Jazz Returns to the Valley
Turning 21 years old after a one-year pandemic induced hiatus, the “Jazz in the Valley” concert returns in person to serenade hungry jazz aficionados with the music and atmosphere they love on August 15.
The last live performance in 2019 featured bassist Ron Carter. Past concerts featured Ahmad Jamal, Les McCann and Randy Weston, to name a few. Established in 2000, “Valley” has become the perfect entertainment getaway, a bucolic setting at Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie, New York.
For the milestone 20th year, founder and creator Greer Smith brought together a super line of musicians at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY. Performances from horns Tia Fuller and Javon Jackson, vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, percussionist Bobby Sanabria, bassist Christian Dean Sullivan, and many more were broadcast virtually.
This year will be no exception. The lineup includes saxophonist Javon Jackson, vocalist Samara Joy, The Curtis Brothers (bass and piano), Alto Saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, Multi-instrumentalist and composer Julian Rodriguez.
Beloved documentarian/photographer Joanne Cheatham, Greer’s friend and confidant since the “Valley’s” inception, was the publisher of “Pure Jazz” magazine. The inspiration for the magazine came from the inaugural “Valley” festival and it was published quarterly to semi-annually. The magazine chronicled the growth of the festival plus related jazz articles and profiles.
Pianist and radio host Dwight Brewster, aka Dr. Mambo, is the brother of Cheatham. He continues the legacy of his sister with jazz focused multimedia content from podcasts to live streaming at events. You can find his work here.
So, hitch up your cars, buses, or Metro North trains as all roads lead to Poughkeepsie on August 15. See you in the Valley!
For tickets and more information, go to the organization’s website here.