Jazz in the Square brings nights to life


Courtesy Photo
Cercie Miller of the Cercie Miller Quartet

The first Friday of each month Roslindale is home to Jazz in the Square in the national historic land mark Roslindale Congregational Church on Cummins Highway. The last concert was in May. Concerts begin again in October.

“One thing we thought needed to happen in Roslindale was more night life,” said Bob Tumposky of Roslindale Village Main Streets.

Tumposky—an amateur jazz musician—began talks with the minister of the church about holding some sort of music event in 2002. The two agreed a regular local concert was a good idea. The minister was thinking folk, Tumposky said.

“The idea of music close to home was appealing,” said Tumposky.

The result was Jazz in the Square, a chance to bring neighbors and other residents together for music and a night in the Roslindale Village business district area.

Now the event is linked with local restaurants. Roslindale Village Main Streets organized “Night Out in Your Neighborhood.” People who dine at participating restaurants from 5 to 7 p.m. on a Jazz in the Square night receive a 10 percent discount from their meal, and a $2 dollar cut in the cost of admission to the show.

“We figured, why not make a night out of it,” said Janice Williams of Roslindale Village Main Streets. “I spoke to a number of restaurants and asked them if they would be willing to do a discount program the night of the concert.”

“It’s kind of a cool deal,” said Williams. “It certainly has increased the interest in dining. At that time, most restaurants are slow. They don’t really gear up to 7 p.m. on Friday nights. So, I think it has been advantageous to the restaurants.”

Participating restaurants include Bangkok Café; Birch Street Bistro; NuVo Kitchen and Wine Bar; Salute; and Sophia’s Grotto.

Tumposky said the age of conert attendees varies and this past year, there have been from 65 to over 100 people present any given Friday night, an increase in numbers from past years.

“Over time it builds up and the mailing list gets bigger,” he said. “People hear about it. We try to take in bands with somewhat of a following.”

Past performers include the Mood Swings, a 17-piece big band, the John Payne Quartet and Saxophone Choir, and Jamaica Plain’s Centre Street Trio.

“I wish we could get more young kids,” said Tumposky, referring to the general age range of the crowd. He said there were not very many 20-somethings who went, but there were a good number of people ages 30 and up.

“Maybe they just aren’t into jazz—or maybe they don’t want to hang out with people who are 50,” said Tumposky as he laughed.

The organizers of Jazz in the Square request a $10 dollar donation for admittance to the show. Kids under 12 pay $5; for kids under 6 the show is free. For more information call 327-4065 or visit www.jazzinthesquare.net. For information on other Roslindale events visit www.roslindale.net.

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