Insight News

Feb 09th

Jazz for a change: Music for a brave new world

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debbie-duncanThis year, 2009 is witness to the monumental changes that have taken place in America; the changes in our economy, our political leadership, and our society.  These historic moments were the inspiration for the theme of the 10th Annual Freedom Jazz Festival.  This year we present “Jazz for a Change – Music for a Brave New World!”

In the spirit of change, the Freedom Jazz Festival is introducing new musicians on the program and creating future events.  What stays the same are the sounds of jazz, blues, R&B, and hot rhythms that will have feet tappin’ and fingers snappin’ as the jazz festival swings into summer on Saturday, August 1, 2009 at Minnehaha Falls Park.

Jazz has been a revolutionary social force and the innovative soundtrack for the shared consciousness of America. The theme for this year’s Freedom Jazz Festival is a reflection on the kindred nature of jazz and the struggle for America to find its collective identity.

Jazz, America’s only original musical art form, was created from the incandescent fusion of sorrow, anger, and triumph of the field songs of southern black slaves, cultivated by the call and response of gospel, the lyrical irreverence of the blues and the invention of improvisation.  It is the history of Black America as told through music.

Jazz is in itself a musical consensus that mirrors the democratic process. It is created in a collective context, each performer supporting and recognizing the skill and talent of the other, each given equality and freedom of expression.

Jazz in America has been a musical cry for freedom, justice, equality, and transformation.  It has always been music for and about change, change of heart, change of mind, and change in spirit.  Jazz is even coming back to the White House as the administration fosters the preservation and promotion of arts and culture; creating a new harmony in America.

We will honor this harmony as well as the hope for a new spirit of unity and cooperation in our communities.  A celebration featuring some of the metropolitan Twin Cities’ finest Jazz and Blues against the comfortable, scenic, and family-friendly backdrop of Minnehaha Falls.

For nearly a decade, people from all walks of life have made attending the Freedom Jazz Festival a summer tradition, enjoying each year great music and entertainment; the camaraderie, solidarity, and friendship of Jazz lovers; and historic performances by some of the area’s premiere musicians.

With this year’s jazz festival we are looking forward to spotlighting the depth of the Twin Cities’ jazz community; there is an enormous amount of talent in this region.  We have assembled probably one of the most comprehensive line-ups ever featuring the Capri Big Band, Cornbread Harris, Dean Brewington, Morris Wilson, Debbie Duncan and many more going “back to the roots” with Be-Bop, R&B and Blues. The artists include young Jazz novices, community Jazz Workshops, and a rich line up of seasoned Jazz Masters. This collection of local Jazz artists is unmatched anywhere in the area.

We are creating a new generation of Jazz lovers.  Join us and be a part of the movement, witness history being made, and enjoy the best free outdoor Jazz concert in the Twin Cities. The festivities begin at 1pm and last until 7:30 pm.  Along with the great music, there will be arts exhibits and tasty treats from our food vendors so come on out to enjoy Jazz for a nice relaxing change!

(Major funding provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board Arts Across Minnesota Festivals Grant.  Partners include the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, KFAI Radio, JazzInk, KBEMJazz88FM Radio, and Westport Properties).


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