In late 2009, Boston musician Rick Berlin and Shamus Moynihan, who then worked at The Midway Cafe, ran into each other in a laundromat on Centre Street and started talking about how both Cambridge and Somerville had their own music festivals, but Jamaica Plain did not. This year commemorates the 8th anniversary of the Jamaica Plain Music Festival, a neighborhood event that can be traced back to that conversation.
The free festival will be held at Pinebank Field at Jamaica Pond on Sept. 8th from 12–7 p.m.
The first festival, held in 2010, immediately drew thousands of people to come hear music, hang with friends, have some food, and enjoy Pinebank Field near Jamaica Pond. This year will be no different. Through the years the festival has added numerous food trucks and children’s activities (such as drumming and music instrument making) to the mix. It’s become a popular Boston event for late summer and attracts people from all over Greater Boston, with more than 5,000 people attending each year. The fest is produced by Moynihan and Berlin, with help from Margie Nicoll, Justin McCarthy, David “Ferris” Mueller, and Charles McEnerney.
“Part of what makes the JP Music Festival so special is that these are artists and musicians who live and work among us,” McEnerney said. “Every act who applies and can perform needs to have one person who either lives or works in Jamaica Plain (and performs original music). So since the festival began, it really has had the spirit of being among your neighbors and, most importantly, discovering some great new local music you would never know about otherwise.”
McEnerney says that musicians of every age perform, and the event is a spotlight on a variety of genres and styles.
This year the festival has an eclectic mix of genres, from rock and cabaret, Americana and Venezuelan, musical theatre to punk rock, folk to dance music. A few highlights include: The Submissions, made up entirely of JP high school students; VogueX, “Boston’s own ballroom gems,”; Eduardo Betancourt, a Venezuelan musician harpist, producer, arranger, composer, and multi-instrumentalist with 25 years of experience on the traditional and fusion Venezuelan music; Hallelujah The Hills, explained in The Boston Herald as “the kind of punk rock you’d expect on stage at the roadhouse from Twin Peaks” and also noted for their “vivid lyrics” and “fist pumping anthems” by Pitchfork; and The Sheila Divine, a recently reunited rock band.
The festival has two stages, so the performances rotate back and forth all day long. Each act gets 20 minutes to perform.
“The JP Music Festival brings together the JP community in a way that many Boston events do not, so the event producers are proud to bring everyone together for such a unique, memorable, and tranquil day,” McEnerney said. “Once everyone descends on Pinebank for the music, it is great to see friends having a chance to catch up with each other, families having a stress-free day, and everyone connecting in a way that rarely happens with everyone’s busy lives.”
The event is completely supported by local sponsors including Galway House, Mission Realty Advisors, J.P. Licks, Tres Gatos, Arborview Realty, Evergreen Eatery + Cafe, The Frogmore, Grenier Print Shop, The Haven, JP Seafood Cafe, and the Midway Cafe. Support is also provided from a variety of in-kind sponsors, as well as from hundreds of donors who contribute through our GoFundeMe account as well as at tables set up at various entry points to the festival.
Food trucks this year include Bao Nation, Bon Me, Bukhara Indian Bistro, Daddy’s Bonetown Burgers, J.P. Licks, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, Sheherazad, and Taco Party. Jaymz Purtle is helping out with activities for kids, including drumming and making instruments, as well as other fun activities for children.
For more info, visit jpmusicfestival.com, or follow the event on Facebook at http://facebook.com/JPMusicFest or Twitter at http://twitter.com/JPMusicFestival for the latest updates.