The Blue Jay Jazz Festival

Blue Jay Jazz Foundation Postpones Public Concerts to 2021

July 16, 2020 – The Blue Jay Jazz Foundation (BJJF), a non-profit arts and education organization serving communities in Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains, today announced that it will not hold a public outdoor music event in August 2020. The BJJF Board of Directors will instead focus its energy and resources on its year-round educational support programs and a return to live concerts in August 2021.

The Board had delayed making a final decision until late June hoping that the coronavirus pandemic would show signs of diminishing in time to begin the complicated, labor-intensive task of arranging for artists, vendors, stages, sound and lighting equipment. By early June, in fact, there were hopes a public event, properly managed within social distancing and hygiene requirements, would be safe for late August and a proposal submitted to the Arrowhead Lake Association was promptly approved.

However, within that short time it was clear that the pandemic was resurging and that inviting hundreds of community residents and Southern California jazz aficionados to come together, even two months in the future, was the wrong message to send.

“We are greatly disappointed that we will not be able to put on an outdoor concert this year,” said Blue Jay Jazz Foundation President Chris Levister. “But this is a time to join with people around the globe and do our part to stymie the spread, not risk furthering it.”

The other six board members are Wayne Austin, Dr. Hugh Bialecki, Dr. Ernest Levister, Dan Parker, Gina Richardson and Lori Semeniuk.

“We especially thank ALA General Manager Bob Mattison and the ALA board for their quick action and support,” added Bialecki, BJJF Vice President. “The silver lining has been confirming that Blue Jay Jazz has in place a strong, continuing working relationship with ALA, local businesses, schools, fans, and members of our resilient music and arts community.”

Bialecki added that the office of San Bernardino County Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford, especially District Representative Lewis Murray, had provided additional guidance in this effort and final decision.

Area residents and fans across the region who want to help live jazz return to the mountains can support BJJF’s programs – including the Blue Jay Jazz Festival; Future Generation Jazz scholarships for Rim High students; and the companion “Give an Instrument – Inspire a Musician” and “Instrument Lending” programs – with a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. Just download the printable mail-in contribution form on our support webpage.

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