December 31, 2020  Newsletter #355     

What are you doing New Year’s?

If you asked me what that would look like as I entered 2020, I am not sure. In reality, who knew that this past year would be a year of such change. Not to sound grim, but gone are the concert halls, the venues, and the music on a stage. Let’s not forget Broadway has gone dark and sadly, no one knows when the “lights and music” will return. 

But on a happy note, this past year music and the musicians took to the streets, sidewalks, patios, parks and any place outdoors where it could be played and people could social distance. At least we found some joy in that. 

Musicians have taken this time to be creative, livestreaming at home and asking for viewers to donate via a virtual tip jar. And that has continued now that the weather has turned cold. Some have even gone securely into a studio to record – “COVID Blues” comes to mind. 

All is not lost and all was not sad. Yes, we lost some amazing and talented musicians in 2020 – Jimmy Heath, Wallace Roney, and Bootsie Barnes, all from Philadelphia and still more. 

But you came to the rescue – you gave to our COVID Relief Fund to assist the musicians in our midst going through such difficulty and your generosity has not gone unnoticed. Because of you, countless musicians were able to keep the heat on, their cars running, buy groceries and prescriptions and more. Jazz Bridge was also able to give out 12 microgrants in the amount of $500 each, because of a generous foundation donation to musicians struggling.

As we head into 2021, Jazz Bridge will focus on what we do best − helping musicians in crisis and helping them navigate these unchartered waters with resources we have taken the time to secure. Your continued support of them and us will see us through this global pandemic and together we’ll get back to being with one another, in person, hopefully sooner, then later now that there is a vaccine. 

Until then, we wish you continued good health, a safe year ahead and lots of music. We miss you and hope you take the time to see our concerts virtually. 

As we enter a new year, a new way of doing things differently, we wish you peace, joy and most of all that 2021 keeps you safe. For me John Lennon said is best: “Imagine all the people living for today…Imagine all the people living life in peace…Imagine all the people sharing all the world…You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one.”

Kim Tucker, Program Director and everyone here at Jazz Bridge.
Start the New Year with Justin Faulkner & Friends
Join us on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 7 pm as Jazz Bridge, in partnership with PNC Arts Alive, will present a virtual concert with drummer, Justin Faulkner, to premier on Jazz Bridge’s website,

Justin Faulkner, in a quote, The New York Times cited him as one of “Five drummers whose time is now.” He is quoted as saying, “So what you’re feeling and hearing should go from within to the drums. If you’re not feeling what you’re playing, then you’re just meandering… If the music doesn’t build, what’s it going to do?”

Faulkner grew up in Philadelphia and attended public schools, singing in the choir. This experience taught him about balance and blending with other voices. Justin started playing gospel, R&B and classical music at 7; at 13 he began weekly gigs with the funk/free-jazz bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma.

He studied classical music with Sam Ruttenburg at the Settlement Music School and trained in jazz at the Kimmel Center and the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & the Performing Arts, joining the Marsalis’ group while still a high school senior.

At 29, Faulkner has already toured the globe many times, has drum endorsements, studied film scoring at Berklee College of Music, studied classical composition with a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra and been an actor in the independent film, “Bolden.” He can now add professor to his growing list of accomplishments as part of the adjunct faculty at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance.

Faulkner has performed, toured or recorded with: Pharoh Sanders, Odean Pope, Tyrone Brown, Peter Nero, Bootsie Barnes, Jimmy Heath, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Yoichi Uzeki, Helen Sung, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ravi Coltrane, Craig McIver, Victor Wooten, Bobby McFerrin, Tim Warfield, James Moody, Orrin Evans and Lee Smith, to name a few. Joining Justin for this high energy concert will be legendary saxophonist, Tim Warfield, pianist Neil Podgurski and bassist, Stanley Ruvinov.

This concert was recorded at WRTI Studios, 1509 Cecil B. Moore Avenue, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19121 and in partnership with PNC Arts Alive. The concerts can be viewed for free, but donations will support our programs for musicians. 

The 2021 Calendar is available.

If you purchased a calendar and have not received it, we are tracking to see where it is. Orders are filled within 24-48 hours and taken to the post office. We are able to track orders and most are delivered within 7 business days, but sometimes a little longer.

Jazz Bridge is monitoring the situation and ask for your continued patience. ~Kim Tucker, Program Director

Harmonizing Art and Life
The Jazz Bridge Project
4323 Main Street, Philadelphia PA 19127
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