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Has jazz become the soundtrack for Massachusetts? It certainly seems that way, as dozens of outdoor jazz festivals flourish across the state each summer and fall. In August alone, you’ll find jazz festivals in Springfield, Rockport, Salem, Provincetown and Boston’s Hyde Park, not to mention a blues festival in Marshfield.
Massachusetts enjoys one of the most vibrant jazz scenes anywhere, as you’ll discover in the 2014 MassJazz Guide, a bird’s-eye overview of where to find live jazz at festivals, concert halls and college campuses, as well as inside cafes, restaurants and hotel lounges all across the Bay State.
Photo: 2014 MassJazz Guide
This year’s program promises plenty of highlights, ranging from renowned musicians to less prominent acts, who can all be counted on to deliver marquee performances. One of the hot tickets will undoubtedly be Tony Bennett’s late August special appearance at Tanglewood, the eminent Berkshires concert venue and summer home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
The Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival will be another big draw, featuring three stages full of arts, crafts and, of course, musical entertainment, on Saturday, September 27 in Boston. More than a dozen performers and groups will take the stage during the day, and entry won’t cost a dime.
Photo: Sheila E, one of the performers at this year’s Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival
While jazz is a big part of Massachusetts’ vibrant performing arts scene, which supports our creative economy while contributing to our quality of life, there’s also an interesting educational component. Schools like the Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory of Music and the University of Massachusetts campuses have excellent programs that train generations of jazz musicians, as well as players who contribute to many other genres.
In 2014, jazz brings an international flair to Massachusetts, too. In this issue of MassJazz Guide, you’ll read about musicians from China and Turkey studying at the New England Conservatory, and about Panos Panay from Cyprus, head of the newly formed Institute of Creative Entrepreneurship at Berklee.
To learn more about live jazz in Massachusetts year round, visit MassJazz.com and Massjazz.blogspot.com. You can also find MassJazz on Facebook & Twitter. For information about visiting Massachusetts any time of the year, head to massvacation.com.
Michael Quinlin is executive director of the Commonwealth Marketing Office. He founded MassJazz in 2009 with the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.