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Jazz lovers have an entire repertoire of reasons to come to Massachusetts this fall, as outlined in the 2017-2018 MassJazz Guide, a compendium of jazz festivals, concerts, campus events, jazz brunches and nightclubs all across the Bay State.
Published by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, the Guide profiles some of our leading artists, including a cover story on jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding who is teaching music at Harvard, and Japanese pianist and Berklee professor Yoko Miwa. The Guide profiles jazz vocalist and WICN radio executive Amanda Carr and music impresario Fred Taylor, with stories on the New England Jazz Hall of Fame in Worcester, the Woods Hole Jazz Series, Northampton Jazz Series and the 40th annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert.
You’ll also find stories on cool jazz haunts in Boston including Les Zygomates Wine Bar near South Station, Darryl’s Corner Bar + Kitchen in the South End, Slade’s Bar & Grill in Roxbury and Scullers Jazz Club in Allston.
For visitors coming to Massachusetts for the fall foliage or to enjoy our culture and history, the outdoor jazz festivals are a great excuse to make your way to Boston, Cambridge & Somerville and to Pittsfield in the Berkshires.
The Berklee Beantown Festival takes place this Saturday, September 30 in Boston’s South End. This outdoor party along Columbus Ave runs from noon to 5 p.m. and is free to the public. Run by the Berklee College of Music, this year’s Beantown features global performers such as Oscar Stagnaro and the Peruvian Tinge, Cape Verdeon singer Assol Garcia and Afro-pop band Kina Zore, featuring Mozambique singer Helder Tsinie. And you’ll meet dozens of jazz organizations there to tell you about America’s great art form, including WGBH-FM radio station, JazzBoston and Berklee. Find more festivals here.
Then don’t miss the colorful Honk! Festival of Activist Street Bands taking place October 6-8 in Davis Square, Somerville and Harvard Square, Cambridge. Honk! features great bands from around the world, such as Damas De Ferro (Iron Ladies) from Rio de Janeiro, and local favorites such as the Dirty Water Brass Band.
Rounding out the festival season is the annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, running October 6-15 in various venues in the City of Pittsfield, nestled in the colorful Berkshires. This year’s festival includes a performance by the world-renowned ensemble, Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience.
Berklee Beantown Jazz Fest
Finally, don’t miss some of the world’s best jazz artists performing in Massachusetts this fall from Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis and Herbie Hancock to Pharaoh Sanders, Regina Carter, Chris Botti and Dianne Reeves.
Feature image: Kina Zoré at the Berklee Beantown Jazz Fest