For nine years, from 2008 through 2016, Jazz Haven produced the New Haven Jazz Festival in cooperation with the City of New Haven and its sponsors. Every August, for nine years, folks were treated to a delightful evening of jazz for free right on the New Haven Green. Yes the Green was the showcase and the people came out, with their lawn chairs, blankets and families in tow.
The musicians were often internationally famous “stars” in the world of jazz, but many others had their roots right here in New Haven. In fact each festival began by showcasing our youth performers, including children who played their instruments or simply recited jazz poetry to the assembled crowds.
We believe that all jazz is local and that educating people about the culture of jazz is an important part of our mission. For the past six years, from 2011 through 2016 Jazz Haven successfully extended the concept of a festival to provide a week to ten days of live jazz in New Haven’s restaurants, clubs, bars and venues.
Artists who have performed at the New Haven Jazz Festival under the direction of Jazz Haven include (…and we are updating this list):
Joe Lovano, Giacomo Gates, T.S. Monk, Wayne Escoffery, Joe Lovano, Harold Mabern, Hamiet Bluiett, Helen Sung, Bobby Sanabria, Karrin Allyson, Jay Hoggard, Christian Sands, Matthew Whitaker, Joe Morris, Candido Camero, Nat Reeves, Steve Davis, Joe Farnsworth, Bobby Watson, Winard Harper, Natalie Fernandez, Javon Alexandre, Joe Morris, Matthew Shipp, Jim Hobbs, Nick Biello, Gerald Cleaver, Tina Fabrique, Larry Wills, Annette Aguilar, Claudia Acuna, Robby Ameen, Noah Baerman, Isabella Mendes, Ryan Sands, Ed Fast, Linda Oh, Jonathan Barber, Jeremy Pelt, Jesse Hammen II, Wycliffe Gordon, Zaccai Curtis, Luques Curtis, Adam O’Farrill, Daryl Johns, Gabe Schnider, Stephen Porter, Joshua Bruneau, Gil Hawkins, Jr., Godwin Louis, Matt Oestreicher, George Lesiw, Harold Zinno, Tim Moran, Barry Ries, The Brubeck Brothers, Jonathan Blake, Tony Lombardozzi, Jeff Fuller, Ali Bello, Rex Cadwallader, Nicole Pasternak, Orrin Evans, Rachel Z, Mike DiRubbo, Judi Silvano, Jake Epstein, Mitch Frohman, Chris Brubeck and many, many more.
The revival of the New Haven Jazz Festival in 2008 by Jazz Haven is told in this YouTube video.
This WTNH TV-8 link from 2009 tells part of our story.
This video by Alex Vishno tells the story in 2013.