Rambling Rose: COVID-19 Cancellations of 2020 Jazz & Music Festivals

Hello everyone. I hope if you are reading my column now that you are safe and healthy from this nasty Cronavirus. Those of you who have lost someone to COVID-19 please except my condolences to you and your family. I know everything is such a mess right now but please continue to follow the rules: wear your mask and stay at least six feet from people in public places. “The Fat Lady Is Not Singing Yet!”


Courtesy Photo

Shirley Duncan, Baltimore’s Hand Dance Queen celebrates her 70th birthday this week. She feels very blessed and says thank you for all the good wishes. “Happy Birthday Shirley!”

There are so many of our jazz and music festivals and annual shows have canceled because of this COVID-19 Pandemic. I will inform you about a few. With the COVD-19 pandemic continuing to evolve unpredictably and in accordance with state guidance on large gatherings we have been stripped of our fun time in the live music world.

It’s disappointing news from the state of Rhode Island. The Newport Folk and Jazz Festival that was set to take place at Fort Adams this summer has been canceled. All ticket holders for the festival have the option to receive a full refund if desired. The Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals were created by George Wein (now 94 years old) in 1994 and 1959 respectively. These Festivals are two of the largest running music festivals in history!

The 2020 Hampton Jazz Festival known for bringing the best of jazz, blues, soul and R&B to Hampton Roads has been canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic and has been rescheduled for June 2021. Refunds will be issued automatically to anyone who purchased their tickets online through Ticketmaster. Refunds for tickets purchased at the box office can be obtained by returning the purchased tickets once the office opens up to the public.

The 28th Annual Capital Jazz Fest, originally scheduled for June 5-7, 2020 at the Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, Maryland has been postponed. This is one of my favorite festivals. Each year in early June, tens of thousands of music lovers from throughout the country flock to the suburbs of Washington, D.C. to attend “the jazz festival with soul.” Started in 1993, The Capital Jazz Fest, a multi-day, multi-stage outdoor music festival, which attracts music lovers nationwide, is more than just a concert— it’s an event! It’s a place to people-watch, eat, drink, shop, mingle, relax, soak in the rays, make new friends, and of course hear some of the coolest jazz and soul music on the planet. In-between musical sets, enjoy fine art and crafts at the Festival Marketplace, culinary treats at the food court, and meet & greet the artists. Hopefully next year we all can be there.


Courtesy Photo

A good friend for many years, Bootsie Barnes, well-known saxophonist who was loved and played with many of our local musicians in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area, but was from Philly died April 22, 2020 from COVID-19.

The 2020 French Quarter Festival and Satchmo Summerfest have also been officially canceled. Satchmo Summerfest, a celebration of the legacy of New Orleans native Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong, is generally the first week of August at the Old U.S. Mint. The free French Quarter Festival, which draws hundreds of thousands of attendees every year with a program consisting almost entirely of south Louisiana musicians. We try not to ever miss the New Orleans Festivals, my “Boo Boo” and I go every year for these festivals to cover the exciting events for my column, “Rambling Rose.” We love New Orleans! The city is always full of life, fun and happy people. The 2021dates for the festivals are scheduled April 8-11 for French Quarter Festival and July 30-August 1 for Satchmo SummerFest. The French Quarter Festival followed the same path as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Essence Festival of Culture and the Buku Music + Art Project.

Oh well, I know I should be trying to put a smile on your face and talking about something positive, but this were the cards I was dealt. So in the meantime, stay strong, safe and healthy. And remember, if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474 or email me at rosapryor@aol.com. UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.