MUSIC OF THE SPIRIT SPRING JAZZ FESTIVAL OPENS

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Celebrating 17 years of continuous jazz, the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium’s (CBJC) spring festival themed “Music of the Spirit” was announced recently during a press conference at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

City officials, business owners, and musicians spoke on the cultural value of jazz and its historical significance.

Some of the speakers at Borough Hall on April 14 included Joseph C. Grant, Jr., Director of Arts and Culture for Councilmember Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.; Diana Reyna, Deputy Borough President; Michael Allen, owner of Desserts by Michael Allen; Sam Pinn, founder of the popular club Jazz 966; Stanley Banks, bass player with George Benson; jazz crooner Steve Comity, Rina Kleege of PLG Arts, Thomas Fisher, CBJC member and Executive Director of Quest Youth Organization, Inc.

Reyna enthusiastically declared that Brooklyn is the new direction to “Take the A Train” for jazz music —a throwback to the tune made famous by jazz legend Duke Ellington whose lyrics originally sent folks to Harlem.

Entertainment was provided by famed Ed Cherry and the Skamatixs Reggae Band who blended Afro- R&B, Caribbean and Jazz.

While all of the spring festival performances offer toe-tapping music through May 15, not to be missed is the day-long Youth Jazz Jamboree on May 14th at Restoration Plaza. 

The next generation of youthful jazz artists will compete for a grand prize. From 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. non-jazz youth performers will have an opportunity to perform and showcase their talent.

Fisher stressed the importance of having youngsters learn, enjoy, and take jazz to the next level. He is looking forward to a huge turnout that will support these young artists.

If you’re looking for an exciting new venue, here is one to consider. The newest CBJC member—PLG Arts Jazz— perform the second and fourth Friday of each month (except August) at the Inkwell Jazz Comedy Café.

For the full CBJC Jazz Festival schedule and more information, go to www.cbjcjazz.org. Or send an email to info@cbjcjazz.org or call 718-773-2252.

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