By Walter Rutledge
On Saturday October 29, 2011 the Staten Island Jazz Festival returns to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center located at 1000 Richmond Terrace. Now in it’s twenty-fourth year the festival offers workshops and a live jazz concert featuring local and internationally recognized jazz artists. This year the festival honors the centennial of the birth of renowned African-American artist Romare Bearden.
The festival is one of the community-based events sponsored by the Universal Temple of The Arts. The organization was founded in 1967 by a group of Staten Island artists and residents, which included Sadja Musawwir Ladner, Edward Ladner, Sheila Rohan, and Andrea Phillips. For over forty-four years the organization has offered arts and socially conscious programming with a special emphasis on the underserved youth of Staten Island.
On Thursday, October 6, 2011 Universal Temple of The Arts Artistic/Executive Director Sajda Musawwir Ladner presided over a press conference at the Staten Island Museum to officially launch the festival. The Staten Island Jazz Festival will present a complete day of activities for the entire family. Workshops in Jazz music, art, dance and vocal begin at 11 am followed by a panel discussion: History and Future of Jazz and other Thoughts from 12:30 to 1:30pm and the five hours of jazz performances begin at 2pm.
The concert will showcase jazz artists ranging from the traditional to the avant-garde, professional to emerging. The roster of artists will include: Bob Cunningham, Leopoldo Fleming Afro-Caribbean Jazz Ensemble, Winard Harper Ensemble, Kiane Zawadi, Lee Pearson, Vishnu Wood & Safari East, Danny Mixon Quartet, Betty Shirley, Taru Alexander, Jeannine Otis, Vinnie Ruggieri, David Jones, WaFoo, Rudi Wongozi and Joy Ryder. Advanced tickets are priced at $25 for adults and $10 for children. Workshops are $10 and group rates are available. For more information please contact Universal Temple of The Arts at (718) 273- 5610 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Staten Island Jazz Festival is sponsored by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Richmond County Savings Bank, Con Edison and Ferry Ads.com
In Photo: 1) Sheila Rohan, Diedra Harris- Kelley, Sadja Mussawwir Ladner, Rashida Seward 2) Sadja Ladner
Photography by Silicia Jackson