Monday, April 10, 2017

Annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival set for Aug. 27 in Tompkins Square Park

The City Parks Foundation announced the 2017 season of SummerStage earlier today... the programming includes the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in Tompkins Square Park on Aug. 27. Joshua Redman is the headliner that Sunday afternoon.

Here's more on the Jazz Festival via the news release...

This year, SummerStage will also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, New York City's annual salute to the eponymous late saxophonist. The festival, which each year coincides with Charlie Parker's birthday, takes place uptown in Harlem's historic Marcus Garvey Park and downtown in Tompkins Square Park, across the street from the apartment Parker called home.

This year, the festival has been extended to four days and will include Emmy Award-winning tap dance virtuoso Jason Samuels Smith, world-renowned Anat Cohen Tentet, jazz master Lee Konitz Quartet, slow-funk Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science, reverend drummer Louis Hayes, young American vocalist Charenee Wade, Grammy nominated Joshua Redman Quartet, modern jazz creative voice Lou Donaldson, saxophonist Tia Fuller of the all-female band touring with Beyoncé, vocalist Alicia Olatuja, and more.

You can find the full lineup of SummerStage here.

Parker photo by William P. Gottlieb


Unknown said...

Awesome! I attend everyear.Great lineup. Straight ahead jazz all the way!

chris flash said...

A great show marred by the sponsorship of real estate interests who have been systematically removing low-middle income housing and forcing long-term community-based businesses out in favor of monied transients and the stores that cater to them.

This "festival" was created by something called the "Tompkins Square Park Neighborhood Coalition" as something to attract the transient suckers to the "East Village". TSPNC, operating out of a former men's shelter located at 131 Avenue B, was run by politically-connected real estate speculators, including aspiring politician Antonio Pagan, attorney Samuel ("Topsy") Turvey and developer (BFC Associates) Donald Capoccia. (This group of scumbags also got that xmas tree planted in the park.)

The "festival" is still being used for that purpose, as well as as a p.r. tool to show how "nice" these parasites are, "giving back" to the community -- never mind that their sponsorship/donations are tax deductable!!

Anonymous said...

That Christmas tree was planted in the memory of a young man who died of AIDS. Whether you agreed with his politics or not, show some respect for that, at least. And last I looked, Pagan passed away in 2009, so how he's still a parasite, no clue.

Howard Hemsley said...

As a 10 volunteer for the first 10 years of the CPJF, I am proud of the hours of world class jazz we provided on that special weekend in later summer. Unfortunately, Chris Flash, still produces sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

Agreed Chris-but it seems to me that the Charlie Parker Festival brings black people, particularly older black folks from the neighborhood and the other boroughs of NYC to the event. That's my impression, so on that note maybe it's not so bad. I don't know the class of the people who attend, but they look pretty regular.Unfortunately every year the festival gets more commercial. Tell you a story. Last year, right when the festival started, the seats were full and the music started, two drunken white neighborhood girls who were passing through the park, decided to dance in the aisles. People got really irritated and shouted at them, which of course made them dance even more, and then an older black gentleman got up and pushed one of them. I think he thought they were harassing people and he just couldn't believe their audacity. The police intervened and told them to move along and they had the nerve to argue with the police until the police got really mad too, and were like- okay now get the hell out of here.

The Halloween Dog Parade is a worse real estate plot that markets itself all around the world and floods the neighborhood, primarily with white tri-state yuppies and other like minded international attendees, world media, despicable corporate sponsors and celebrities, all who think that NYC is better than ever, especially the East Village.

Gojira said...

Something Chris Flash doesn't seem to want to admit is that even without the people he rails against, this neighborhood would never have escaped the notice of the real estate developers that descended like locusts on NYC once it started coming back from its 1970s-80s financial crisis and they realized there was money to be made. There was no neighborhood too remote, too blighted, too dangerous, for them - East New York, Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, you name it, poverty-ridden areas that decades ago were considered off-limits for all but those already living in them - and a Manhattan neighborhood like the East Village, situated on the river, with good transportation, parks, a (then) stable population and great housing stock west of Avenue A, made it more than ripe for rapid gentrification. Okay, maybe without the Pagan/Cappocia influence it might not have happened as quickly, but happen it would have, and yes, sooner rather than later. Sorry, Chris, but there is no way the EV would have been left in stasis circa 1980 while all around it the city tore down and rebuilt at Caesar speed, that's not how reality works. The rising tide lifts all boats and all that, and we're bobbing around in the same hyper-gentrified swell that every. single. other. area. in the four connected boroughs are. (Five, if you count Staten island getting a - Jesus - tourist-friendly Ferris wheel and its plans to "upgrade" the St. George area around the ferry terminal.) I don't like it any more than you do, hate what the EV has become, but I have to grudgingly accept that the place I loved is gone and try to figure out how to fit into its new, ever-changing iteration...

Anonymous said...

I enjoy this festival altho they don't allow photogs up front ..only their pals.

Giovanni said...

@10:38AM The Charlie Parker Jazz festival (along with the Dance Parade and Howl Festival) is one of the best quality events in TSP of the year, which is attested to by the strong attendance. Last year there was barely standing room near the stage, where I was camped out. I was standing there when those two incredibly rude girls barged in and started dancing right in front of people who were seated, bumping into people and acting like total fools.

These two were straight out of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, wearing big ugly sunglasses, looking like Madonna in her earlier days, acting like they were Instagram stars and feeling entitled to barge into the front and shake their skinny asses in front of people's faces. They seemed to think they were in a mosh pit at Woodstock, and even one of their male friends was yelling at them not to go up there.

The older black man asked them to move several times but they rudely refused. After the ruckus started the police came and the girls tried to frame the older black guy as the troublemaker and the cops escorted him to the side where he had to plead innocence before they let him go. He looked very nervous like they were going to arrest him, but it was all a setup.

The two rude girls then returned to the spot a second time and tried to start dancing again as if nothing had happened, but the police and concert security guys were onto them by this time and the police kicked them out. A number of people applauded and the girls cursed people out as they were being ejected. They literally saw nothing wrong with disrupting an event being attended by hundreds of people. It was as if someone had said to them "This is one of the best Jazz events of the year" and the girls replied, "Oh really? Not anymore. Hold my beer."

In all the years I have attended the event that is the only problem I have seen, but it is a sign of where the lowest common denominator of the East Village and society in general is going. Everyone else was well behaved and enjoyed the show

Howard Hemsley said...

Sorry people, I don’t subscribe to the squatter/anarchist view of history. I lived for over 40 years as a rent controlled tenant on First Street. First of all, we worked to convert an out of control homeless shelter on Third Street into a facility that provided real services for homeless men and was not a blight on the community. And, Antonio Pagan actually built low income housing. We worked to improve the neighborhood. In addition to the housing that Pagan built, our efforts resulted in First Park at 1st Ave and Houston and laid the groundwork for The Lower East Side Girls Club, and yes, originated the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. It is a legacy of which I’m proud of. What has Chris Flash and his ilk accomplished? One cannot deny that an improving neighborhood was a boon to the real estate industry. But the decades long no-nothing opposition of Chris Flash and his cronies to housing for working people as well as senior housing made it impossible for the upwardly mobile sons and daughters of poor people to find decent housing in the neighborhood where they grew up. Housing stock that could have been developed for working class people lay idle for years, ripe for rampant development. A fair minded person might wonder who was the true friend of real estate interests.

Anonymous said...

I go every year and the crowd is not the monied crowd in fact a big chunk of the crowd brings their own sandwiches and stuff. Definately a completely different crowd than the dog parade, with the majority coming on the subway with their own beach/camp chairs. Definitely a more hippy bohemian African American dominated crowd.

Anonymous said...

I think the Charlie Parker Festival is good because it's a local crowd. The Dance Parade seems to be a good local event that EV natives seem to like. The sponsorship seems okay-and I see the event as a celebration of diversity through dance. The yuppies don't seem to like this event. The Howl Festival is the worst real estate ploys I have ever seen though. The president actually is a landlord. You need to look more closely at this. Architecture is a lot about power and so is art.

Anonymous said...

My commentary is not a critique on Chris. It's a conversation. I agree with most of what Chris has to say and I think he's one of the few people who really cares about the neighborhood. You know, it's not just about himself. Part of the reason the EV is the way it is,now, is because of self interested long time residents as well as a lack of local leadership.

Real estate developers, landlords, long time resident (carpetbaggers) and residents (sitting on assets), would like you to believe that (hyper-gentrification) started in the eighties because it excuses what they are doing now. And the rhetorical homogenization (that all NYC neighborhoods are in the same boat), is a good smokescreen for local issues/atrocities.

I have watched affordable HDFC home ownership turn into market rate housing, because most shareholders feel as if they have a right to cash in. This has happened all over the city, but this area, seems unparalleled in terms of this particular transformation. The city and shareholders-are both indeed reprehensible.

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Anonymous said...

Charlie Parker Festival brings in jazz. Chris Flash's shows are good but could benefit from an occasional act that isn't punk metal or spoken word for relief from the loud guitars. Lots of good long time jazz players in the neighborhood who are too street to ever get asked to play Charlie Parker Festival.

Anonymous said...

My two cents:
*When the State changed the rent laws to allow for vacancy decontrol, that is what truly changed the demographic of the neighborhood as small landlords sold to RE groups simply based on the notion that the buildings value would rise once rent regulated residents were forced out. But why would people who live in Coops or Condos know or care about that, because the value of their properties rise with the new demographic that also drive up the AMI;
*The hood could survive in some form if people stopped thinking exclusively about their own interests, or the interests of their group. Property owners, churches, not for profits are some of the worst as they only care about cashing in for their self, their cause or their issue. There is this attitude of entitlement from folks who feel like they came here when nobody else wanted to, and helped start a garden, or started a cultural event or venue, or a restaurant or a bar, or sat on the CB, that they should be able to cash in now, that they are somehow owed something for their efforts;
*Pagan was a crook as crooked as they come and an enemy of People Living With HIV/AIDS, a disease that was ravaging the LES under his watch. He opposed any and all housing for people with AIDS in the LES, he opposed syringe exchange, harm reduction services, you name it, because he felt that facilities to house and serve drug-users and the homeless(he had no issues with gay men for obvious reasons) would run the risk of negatively impacting the value of real estate that was up for grabs. He opposed Housing Works attempts to lease apartments in the hood and opposed their plans to build a residence and health care facility every step of the way, again because he wanted the land to go to his pals and was afraid that real estate values would suffer.
* Just because people come to a festival doesn't make it a good one, the sponsors of HOWL and the Dog Parade are the same people who we all complain about for destroying the hood, so that's a goofy argument; and
* Part of the reason we are in this situation is because for decades people took the position of Gojira and just tried to fit in or make the best of a bad situation, well that's your choice, but every day residents put the effort in to try and make a difference and they do as is evident from the post office victory.

Giovanni said...

Have you nust not noticed that the exact same gentrification that is happening here is happening iall over there country and in Europe and Asia as well? There are 800 year old villages in France being destroyed by globalization, the Internet and real estate speculation. There are even islands in the South Pacific that are having their cultures destroyed by chain store mallification and tourism. You can't blame what happened to the East Village on a couple of real estate developers, Gojira, Rent stabilized tenants, vacancy decontrol, the dog parade of all things, and the Charlie Parker festival. That's ridiculous. The same global forces are a big reason why Donald Trump was elected. And people are angry all over the place about it. Yet they pick the one guy who not only can't solve any other problems but is about to make them much, much worse. Welcome to the party.

Anonymous said...

I'm a jazz lover and look forward to the CPJF every year. Our excellent metro-area jazz station WBGO is a co-sponsor and they do a terrific job. I also agree with the poster who noticed that this event happily draws a different crowd into the park -- literally a stone's throw away from CP's former home, now landmarked, on Avenue B. It's hard for me to see how this event is something to criticize.

Anonymous said...

@giovanni, Read what I wrote,I never blamed the CPF, and I certainly didnt blame rent stabilized tenants so that portion of your comment is ridiculous. I don't believe the gentrification that occurred in our hood is a result of larger global forces, what I know is that if our elected officials and we wanted to stop it we could have. Google "how to stop gentrification" and you will find some great stories about how people forced their elected officials in Boston, Philadelphia and now in Detroit to respond to the need for affordable housing, small local businesses and even encourage urban farming by creating land trusts and using eminent domain to prevent rampant Development and real estate speculation. If you believe things can't be done, they won't,but if you believe things can be done and you act, they just might. Blaming global forces is a defeatist passive attitude, if that's your reality so be it, but it ain't mine.