It has really only been a couple of weeks since I sat down with Lori Factor, Phil Moore & Lyndsey Hughes to consider the possibilities of holding this event. Literally. There was so little time to plan, so few resources to draw from and so much to do that to simply say 'No' & Walk Away would have been more disastrous than taking on the challenge and neither of us had it in our hearts to do so. Youngstown deserves a celebration this grand. Our Community Needs every Opportunity to Come together and Enjoy The Fabulous Arts & Entertainment Culture to enrich us and the entire weekend will be ripe from one side of the Downtown Sector to the Other, so The 2011 Jazz Fest fits right in.
I do want to take the opportunity to thank the wonderful sponsors who have supported us. Truly without their contributions, we could not have pulled this event together. Our volunteers are providing us the manpower us move this festival along, so there will be no glitches or delays. We Salute Them!
I personally want to say Thank You to Lori for her 'take charge' attitude in already having to shoulder the responsibility of the Summer Arts Fest adding our concerns to her agenda and just flat out "handling it!" To Phil Moore (who has become my 'Uncle' in the process) not only for all of the work that he is doing at the Convention & Visitor's Bureau, but for his complete dedication to this event going forward. It was his "I'll see to it happening" and "We'll Raise The Money" and "We're Moving Forward" that kept the train on the tracks, even when it seemed like we were running out of steam. Lyndsey's contribution was invaluable, as she too needed to juggle her responsibilities as Special Events Coordinator for the City. She always made time for us, lent incredible support, resources and knowledge to point us in the right direction. What a TEAM!
I also want to thank the Multimedia Community for Getting on Board. We've received encouragement from Local & Regional Radio, TV & Print Sources. In fact, tomorrow morning, Sunday July 3rd, on WFMJ-TV21's "Community Connection" with Madonna Chism-Pinkard, Jazz Pianist Phillip K Jones & Myself will appear on the show, with Phil performing an incredible song from his latest CD. Thanks Madonna for the incredible opportunity! You've Always come through for The City!!
And as we approach our final week of preparation, we'll be unveiling a few surprises...to be revealed next week(!)
1) Our Mistress of Ceremonies is none other than the lovely and gifted _________________________, who has a major passion for music. Her work here in the community is appreciated on a daily basis and her knowledge of the jazz genre is going to keep the audience engaged all evening. We're blessed that she has agreed to participate!
2) Joining SounDoctrine on stage all evening is the Very Special Guest:__________________________! Yes, I did say _______________________! Jazz Fans every where will be edging closer to the stage to hear ____________________ do their thing! They have traveled the world over, and with Major Label albums framing their discography, they have worked with other Majors from Gerald Veasley to Cabo Frio to Joe McBride and Many, Plenty Others.
It's Going to Be A Truly Magical Evening.
Are You Ready??