Last year we learned about an annual event in Sunnyside Queens too late to help spread the word. But this year we’re on it, and we encourage readers in the area to help a neighborhood remember its place in jazz history.
The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert, which is held in Bliss Plaza near a subway entrance, has featured a number of local swing and Dixieland acts over the years. A Bix memorial band is always part of the show. It’s made up of New York traditional jazz musicians and organized under the name The Sunnyside Wolverines, in honor of Bix’s early band The Wolverine Orchestra. Cait and the Critters will make a return appearance. They are heard throughout the year at venues for traditional jazz across the city. With special guests from Swing Dance Astoria scheduled to be on hand, there is sure to be dancing in the streets.
“The Memorial started in 2001 when I learned that Bix died in Sunnyside, where I live. I was unable to find the exact address. I found contact information for Bix’s great nephew. He found the address info and sent it to me. The building is across the street from where I live. I told someone who was a community leader, he suggested I hold a memorial event. It grew from there, getting local politicians and organizations involved. But basically, it’s still a one-man operation with me running around each year to raise funding.”
Thursday, August 8, 2019 – 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Bliss Plaza – 46th Street
46th Street & Queens Boulevard, Queens, NY, 11104
Free to the Public
The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Concert is part of Beats in Bliss Plaza which features family friendly games and activities followed by live music and performances from Queens-based musicians on Thursdays from May 2 – September 26, 2019 from 4 – 7pm.