ROCKAWAY BEACH JAZZ FESTIVAL
I've been curating the Rockaway Beach Jazz Festival since the first one in 2014.
The festival happens at the height of the summer action and crowds, in mid to late July, with 3 one hour sets from 3 different bands. Check out the Jazz Festival Facebook page for info & photos from festivals past.
There have been a lot of changes on the boardwalk businesses that hosted the festival over the last year or two; unfortunately there was no festival in 2021, and it's also not happening for 2022. It's possible it'll come back in 2023 through the NYC Parks Department; they are building a bandshell right off of the boardwalk at 94th Street, but it won't be ready until the 2023 season - that would be the ideal, new location - stay tuned.
Here's a few older articles about the festival..
2020 & 2021 cancelled due to the pandemic. 2022 also
2019 - Was held on Saturday July 27th, and featured the Claire Daly Quartet, Scott Neumann & Spin Cycle plus the Lloyd Haber & Andrew Lamb duo.
6pm – Paul Nowinski Duo
W/Paul Nowinski, bass, and Roman Ivanoff on Piano. Special guest, Sasha Dobson.
7:30 – Llamy Istrefi Jr. Trio
With Llamy Istrefi on drums, Allen on tenor sax, & Neal Caine on bass.
9pm – International Orange
With David Phelps, guitar, Todd Isler, drums, Adam Morrison, keys, & Leo Traversa on bass.
2017 - Saturday July 22nd - it was an awesome lineup featuring the great french horn player Vincent Chancey, the fine guitarist JC Stylles, and one of my dearest friends, the amazing Jay Rodriguez. Each brought out great bands with stellar lineups and it's always great to connect and bring out all these musicians to the Rockaway scene.
The 2016 festival was a big hit too - Thanks to The Ancient Quartet, (featuring Kevin Batchelor on trumpet.), the Brooklyn funk trio 718, and my good friend Richard Bennett with his new band - 'The Raga & the Abstract Truth' - (new albums out now on Ropeadope Records)
2015 saw the talents of alto and baritone sax player Lisa Parrott leading her own band, the ska jazz outfit G.R.A.S.S - (the Gowanus Reggae and Ska Society), plus Flying Home, a band led by master drummer John Mettam.
The inaugural 2014 festival featured the music of the fine tenorist/band leader Michael Blake, trombone virtuoso Curtis Hasslebring, plus my own Free Ride Quartet, bringing to Rockaway a cast of some of the best NY improvising musicians at Rockaway for the first time.
Here's an nice little preview from the New York Times