The annual Jazz in the Valley concert in upstate Rosedale, New York has been perhaps a best kept secret. Although, not really. As really cool stuff tends to go, those who know – know. For others, well, sooner or later they’ll eventually catch on.
Now, in its seventh year, Jazz in the Valley kicked off its first successful concert in 2000, featuring Ahmad Jamal, and was an instant smash. Founder and creator, Greer Smith, then a recently transplanted upstate-New Yorker, marshaled her very spirited cultural worker sensibilities and fulfilled a vision that has consistently drawn throngs of downstate and out-of-state lovers of the jazz idiom, as well as folks who simply enjoy having a good time. Past performers include Randy Weston, Roy Hargrove, Jann Parker, Ron Carter and the late Oscar Brown, Jr. in his final concert.
An audience adept not only with an instinct for identifying and embracing the real happenings but also blessed with a burgeoning desire to share their glory with friends and family, Smith, CEO of TransArt and Cultural Services, each year has watched her dream grow almost purely by word of mouth. Formerly a one-day event, Jazz in the Valley has now become a full weekend activity held at three venues (Aug 26-27), and now includes a three-day African Diaspora Cinema Series (Aug 25-27).
Breathtaking mountain views, biking and hiking combine a sumptuous open air concert and a taste of Mid-Hudson splendor. Jazz in the Valley with tent and lawn seating is a rare treat against the picturesque Williams Lake Resort in Rosedale, NY; a lovely summer getaway at the price is right. Of course a smooth scenic ride awaits drivers. But Smith, a Brooklyn native herself, has also thought through public travel considerations to make downstaters sojourns as stress-free as possible. Limited direct shuttles to the main concert from the Poughkeepsie train station are being provided as well as special bus arrangements for groups.
To plan a group bus trip: Ed Desisso at 646 379-7643, Tickets or transportation by bus call Rich Washington (646) 220-9051 For information visit www.transartinc.org.
This year’s Jazz in the Valley performers are: Cedar Walton, Curtis Fuller, Joe Cuba, Kevin Mahogany, Michelle Rosewoman, Ray Schinnery, Carol