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Jazz River

Music in the Air is a directory of free and affordable (under $20) outdoor cultural events taking place in the County between July and September. For a full list of these concerts, visit: artsw.org/musicintheair.

Clare Maloney & The Great Adventure (photo source: claremaloney.com)

by MJ Territo

     Westchester County might want to consider renaming its stretch of the Hudson “Jazz River” for the summer. From July 6 through August 26, a summer concert series presented by Jazz Forum Arts (JFA) will send the sounds of jazz wafting over the water from five Westchester waterfront parks. 

     Over the past quarter-century the concert series has grown exponentially, and jazz fans can now hear live outdoor music from 6:30 to 8pm in Ossining (Mondays), Sleepy Hollow (Tuesdays), Dobbs Ferry (Wednesdays), Lyndhurst in Tarrytown (Thursdays) and Pierson Park, also in Tarrytown (Fridays). The Dobbs Ferry series includes a pre-concert program for kids: Jitterbugs: Jazz for Kids, winner of ArtsWestchester’s 2021 Education Award. 

     Mark Morganelli, Founder and Executive Director of Jazz Forum Arts, says he is excited to present this season’s varied and eclectic program: “The grand finale will be the Houston Person Quartet on August 25 at Lyndhurst.” He enthuses over the renowned saxophonist: “Imagine seeing this giant of jazz for free!” 

     Morganelli also notes JFA’s first rap concert. Dobbs Ferry’s own Julian Caldwell, aka JSWISS, will perform in his hometown on August 17. The band will include trumpeter Michael Leonhart of Steely Dan. 

     And if it’s Jazz Forum Arts, it’s got to be Brazilian. Morganelli himself will lead his Jazz Forum All-Stars in a celebration of Brazil at Horan Landing in Sleepy Hollow. Among the other Brazilian offerings will be Vanderlei Pereira & Blindfold Test (July 20 in Dobbs Ferry). Pereira is blind, and for some of its tunes, the band will don blindfolds. More Brazilian rhythms round out the Pierson Park series on August 26, when drummer Rodrigo Bonelli & Brasil Trio + 1 take the stage.

     Other highlights include a Latin jazz night, where Latin lovers can groove to Dave Schumacher and Cubayé (July 21 in Dobbs Ferry). Michael Holober, conductor of the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, will bring his quartet, which features trumpeter Marvin Stamm, to Dobbs Ferry on July 28. 

    No matter where they are in the County, music lovers can make evening jazz on the Hudson River a part of their summer plans. A picnic, and blanket or chair, complete the riverfront picture. 

A version of this article first appeared in the July-August 2022 issue of ArtsNews, ArtsWestchester’s monthly publication. ArtsNews is distributed throughout Westchester County. A digital copy is also available at artsw.org/artsnews.

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