The Fairfield Museum is thrilled to announce the return of its popular summer concert series, Jazz Fridays! Free performances will be held every Friday from July 31 through August 28 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm on the rear patio of the Museum, located at 370 Beach Road. This popular concert series features talented regional jazz artists and ensembles.
Attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs or blankets and a picnic to enjoy while social distancing during the event (see below for safety guidelines). In case of inclement weather, visit fairfieldhistory.org or call (203) 259-1598 for updates prior to the performances. Jazz Fridays is generously sponsored by Bank of America and the Connecticut Office of the Arts, with thanks to Alan and Sylvia Neigher and media partner WPKN.
Jazz Fridays performances include:
July 31 – Brian Torff & Friends
August 7 – Mark Naftalin
August 14 – Jim Clark
August 21 – Cookie Thomas
August 28 – Chris Coogan Quartet
Brian Torff is a renowned bassist, composer, author and educator. He is Professor of Music and Music Program Director at Fairfield University and a featured bass soloist who performs in jazz festivals throughout the United States. In 1992, Brian served as co-chairperson of the Music Advisory Board for the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 2008 he was honored as Artist of the Year by the Fairfield Arts Council.
Mark Naftalin, described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “a brilliant pianist who puts a touch of genius in his blues”, Naftalin is an American blues keyboardist, recording artist, composer and record producer. He appeared on the first five albums of Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the mid 1960s and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.
Jim Clark is a world-class saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. He leads his own groups, playing tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, and performs and records in a wide variety of musical settings and styles. Whether he is in the recording studio, performing in a small local venue or on stage at Carnegie Hall, his goal is the same – play from the heart with the highest level of musical excellence.
Richard “Cookie” Thomas is a versatile jazz vocalist from Stamford, CT whose career began in Philadelphia in 1960 when he had the opportunity, at fourteen, to open for B.B. King. Richard’s smooth, elegant tone is especially suited to the jazz classics. He draws his inspiration from the likes of Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Johnny Hartman.
Chris Coogan, called “a masterful pianist” by the New York Times, is a composer, performer, teacher, choir director and producer, rooted in the jazz and gospel traditions. A Weston, Connecticut native, Chris leads the Chris Coogan Quartet, a jazz ensemble whose repertoire includes straight-ahead jazz, fusion jazz and boogie-woogie. Chris is the winner of the top jazz prize in the 1997 John Lennon Songwriting Competition for his song Cranberry Isle.
The health and safety of our guests and employees is the Fairfield Museum’s number one priority. Prior to each performance, the Fairfield Museum staff will pre-mark spaces on the lawn for couples or family groups to occupy that adhere to state and local social distancing guidelines. Upon arrival, guests should proceed to an unoccupied pre-marked space. While moving around the property, all guests will be required to wear a facemask and maintain at least 6 feet distance from other people/groups. Masks may be removed while seated in your designated section to enjoy the show. Children must stay with adults at all times and a minimum of six feet distance must be maintained between all other non-family members.
The Fairfield Museum continues to closely monitor government and CDC policy changes and will adapt our protocols & procedures as necessary. For updated information on the Museum’s protocols, visit https://www.fairfieldhistory.org/fairfield-museum-reopening/ prior to each performance.