The Library Jazz Band, a musical treasure of Yonkers, is set to captivate audiences with two innovative programs in the 2023-2024 season, thanks to the generous support of the Yonkers Arts Initiative grant from ArtsWestchester. This funding, made possible by Westchester County, ensures that these performances will be free for the public to enjoy.
The Library Jazz Band is a 17-person jazz collective comprising musicians and educators from Yonkers, the Bronx, and Westchester County. With a passion for the big band format, the ensemble dives into classic arrangements, while also exploring modern interpretations of tunes by artists such as the Rolling Stones, and Stevie Wonder.
The inaugural concert of the season, titled “The Stars in Our Backyard! Library Jazz Band Salutes Local Luminaries, then and now,” premiers on Sunday, November 19, at 2 pm. The performance will take place at the Yonkers Public Library, Grinton I. Will Library, located at 1500 Central Park Avenue. Additionally, a second concert is in the works for Spring 2024 at the Riverfront Branch.
The program is a celebration of Yonkers’ rich musical heritage. It pays homage to local luminaries who have shaped the city’s sonic landscape over the last century. The Library Jazz Band spotlights the community by featuring compositions from figures like Ella Fitzgerald and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.
Among the notable artists contributing to this musical extravaganza are Ralph Lalama, a three-time Grammy winner, on tenor saxophone; Amy London, celebrated for her vocals in New York City jazz and Broadway circles; and the Library Jazz Band’s own talented members, including pianist Sarah Jane Cion, trumpeter/flugelhorn player Kim E. Burgie, trombonist Rob Susman, and trumpeter Ron Horton.
As the Library Jazz Band prepares to take the stage for an unforgettable musical season, the Yonkers Arts Initiative grant from ArtsWestchester exemplifies the community’s commitment to fostering and celebrating local artistic talent. The upcoming performances promise to be a harmonious blend of nostalgia, innovation, and the vibrant spirit of Yonkers’ musical legacy.