Emanuel Lain Jr
New Orleans July 31, 2014 - Jazz in the Park returns for nine straight weeks this fall, running from September 4th to October 30st, with a stellar roster of New Orleans music that features Rebirth Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins, Los Hombres Caliente, Stephanie Jordan, Corey Henry and the Treme Funktett, Shamarr Allen and the Underdogs, Jon Cleary, and Nigel Hall and his Congregation, to name a few. The hours of Jazz in the Park are now 4pm to 8PM.
This season will probably be our best season ever, because we will incorporate high school marching bands into our weekly series at our Congo Kids Stage at Jazz in the Park and parade around the park during our intermission breaks. Schools like Warren Easton, Landry Walker, Roots of Music and Sophie B. Wright to name a few will fit into the fun atmosphere that already exist at Jazz in the Park.
Second lines are once again a welcome and integral part of the Jazz in the Park experience, and each week the Sudan Social Aid and Pleasure Club and One Sound Brass Band will strut their stuff. The second lines start at 4PM, this initiative is possible thanks to the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, who along with the People United for Armstrong Park, have a vested interest in the preservation and continued growth of New Orleans culture.
In addition to the rich music on our main stage, marching bands on our Kids Stage and second line parades throughout the park, Jazz in the Park will also highlight New Orleans' newest tradition by spotlighting a different "Dance Troupe" each week during our set changes between bands. Groups like "The Star Steppin Cosmnaughties "and the "Organ Grinders" will thrill our guests so there is never a dull moment.
Besides the music we have seventeen food vendors that serves some of the city's best food and eighteen art and craft vendors offering original, handcrafted items for sale.
As in previous seasons, the Marketplace at Armstrong Park, in cooperation with the Institute of Community Development, opens at 3PM and is available for food and grocery purchases until 8PM.
A kids' craft and play area is available to offer enrichment activities and fun while families attend the Jazz in the Park shows. There is a spacewalk, and a face-painting artist also will be on hand.
Jazz in the Park is New Orleans most significant weekly cultural program and it so much more than just a concert series. Jazz in the Park also serves as an economic engine to the Treme neighborhood, through direct mentorship, we have trained 20 at-risk individuals (formerly incarcerated, unemployed, current/former public housing clients) in event production through our Production Training program (EPT). Each season, these individuals are engaged for an average of 10 hours a week at $10/hour to shadow and train under our professional event staff. Each successive season we are able to retain 60-70% of our trainees as paid event staff. A deliberate effort has been made by PUfAP to involve members of the Iberville, Lafitte, Treme and 7th Ward communities surrounding Armstrong Park, though we are open to anyone who will work hard, is a team player and is willing to learn. To date, we have successfully partnered with the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO), Urban Strategies, and their affiliates who refer individuals to us who are willing, able, and in need of training and employment.
Jazz in the Park got its start in the spring of 2012, with seven free concerts that featured the likes of Kermit Ruffins, James Andrews, Glen David Andrews, David and Russell Batiste, Allen Toussaint, Leo Nocentelli and The Meters Experience, Bo Dollis and The Wild Magnolias. The fall 2012 series continued this tradition of incredible music and entertainment in a family-friendly, neighborhood-oriented setting with Big Sam's Funky Nation, The Renard Poche Band, The Stooges Brass Band, Stephanie Jordan, The Treme Brass Band, Rockin' Dopsie, Jr., Jamal Batiste, The Soul Rebels, MyNameisJohnMichael, John Boutte, Charmaine Neville, Russell Batiste & Jason Neville, and Corey Henry and Treme Funktet. Treme Funktet's performance produced a spontaneous and explosive collaboration onstage with James Andrews and Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews that was one of the season's highlights.
Jazz in the Park is made possible by the support of the NOLA Brewing Company, which has been with the series from the very beginning. The series is proud to be sponsored by The American Music Research Foundation, the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, New Orleans Ice Cream, C&G Construction, Basin Street Foundation, and Positive Vibrations.
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About PUfAP: The People United for Armstrong Park is a volunteer-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that led the community effort to re-open Armstrong Park. Our primary work focuses on coordinating and collaborating with individuals and institutions to catalyze Armstrong Park into a premier hub for the city's cultural economy. We aim to connect individuals in the community to their culture and history by establishing the park as a nurturing, living environment for the arts, and provide opportunities to ensure their success and accomplishments in their chosen craft. Please visit www.armstrongpark.org for more information.
Some highlights of previous seasons: