Walter’s World: Staten Island Jazz Festival Returns October 29

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 info@utasi.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

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