The New Rochelle Jazz Festival was conceived in 2008 as the brainchild of Brian Mullings Carter and Ross Anthony May Jr.
After Many Years; of being the sound & music “contractors” for events taking place at all of the “community venues”: the local library, parks, beach clubs, bandshell, churches, art galleries, VFW posts, 4th of July celebrations.
After Many Years; of producing musical events for The NAACP, The Democratic & Republican Party(s) The Policeman’s Benevolent Association, The Correction Officers Union,The Westchester County Family Court, The New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce, The Downtown BID, The Arts Council (city & county) . . .
After 10 Years; of meeting and supporting the talent pool of local musicians and technicians as a manager at a local franchise of a national music store chain (Ross @ The Guitar Center) and an even longer career as a Audio Engineering Professional . . .
After Many Years; of being one of our community’s most committed teaching musicians, creating a music summer camp (Brian w/ Westchester Rocks), creating and instructing “drum lines” that march in every municipal parade, and after school programs for kids, after years of representing our fair city, New Rochelle as our “cultural ambassador” at our sister city La Rochelle, Frances’ annual jazz festival “Jazz In Aout”, (Jazz In August ).
The Question was asked by the French festival committee, “Pourquoi n’avez-vous pas votre propre festival de jazz?” Why don’t you have your own jazz festival?
Having just elected the first african american president of the United States, feeling quite emboldened and confident we answered a question with a question, “Why not?” Why not indeed.
And so we began this journey. First, as a sub committee within former city manager, Peter Korn’s Sister City Committee, (which deals with the historical and cultural ties between New Rochelle and La Rochelle). Then as our own New Rochelle Jazz Festival Committee with Brian Carter as our chairman, and finally building our own 501c3 not for profit organization, The Jazz Partners, dedicated to creating and sustaining our own annual jazz festival and our own Community Performing Arts Center ( The Ossie and Ruby Davis Community Performing Arts Center aka “The Davis Center ” ) 2012 will be our fourth year of calling our effort The New Rochelle Jazz Festival. We think it’s important to note, we’ve been creating and sustaining musical events in New Rochelle for many years.