by Craig Harris, (trombone) a celebration of the music of SunRa Commissioned by Harlem Stage Gate House presented with 4 Historic Parks in Harlem, and Jazzmobile
(W) 8/18 Bill Saxton (sax) Quartet
(F) 8/20 Antoinette Montague (vocals) “Jazz Woman to the Rescue” – Quintet
(W) 8/25 Bobby Sanabria (drums) Multi-Verse Big Band (19-piece band)
(F) 8/27 Antonio Hart Quartet (sax) including a tribute Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker