Boston’s Jazz Week ties past to present
April 30 is the second-annual International Jazz Day, and Boston’s first observation of it will be marked with a four-hour concert at Emmanuel Church co-hosted by state Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry, City Councilors Michelle Wu and Tito Jackson, Boston Economic Development Chief John Barros, and JazzBoston board members. Innovative and traditional jazz music from near and far, including Armenia and Cape Verde, promise to provide a joyous noise in the church between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Concerts and other events throughout the city are scheduled for each day of Jazz Week, which ends May 4.
The annual event, now in its eighth year, was created by JazzBoston, an all-volunteer organization. These volunteers — board members, publicists, event planners — are musicians or aficionados of jazz music from the community.
Though seldom documented, Boston has a history of jazz clubs with in-house bands and touring performers, predominantly from the 1930s on through the 1960s. All of these clubs were bulldozed and paved over for “urban renewal,” except for Wally’s Café in the South End. Wally’s has hosted live music almost every night since 1947, pausing briefly in 1979 to move across the street to their current location.
In 1959, a two-day jazz festival was held in Fenway Park and featured Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Ray Charles, among others. The festival was not renewed.