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A quick note about the Friday Night Jazz concerts

We have received a number of comments and concerns about the Friday Night Jazz Concerts – how folks wish it was longer, asking how to support it next year, etc. To answer those questions here’s some background on the Jazz concert series.

It was just as difficult for us to announce the last show as it was for you to hear it. This series is only possible thanks to the hard work, dedication, and yes, money from many different individuals and organizations both new and old to the neighborhood. This year’s series sponsors included: Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, Central City Toyota, Spruce Hill Community Association, Philadelphia Horticultural Society, University City District, Elena’s Soul and Cedar Park Neighbors.

The Cedar Park Jazz series actually starts when the weather is still quite cold.  The volunteers with Cedar Park Neighbors begin soliciting donations, grants and other financial contributions from area businesses, government sources and individuals to make this Jazz Series possible. Once we have an idea how much money we will be able to raise, we set the schedule for the summer, book the talent and organize the publicity, logistics and everything that else goes into this series. This series of eight concerts takes more money than you may think to make happen and it ran exactly as long as we planned for and could afford – and all the funds earmarked for this series goes directly to the musical talent. Time spent organizing, fundraising and hosting these concerts is done for free by volunteers.

We are a small group of volunteers and work on a lengthy list of community projects including helping neighbors with zoning issues, safety needs and block improvement projects; organizing fairs, community education events, neighbor meet & greets,and block leader conferences; maintaining the park; collecting, assembling and distributing to charitable organizations; Holiday Food baskets for nearly 150 neighbors in need; fundraising for and awarding scholarships for student scholars in the neighborhood to help with college expenses; and other projects big and small to help our diverse neighborhood.

We would welcome you to join CPN, donate and/or volunteer for the Jazz Series (or any other neighborhood project that really speaks to you), and encourage friends neighbors and others that enjoy the Jazz Series to do the same. This is the best way to help extend the series and better Cedar Park for everyone.

Thanks again for your interest in the great things happening in Cedar Park.

– Cedar Park Neighbors

2 comments to A quick note about the Friday Night Jazz concerts

  • Tashi

    We have to continue this series!! Whatever it takes it has to get done.

  • DK

    I’m so happy to know that you are continuing the jazz series in Cedar Park. When I, along with Bill Coleman started the series, it was with the hope of bringing something positive to that area of West Philly. For me making Jazz accessible and creating a tradition was extremely important. Myself along with Bill Coleman, later Linford Martin and Ms Michelle Robinson, who handled all money and check writing managed to do the impossible for nine years. Just a few points. I would begin planning and booking artist for the next season tentatively in January or February. Assuming that previous sponsors would remain onboard I surmised that concerts would be covered for at least two months. The bucket, (which caused a lot of grief, controversy and stress in my last year there) along with my OWN money played a HUGE part in subsidizing the money received from various sponsors so that we could extend the concerts into August and September. Bucket money and my own money also made it possible to hold an end of the season party with three headliners the last day. Most money that I received for hosting was put back into the series. I wasn’t looking to get paid. I and Bucket money also funded BeBop and Books the literacy program and made it possible for me to give away backpacks with school supplies to at least 30-50 children for five years. I suppose that’s fairly obvious now, especially since the series had to be cut short due to funding issues.

    I wish CPN continued success in all of your endeavors. I’m happy that I had an opportunity to bring some of the best national and international acts out to a corner on 50th and Baltimore Avenue in my old neighborhood. While some sought to hold my feet to the fire and even implied improprieties Friday Night Jazz is the thing that I am most proud of in my career. It made a difference to so many people and to my neighborhood.
    All the best
    Denise King

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