Letter: Jazz Festival – Bay Weekly

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Mr. Editor,

On September 19, a new jazz festival was launched in Anne Arundel County: Art in the Park presented by Jazz Beyond Borders. This community event brought together leading jazz groups, fine arts and international cuisine in the courtyard and inside the Café Mezzanotte in Severna Park.

Our goal was to create a community event promoting music and art. In this and all of our activities, our vision is to foster appreciation of cultural diversity and artistic excellence in a cordial and inviting atmosphere, inspiring and entertaining people of many backgrounds and interests.

To carry out our mission, we have assembled an Advisory Board comprising Artistic Director Mark Wade and Board Members Ruby Singleton Blakeney, Omrao Brown, Michael Buckley, Richard Rausch, Teri Leggio Wade and myself as Executive Director.

Jazz Beyond Borders had the pleasure of partnering with Kosmas “Tommie” Koukoulis from Café Mezzanotte and Jonathan Katz from Severna Park Voice who added visual art to the event. They helped us turn the yard into a feast for the eyes, ears and appetite! We thank WNAV, What’s new Annapolis, Weekly Bay and Chesapeake Bay Media to spread the word.

Production coordinator Theresa Sise and intern Kristoffer Beljica were great. We thank volunteers Coniece Washington, Ruby Singleton Blakeney, Della Sztuk and Jackie Pruner. Our audience included music fans who supported the last two years of the “Jazz at the Mezz” concerts that inspired the festival. Behind the scenes, An die Musik Live’s Henry Wong, Sean Johnson, Hazel Mitchell-Bell, Seth Kibel, Philip Kaplan, Michael Joseph Harris, Tony Spencer and our dear friends from the Baltimore Jazz Alliance helped. With everyone’s help, we were able to balance the budget and make a small contribution to the Food Project this year.

We are truly grateful to our growing audience of world music and jazz fans and look forward to next year’s festival.

With gratitude,

Paulina Phillips, Executive Director, Art in the Park, Jazz Beyond Borders

Willie J. Johnson

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