Northampton Jazz Festival Brings Jazz Masters Downtown on Saturday, October 1
Event kicks off with Jazz Strut Sept. 30, and free performances are scheduled throughout downtown Northampton
NORTHAMPTON—The Northampton Jazz Festival will kick off at Pulaski Park on Friday, Sept. 30 with a Jazz Strut throughout downtown Northampton, and free performances will continue downtown Saturday, Oct. 1.
The headliner for this year’s event is The Ron Carter Quartet, performing at The Academy of Music on Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Ruth Griggs, president of the festival’s board of directors, said the festival is thrilled to bring legendary jazz bassist Ron Carter to the festival. “Ron Carter is one of the most respected jazz masters of all time. He is not only one of the most original and influential bassists in jazz, but he is also the most prolific, appearing on over 2,200 records in his 60-year career, and he holds a Guinness World Record to prove it!”
The Friday, Sept. 30, Jazz Strut will run from 4:30 to 10:30 p.m., starting at Pulaski Park with two high school music ensembles: the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Jazz Combo led by Frank Newton, followed by the ever-popular SciTech Band from the Springfield High School of Science and Technology. Local and regional jazz and Latin ensembles will then perform for two hours at each of the following venues: Joe La Creta Trio at Northampton Brewery at 6 p.m.; Julian Gerstin Trio Mambo at The Dirty Truth at 6:30 p.m.; Avery Joi Quartet at Spoleto at 7 p.m.; Libro Azul at Progression Brewing Company at 7:30 p.m.; Cory Hutchins Tap Percussionist Quartet at The Deck at 8 p.m.; Zack Bartolomei Quartet at Wurst Haus at 8:30 p.m.
The full lineup of festival performances on Oct. 1 is as follows: The Ron Carter Quartet with Renee Rosnes on piano, Jimmy Greene on saxophone, and Payton Crossley on drums, the only ticketed event, will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Music; tickets are $30 to $50 (all fees included) available at AoMTheatre.com or at the Academy of Music Box Office Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.; the Expandable Brass Band will march from Pulaski Park around town and back starting at 11:15 a.m.; The Royal Bopsters, a bebop-style vocal quartet with backup trio will sing at noon at the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence; a UMass Jazz Ensemble will play in Pulaski Park at 1:30 p.m.; Guitarist Freddie Bryant and his Brazilian Trio will perform at The Parlor Room at 2:30 and again at 4 p.m.; DJ Matthew “Fat Cat” Rivera of Hot Club of New York will spin rare 78-rpm records from his collection at 2:30 p.m. in Pulaski Park; vocalist Ashley Pezzotti will sing with her trio at Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence at 3 p.m.; and Eh La Bas, a quintet of rising Canadian-born musicians will perform in Pulaski Park at 5 p.m.
In March of this year, Griggs was named A Difference Maker by BusinessWest magazine for her efforts in reviving the Northampton Jazz Festival and making it a major event bringing tourism and economic vitality to Northampton.
Now in its 11th year, the festival has seen unprecedented support from corporate sponsors this year, Griggs said. “I think the recognition that came from the Difference Maker award helped people see that a major artistic event such as the Jazz Festival is a legitimate economic driver for the city of Northampton,” she added.
Volunteers are still needed to staff the Friday and Saturday events. To take part, visit northamptonjazzfest.org/volunteer.