Founded in 1996 by the late Dr. Mary Umolu, the Medgar Evers College Jazzy Jazz Festival, sponsored by the Department of Mass Communications, Creative and Performing Arts and Speech, is a musical and cultural happening in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. Every year since then, hundreds of aficionados and members of the community have made this event into a Brooklyn summer tradition. The festival has become the stage for a series of exceptional musicians who engage local residents.

Medgar Evers College is pleased to announce that its 2015 Summer Jazzy Jazz Festival will be held on eight Friday evenings, from July 10 to Aug. 28, in front of the college’s Academic Complex building at the corner of Bedford Avenue and Crown Street. The program takes place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Seating is on a first come, first served basis. This event is free to the public.

The Dr. Mary Umolu Jazzy Jazz Festival will pay tribute to the great pianist Randy Weston, 89, who has been associated with Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Eubie Blake, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Lena Horne, among countless others. Scheduled performers currently include Randy Weston African Rhythms, A Touch of Ambience, Firey String Sistas, Pan Sonatas, Brandon Sanders and the Swing Machine, the Medgar Evers Jazz Ensemble, the Vincent Gardner Quintet and Damon Banks’ Travel Guides, with special guest Gwen Laster.

Originally created as the Jazzy Jazz Festival, the festival has been renamed the Dr. Mary Umolu Jazzy Jazz Festival in honor of Umolu, who was a professor and chair of the Department of Mass Communication, Creative and Performing Arts and Speech at Medgar Evers College. Umolu was committed to educating a new generation about the history of the only uniquely American art form created in the 20th century, jazz, thus ensuring that the entire community heard the music.

“The department is carrying forth the legacy and goal of this extraordinary educational and cultural program. Attendees can relax in style to the rhythms of jazz in the cool and friendly outdoors. We do not envision Jazzy Jazz as simply a summer concert event. This festival and its performers will become embedded in the educational life of the community,” said Dr. Clinton Crawford, current chair of the department.

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