(Photo Credit: Jack Zuff. French ConéXion at the Hotel Henry Summer Jazz Series.)
The year 2020 will be remembered by all of us for a lifetime. A year when time and events came to a standstill. Covid-19 manifesting into a full-fledge global pandemic beginning in March of 2020. The worst since the infamous 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. We remember and mourn those we have lost.
Even with a brief respite from restrictions during the summer, the impact has been devasting. Especially to the arts and music communities throughout WNY and the country. Lockdowns, shutdowns, and closures all falling heavily on the shoulders of the many who have enabled art and music to flourish.
In such a year, people make contributions that help us to endure. To bring smiles and rays of light into our households. This included the many who helped JazzBuffalo to continue its mission of enriching the community through jazz. Bringing us together even in the midst of a pandemic.
Here we take a moment to acknowledge and thank those who made it possible for JazzBuffalo to enable jazz and the community to come together for a few bright moments of 2020.
Hotel Henry Summer Jazz Series
Many thanks to Geno and Diana Principe for the tremendous effort in enabling one of the best jazz series to come alive during this difficult past year. Through this partnership, we saw a novel idea to grow into a weekly event looked forward to by hundreds of people. Where the majority of people truly did follow the guidelines to ensure safety. Great performances and community were the highlights of the summer.
Jazz At Chandlerville
The partnership with Rocco Termini and the Chandler Street revitalization continued in 2020. Through Rocco’s supportive persistence, we figured out a way to enjoy jazz music and allow people to sit outdoors safely.
Tappo Restaurant Rooftop with My Cousin Toné
Somehow and someway, again with the support of Rocco Termini, we managed to have a fourth season of Monday Night Jazz with My Cousin Toné. Spread out on the rooftop and an added patio at street level, people came to enjoy eating outdoors and listening to jazz music.
The DUO + Weekly Sunday Jazz Brunch Live Streams
During the darkest days of the first three months of the pandemic, the duo of Donny Frauenhofer and Ellen Pieroni set up a weekly live stream to carry on Sunday Jazz Brunch. It brought joy and light into households at a difficult time.
Regular weekly live streams by Ann Philippone , Tyler Westcott, and Ed Croft in 2020 helped people to stay connected. Especially in the first three months of the pandemic. We have also enjoyed bringing the weekly Emmet Cohen Trio Monday night live stream to the JazzBuffalo community. And let’s not forget the slick weekly live stream “The Sesh” by Will Holton during the middle of the year that streamed to households. Other live streams appeared featuring jazz, including from the Big Easy of Buffalo and Buffalo.fm.
The fall Live Premier Cabaret Lounge Jazz Live Stream series was another example of the marvelous partnership JazzBuffalo has enjoyed with Randy Kramer and the crew at MusicalFare. It was a concerted effort to bring high-quality jazz presentations to the community of WNY. We couldn’t be more thankful.
Terrace at Delaware Park
We have been thankful for our partnership with Jason Davidson and the Terrace at Delaware Park for the past three years. Although short-lived, we were able to present jazz on Thursday and Sunday brunch for a few weeks.
This fall, thanks to the continued partnership with JazzBoline, we managed to get a few weeks of Sunday Jazz Brunch for the community to enjoy. Big thanks to the dedicated crew.
Several of what is mentioned above could not happen without those who are in supportive roles of production. We are extremely grateful to the following:
Mark Percy: Great sound makes it possible for us to enjoy the music. Mark’s dedicated high-quality work for the Hotel Henry, Chandler Street, and MusicalFare series was nothing short of fantastic. We also thank Bill Ross, who stepped in for Mark on a couple of occasions.
Chris Cavanaugh: Chris created the video presentation of the Premier Cabaret Lounge Jazz Series. Setting up a studio-like quality to this endeavor. Thanks also to Kevin Fahey who supported Chris during the live-streams.
Jack Zuff: When Jack takes a picture, a thousand words truly come to life. Jack captured and captivated us with jazz photos that are some of the best in the world, literally. His contributions are met with much thanks and gratitude.
We thank all of the musicians who performed. With many balancing their safety with their passionate desire to perform. As we saw at the Hotel Henry Summer Jazz Series and Jazz at Chandlerville, audiences showed their appreciation by clapping loudly and respecting guidelines.
To the many who dropped contributions into the bucket at the Hotel Henry Summer Jazz Series and those who became Patreon patrons, we are most grateful. These contributions helped us to keep jazz alive, pay musicians, pay for clean-up at the Hotel Henry Summer Jazz Series, pay for production support, and keep the JazzBuffalo.org web site up and running.
Although we were limited to what we could do this year, there were valiant efforts made. Not only by those who supported JazzBuffalo but also by the likes of Sportsmen Tavern and Pausa Art House. We give thanks for all of the efforts put forth in a year where we saw the arts and music hit hard by the pandemic.
Let us all do our part to eliminate the COVID-19 virus and to uplift the arts and music communities here in Buffalo and WNY.