Tia Fuller (above) to star in East Coast Jazz Festival


by Norman Warwick

It’s no secret that jazz clubs have suffered mightily during the pandemic, crippled by the inability to regularly present live music (and food and beverages) to audiences. Burdened with costly rents or mortgages yet without any real revenue stream, the venues have struggled to adapt by doing live streams, fundraisers and limited-audience shows. Now, nearly one year since the shutdown began, six jazz clubs on the East Coast have come together to create what they’re calling the East Coast Jazz Festival, which will take place on Saturday, March 20 from 5 to 11 p.m. ET. that will feature, among others, the wonderful saxophonist, Tia Fuller, seen on our cover.

Jazz Times‘ Contributing Editor from 1990 to 2018, Lee Mergner (left) has served the magazine in a multitude of roles, including Editor and Publisher.

Scullers Jazz Club
Boston USA

He has also recently reported in Jazz Times that Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, Smalls and Birdland in New York, Chris’ Jazz Café in Philadelphia, Keystone Korner in Baltimore, and Blues Alley in Washington, D.C. will present a combination of live sets and pre-recorded sessions in a veritable jazz telethon with more than sixty notable jazz artists. Those who sign in will be invited to pay as they wish and this ingenuity will surely be rewarded with the generosity it deserves. Subscribing guests can flip back and forth from one venue to another to check out each club’s shows.

Ryan Paternite, director of programming and media for Birdland, said in a press release, received and reproduced in Jazz Times, that ´not only has the pandemic challenged us and our fellow clubs to accelerate and refine our streaming concert programs, to the benefit of our fans, but the circumstances have also enabled us to program a stunning scope and diversity of artists that otherwise be nearly impossible to hear in one evening.´

´(Jazz)  music can be an indispensable spiritual life raft for our turbulent times,´ the communiqué continued.

Todd Barkan

´When we need more sharing and caring than ever´ explained Todd Barkan of the Keystone Korner Baltimore. ´May this important ECJF collaboration be just the beginning of an ever-growing process and practice of team work to make the dream work.”

The line-up and schedule for the festival incñludes

Chris’ Jazz Cafe
6 p.m.: Alex Claffy Quartet, featuring saxophonist/vocalist Sonny Step 
8 p.m.: Ari Hoenig Trio with pianist Gadi Lehavi and bassist Ben Tiberio 
10 p.m.: Orrin Evans Quartet with bassist Luques Curtis, drummer Mark Whitfield Jr., and special guest saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins 

Smalls LIVE Foundation 
5 p.m.: Nicole Glover Trio
7 p.m.: Warren Wolf Quartet
9 p.m.: Mike Ledonne Quartet featuring Vincent Herring

Keystone Korner Baltimore
5 p.m.: Obasi Akoto Oceanic Jazz Orchestra/ Jean Carn & Company 
7 p.m.: Cyrus Chestnut & Affirmation with Tim Green, Obasi Akoto, and Quincy Phillips
9 p.m.: Big Chief Donald Harrison with Warren Wolf, Kris Funn, Alex Brown, and John Lamkin III

Blues Alley
6 p.m.: Miki Yamanaka
8 p.m.: Eri Yamamoto
10 p.m.: Yoko Miwa


5 p.m.: David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band / Ken Peplowski & Rossano Sportiello Duo
7 p.m.: Ben Allison, Ted Nash, & Steve Cardenas Play the Music of Jimmy Giuffre & Jim Hall / Champian Fulton Quartet “Bird Song”: A Charlie Parker Centennial Celebration
9 p.m.: Houston Person Quartet / Veronica Swift with The Emmet Cohen Trio

6 p.m.: Christian Sands
8 p.m.: Keyon Harrold
10 p.m.: Tia Fuller (shown in cover photo at top of story)

Jazz fans interested in watching all or any of this six-hour event can pre-register at  https://page.inplayer.com/eastcoastjazzfestival/

Notes. The writer of this article, Norman Warwick is a weekly columnist of Lanzarote Information as well as being the owner and editor of Sidetracks & Detours. He is a published author, biographer, poet and songwriter and one of the organisation´s four ´Joined Up Jazz Journalists´ contributing to the scene through the radio broadcasting  and on-line media. Norman was a founding member of the Lendanear folk group with Colin Lever and of the artists-in-schools performance group, Just Poets, with Pam McKee and was a long-serving trustee of the revenue-funded company of Can´t Dance Can and as Vice-Chair of Rochdale Community Voluntary Services.

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