WHAT: Northampton Jazz Strut
WHEN: October 1st, 5:00 to 10:30 p.m
WHERE: throughout downtown Northampton
The Northampton Jazz Festival will kick off on Friday, Oct. 1 with a Jazz Strut in downtown Northampton, and free performances are scheduled that first weekend of October in the event's return after a pandemic-year hiatus.
The October 1 Jazz Strut will run from 5 to 10:30 p.m., starting at Pulaski Park. Local and regional trios and quartets will perform at the following venues: Wursthaus, 6:30 p.m.; The Dirty Truth, 7 p.m.; Spoleto Restaurant, 7:30 p.m.; Progression Brewing Co., 8 p.m.; The Deck Bar & Restaurant, 8:30 p.m. Each band plays for two hours, and the schedule is subject to change without notice.
Ruth Griggs, president of the festival's board of directors, said this year, the event has a focus on woman-led ensembles and will feature more female musicians than ever before.
"Although we had to cancel the fest in 2020, we worked hard to stay involved with bringing live jazz to the community in a safe way and to support musicians financially," Griggs added, noting that the festival organization held a half dozen outside concerts last fall and also recorded four local trios and streamed performances over Facebook and YouTube this spring. In partnership with Jim Olsen's Signature Sounds and Northampton Open Media, it offered a jazz series in April, Jazz Appreciation Month.
"This fall, all the main Jazz Fest Day musicians who couldn't play in 2020 are returning," Griggs said. "This is rare, and we are honored."
Festival attendees will be required to wear masks, following pandemic protocols as per the city of Northampton; for more information visit northamptonjazzfest.org/health-and-safety-protocols.
In a collaboration between the Northampton Jazz Festival and the Downtown Northampton Association, patrons sporting a new Jazz Fest tote on Saturday, Jazz Fest Day, will receive a discount at participating downtown merchants; totes will be available for purchase at all festival performance venues on Saturday, Oct. 2.
Volunteers are still needed to staff Friday and Saturday events. To take part, visit northamptonjazzfest.org/volunteer
For more information visit www.northamptonjazzfest.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/northamptonjazzfest or email to: email@example.com.