For eight years, from 2008 through 2015, Jazz Haven produced the New Haven Jazz Festival in cooperation with the City of New Haven and its sponsors. Every August, for eight 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 five years, from 2011 through 2015 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):
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, Jonathan Barber, Jeremy Pelt, Jesse Hammen II, Wycliffe Gordon, Zaccai Curtis, Luques Curtis, Adam O’Farril, 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, Orrin Evans, Rachel Z, Mike DiRubbo, Judi Silvano 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 …. CLICK HERE.
This video by Alex Vishno tells the story in 2013.
Every Wednesday evening from 9:00 pm to midnight jazz lovers can catch the music of the HAWKINS JAZZ COLLECTIVE at the Owl Shop, 268 College Street, across the street from the Shubert Theatre in downtown New Haven. Led by drummer Gil Hawkins, Jr., the collective features the best of jazz improv combining the sounds of bebop, hardbop and classic jazz eras. Entry to the Owl Shop is always free for those 21 and over.
Photo by Craig S. O’Connell
Jazz Haven held a special event to kickoff the 2015 New Haven Jazz Festival and to honor Barbara Lamb, the 2015 recipient of the Unsung Heroes Award on Thursday, August 6, 2015. On hand to present the award was fellow musician and Jazz Haven Board member Jesse Hameen, II.
Beginning in 2012, Jazz Haven, Inc. has honored, through it’s “Unsung Heroes” award, one or more persons for their commitment, dedication, and contributions to the jazz scene in the greater New Haven community.
Barbara Lamb served as the Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of New Haven for 14 years, responsible for producing the New Haven Jazz Festival from 2001 until 2006.
After the City’s unfortunate decision to combine the jazz fest with its other summer concert series, Barbara supported Jazz Haven’s efforts to assume responsibility for reviving and restoring the festival to its rightful place on the NH Green. Working with Doug Morrill and, later, Craig O’Connell, Martha Meng and others, Barbara helped to secure sponsorship dollars and city support for marketing, public safety and permitting in order to minimize costs and maximize volunteer efforts.
In 2012 Jazz Haven honored the Monk Family with its Unsung Heroes Award and in 2013 the Award was bestowed upon Kim Futrell in the Office of Arts, Culture & Tourism for the City of New Haven. The 2014 recipient was jazz bassist and educator Jeff Fuller.
The event was held on Thursday August 6, 2015 on the patio at 116 Crown, 116 Crown Street in downtown New Haven. Music was provided by Isabella Mendes and Jeff Fuller.
Photo by Jake Epstein.
The 2015 New Haven Jazz Festival — Celebrating WOMEN IN JAZZ
The 2015 Festival will be held on Saturday, August 22nd on the New Haven Green in downtown New Haven. This event is FREE and open to the public. This festival is dedicated to the memory Martha Meng, our friend, colleague and avid jazz supporter.
- 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. – local area youth band TBA
- 6:45 – 7:45 p.m. – Isabella Mendes & Sambeleza
- 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. – The Karrin Allyson Quartet
This festival is FREE and open to the public. Food plus arts & crafts vendors will be on hand.
|4 Time Grammy Nominee Karrin Allyson||Isabella Mendes|