In the last few decades, June has become the busiest month for jazz in New York City, home to the biggest jazz scene in the world. But who is actually going to these shows? A small team of Bloggers Supreme has been attending the festivities — primarily, the CareFusion Jazz Festival New York. In between our reports on various goings-on, we'll be talking to the some of the people who are actually in the audience. We start off every conversation with the simple question: how did you hear about this show? And be sure to check out more of our Meet The Jazz Audience series. —Ed.
Stuart Math, 63
with friends Karen Goldstein, 59 and Pat O'Neill, 61
Performer: David Ostwald's Louis Armstrong Centennial Band
Venue: Louis Armstrong House Museum (Corona, Queens)
Event: CareFusion Jazz Festival New York
Date: Jun. 19, 2010
Stuart Math (center) of Manhattan, with fellow swing dancers Karen Goldstein and Pat O'Neill.
Stuart Math (center) of Manhattan, with fellow swing dancers Karen Goldstein and Pat O'Neill. Patrick Jarenwattananon/NPR
How did you hear about this show? Goldstein: I think, actually, I was online for the Louis Armstrong Museum, and saw the listing for the CareFusion Festival. This was one of the concerts that was part of the festival. That's how we all heard about it.
Math: And we're familiar with the musicians. We've heard them in other venues, and I've always wanted to come here — I thought this would be a great place to go to.
Do you live around here in Queens? I live in Manhattan.
You made the trek. It's not too bad. There's public transportation.
It's how I got here certainly. So what did you think? Fantastic — it was a fantastic concert. ... The [Louis Armstrong House] is just a — it's just a great institution in the city. It's really fortunate to have this out here. And the garden — I had no idea there was a garden here. It's just a beautiful garden. Perfect setting for this gorgeous evening. Good music, good friends.
Did anything stand out to you? It's great to see [trombonist] Benny Powell today. I hadn't seen him — he's fantastic. It's great to see him still playing. [Powell died a week later; he was 80. —Ed.]
Do you guys go out to see a lot of jazz shows? A fair amount, yea. We go to see jazz quite regularly, really. In fact, we've seen [almost] all these folks before at various places. ... We know each other from dancing; we're all swing dancers. So we listen to a lot of swing music; go to a lot of live music for dancing, go out to [Lincoln Center's] Midsummer Night Swing in the city.
Great. Anything else you'd want to say about tonight? Come out to see the Louis Armstrong House — it's really quite remarkable. It's a reminder of what an amazing guy he was, too. With his stature, to live in a regular, middle-class neighborhood. It's a reminder of what a down-to-earth man he was. It's also just a reminder of what his contribution was.