Letter: Jazz Festival

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Dear Editor,

On September 19, a new jazz festival launched in Anne Arundel County: Art in the Park presented by Jazz Beyond Borders. This community event brought top shelf jazz groups, fine arts and international cuisine to the courtyard and interior of Cafe 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 for 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 assembled an advisory board including 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 was pleased to partner with Kosmas “Tommie” Koukoulis of Café Mezzanotte and Jonathan Katz of Severna Park Voice who added visual art to the event. They helped us turn the courtyard into a feast for the eyes, ears, and appetite! We thank WNAV, What’s Up Annapolis, Bay Weekly and Chesapeake Bay Media for spreading the word.

Production Coordinator Theresa Sise and Intern Kristoffer Beljica were amazing. We thank volunteers Coniece Washington, Ruby Singleton Blakeney, Della Sztuk and Jackie Pruner. Our audience included music fans who have supported the past two years of “Jazz at the Mezz” concerts which inspired the festival. Helping behind the scenes were Henry Wong of An die Musik Live, Sean Johnson, Hazel Mitchell-Bell, Seth Kibel, Philip Kaplan, Michael Joseph Harris, Tony Spencer and our dear friends at Baltimore Jazz Alliance. 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 for 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