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Celebrity Series of Boston Announces

Jazz Along the Charles: A Walkable Concert

Sunday, September 23, 2018

25 jazz bands. 25 locations.

Band Applications Currently Being Accepted

March 9, 2018 Boston, MA --  On a single fall afternoon, 25 jazz ensembles will gather at a series of connected, walkable locations along the Charles River Esplanade, interpreting the same curated list of Boston-related tunes in one collective free concert that celebrates the great jazz community in Boston today.

Such is the vision of Jazz Along the Charles: A Walkable Concert produced by the Celebrity Series of Boston.  On Sunday, September 23, 2018, 25 jazz bands will come together simultaneously to interpret one curated list of Boston-related tunes, each in their own style.  Ensembles of differing sizes, representing a variety of genres, will each play an important role, creating a dynamic and evolving jazz concert experience.

The audience will stroll along the Charles River on a two-mile loop on the Esplanade, engaging in an aural experience that evolves as they encounter one ensemble after another. Each ensemble will perform the same music but in many different styles, with a wide variety of instruments and artists, thereby creating a single, large-scale performance event.

“Jazz is a core part of the Celebrity Series season programming every year and Jazz Along the Charles will shine a spotlight on the range of local talent, creating a walkable concert experience open to all,” said Gary Dunning, Celebrity Series President and Executive Director.  “This performance continues the commitment of the Celebrity Series to ensuring the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience. Building off the success of Let’s Dance Boston! and Street Pianos Boston, Jazz Along the Charles will allow us to bring a concert experience to the Esplanade that exposes a new audience to the wonders of jazz.”

Local jazz ensembles of all styles and genres are encouraged to apply for participation in the concert and applications are currently being accepted through April 16, 2018.  Amateur, collegiate, pre-professional and professional ensembles interested in being part of the shared experience and community of a large-scale event are welcome. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee of educators, musicians and administrators.

Selected ensembles will simultaneously play two 45-minute sets, curated by composer, saxophonist, and band leader Ken Field.  Curated set lists will include songs inspired by Boston or with a Greater Boston connection.  Each group is encouraged to interpret the material in their own way, and to choose one song at the end of each set from their own repertoire.  More information and applications are available at www.jazzalongthecharles.org

"Jazz Along the Charles will showcase both the diversity and the unity of the Boston area jazz community, while celebrating the energy and spontaneity of improvisational music in a wide range of styles,” said Ken Field.  “All area jazz musicians are encouraged to apply for participation in what will surely be a unique and powerful shared experience for both performers and audiences.”

Jazz Along the Charles reinforces the Celebrity Series’ commitment to free public performance experiences for the people of Boston. Jazz Along the Charles is part of Celebrity Series’ Arts for All! community engagement programs, which reach thousands of individuals annually through master classes with main stage artists in public schools and conservatories; hands-on, interactive workshops for youth led by a core group of Boston area artists; free community concerts in Boston neighborhoods; free and discounted tickets to Celebrity Series performances; and large-scale, participatory public events such as  Street Pianos Boston in 2013 and 2016, Le Grand Continental in 2014, and Let’s Dance Boston! in 2015 and 2017.

 Jazz Along the Charles is sponsored by Leslie & Howard Appleby, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Amy & Joshua Boger, Donna & Michael Egan, and the Barr Foundation.  The concert is produced in cooperation with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and The Esplanade Association. For more information, visit www.jazzalongthecharles.org



Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 79-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Diana Krall, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.

From orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, spoken word, and more, Celebrity Series has been bringing great artists to Boston’s major concert halls for nearly eight decades. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its Arts for All! community programs, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere.


The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Leslie & Howard Appleby, Amy & Joshua Boger, the Barr Foundation, the Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Donna & Michael Egan, Foley & Lardner LLP, the French-US Exchange in Dance, Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda, David & Harriet Griesinger, Zachary Haroutunian and the Garbis & Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, in memory of Blanche & George Jones, Paul L. King, the Liberty Mutual Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, Eleanor & Frank Pao, The Peabody Foundation, Melinda and James Rabb, the Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, the Royal Little Family Foundation, the Stifler Family Foundation, Belinda Termeer, Michael and Susan Thonis, Tufts Health Plan, Nancy Richmond Winsten, Anonymous, and many others.