Last winter it appeared that Hartford would lose one of its cherished summer traditions, Monday Night Jazz at Bushnell Park. Paul Brown, the bassist and promoter who'd run the program for four decades, announced his retirement.
Thankfully, a consortium of the Hartford Jazz Society as producer and Prudential Financial, the Greater Hartford Arts Council and the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism as funders have stepped into the breach and revived this most pleasant musical diversion.
There will be four concerts, on July 7, 14, 28 and Aug. 4 (see www.hartfordjazzsociety.com). Each will feature two groups, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., with a jam session to follow across the street at Black-eyed Sally's. The talent will focus on new and emerging artists from the Northeast. While there won't be the established stars that "PB" lured to town, the jazz society will find talent well worth catching on the way up.
In addition to this jazz fest, the inaugural Jackie McLean International Arts Festival over the weekend brought another influx of great jazz to the city.
The arts will be — are — a big part of the revival of Hartford. The Monday jazz series draws 5,000 to 7,000 people for each performance, and no surprise. Sitting in the warm twilight in a beautiful city park enjoying a picnic supper and listening to cool jazz is a really good way to start the week. And get people interested in downtown Hartford.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at