Seems like just yesterday we were saying, “It’s on to 2010!” but here we are in 2011 already. And what a start we’re having.

In case you haven’t noticed, CPFJ is doing some things a little different. For instance, while the economy has caused us to increase pricing in some areas, we’ve reduced prices in other areas. And then there’s our latest “Say what?” decision: We’re holding our April concert – NOT at the Hilton Harrisburg as we frequently do – but (hold onto your hats!) at the Hollywood Casino. (How’s that for “different”?)

So, yeah, we’re moving forward — but one thing’s for sure: our taste in only the BEST jazz artists available will never be compromised. For instance, at our first concert for 2011, Feb 20th, we’ll present the Aaron Goldberg Trio.

Goldberg’s recently released “Home” appeared on both DownBeat’s and JazzTimes’ “Best Releases of 2010” lists. The New York Times says, “He’s versatile and impressive, and he swings hard.” And Billboard says, “A talented artist whose calling card is unadorned musicianship.”

As is our custom, a local group will start the festivities at 5pm, with Goldberg opening at 6pm. So mark your calendars for Sunday, Feb 20th at the Hilton in downtown Harrisburg.

Our March 20th Sunday concert is no less exciting. Featuring the Etienne Charles Quartet, whom the JazzTimes calls “A daring improviser,” who “delivers with heart-wrenching lyricism,” Charles will perform tunes from his “Folklore,” which is a blend of jazz improvisation and folk rhythms of his native islands Trinidad and Tobago.

Charles kicks off at 6pm, with a local jazz group starting at 5pm.

More on our April performance at a later date. For now, plan to see our Feb and Mar shows at the Hilton!

All the best,



What a great way to start our 31st season! The Tierney Sutton Band mesmerized our audience on Sunday night, following the CPFJ All-Star Youth Band under the direction of Maestro Ronnie Waters.

Simply put, Sutton has the voice of an angel. Her vocal talents, her range, give as indication of why she was acknowledged one of the top five female vocalists in the world by DownBeat International Critics Poll.

The band, completely in sync, work together like bees and honey. Even minus its drummer (due to an incident requiring that he return to the west coast early Sunday morning), the remaining “trio” performed brilliantly. Indeed, it was a night to remember.


Up next: October 17th’s anticipated performance with the enthusiastic, energetic, entertaining sounds of the one and only PONCHO SANCHEZ!

You don’t want to miss that one!

Remembering Hank Jones

May 18, 2010

True Legend

Hank Jones, a true giant of jazz piano, passed away at the age of 91 on May 16, 2010 in NYC. CPFJ was lucky enough to have presented him in person at one of our earlier festivals.

Jones remained vital right up to the end, playing and touring in Japan earlier this year, staying active on the NYC scene and having been scheduled for a European tour this summer.

We are fortunate that his life and legacy have been well chronicled from their start. He received every honor the jazz world offers. His recordings easily number in the hundreds (and probably thousands).

Not to be forgotten is the role Hank played in breaking down racial barriers in network TV 60 years ago. With quiet dignity and personality, coupled with amazing talent, he truly resembled Jackie Robinson (sports) and Lena Horne (film) with their contributions.

Today no one thinks twice when they see a musician of color backing a Jay Leno, David Letterman or a Saturday Night Live host.

To a great degree, Hank Jones made that possible.

Mr Jones, we thank you

Submitted by Gary Hoffman

I need to take a breather. I’m hyperventilating and can hardly contain myself. Why? Bobby Broom, that’s why! (Have you HEARD him play?)

The jazz guitarist will perform on Sunday, January 31st at the Hilton Harrisburg. He starts promptly at 6pm (Lebanon Valley College Jazz Band under the leadership of Tom Strohman begins at 5pm), and I am psyched!

Broom’s latest CD, “Bobby Broom Plays for Monk” features several of the most memorable of Thelonious Monk’s tunes, including “Straight No Chaser” and “‘Round Midnight” – and I’m highly anticipating hearing these in person – up close and personal.

Just as jazz was meant to be enjoyed.