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Councilor Campbell, Berklee dean launch 1st Mattapan Jazz Festival

Office of City Councilor Andrea Campbell
Councilor Campbell, Berklee dean launch 1st Mattapan Jazz Festival
Drummer Ron Savage, Dean of the Professional Performance Division at Berklee College of Music, is co-hosting the Mattapan Jazz Festival Sept. 22. COURTESY PHOTO

Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell, in partnership with Ron Savage, Dean of the Professional Performance Division at Berklee College of Music, announced last week they will host the Mattapan Jazz & Unity Festival at the ‘greens’ in front of the Foley Senior Residences, 249 River Street, Mattapan, on Sunday, September 22 from 1-5 p.m.

“There are jazz festivals in many places, from South Boston to the South End, from Newton to Cambridge, and even in Martha’s Vineyard, but never in Mattapan,” said Campbell. “Many artists performing in these festivals were born and raised in Mattapan, a neighborhood bustling, like jazz, with many cultures and a rich history. This event is a chance for us to come together, joined by other communities, to celebrate Mattapan and everything that makes this part of Boston so special.”    

“After performing and presenting at hundreds of jazz festivals worldwide, I am more than excited to be performing literally in my own back yard,” said Savage. “Mattapan, Dorchester and Roxbury have a rich history of nurturing and supporting some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. I’m happy to be part of celebrating and perpetuating this tremendous local legacy.”

The festival will be emceed by Valerie Stephens, a native Bostonian and an award winning multifaceted performing artist, and feature performances by Ron Savage Trio, with special guests Gabrielle Goodman and Bill Pierce; Rollins Ross featuring Athene Wilson;Sean Skeete and Mzizi West featuring Jacques Schwarz-Bart and the Berklee City Music Allstars.

In addition to live music, the festival will celebrate community elders by sharing their stories. Partnering with Everyday Boston, a nonprofit teaching people how to join together to learn about each other’s experiences through oral histories, formerly incarcerated individuals will gather stories of Mattapan elders to share at the festival, with the additional goal of building lasting, supportive relationships between two marginalized and sometimes lonely groups.

The festival will also have local vendors selling their food, arts and crafts to attendees.

This festival is free and open to members of the public to attend.

If you go

What: Mattapan Jazz & Unity Festival

Where: the ‘greens’ in front of the Foley Senior Residences, 249 River Street, Mattapan

When: Sunday, September 22 from 1-5 p.m.

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