Residents of the Cecil B. Moore community in North Philadelphia celebrated the 10th anniversary of Jazz on the Ave this past Saturday.
Each summer, Jazz on the Ave brings together noticeable jazz musicians, entertainers and performers from around the country. Organized by Beech Community Services the free music festival was hosted this year by radio personalities Patty Jackson of WDAS and Dyana Williams of WRNB.
Beech Community Services has invested millions into the area around Cecil B. Moore and Broad Street, according to CBS News. Beech launched Jazz on the Ave ten years ago to get those who once lived in the community to return.
Musical performances included Marcy Francis, Chris Washburne, Jeff Bradshaw and many more.
“Jazz on the Ave started back in 2006 in a little lot on Cecil B. Moore and started out as just a way of engaging the community and bringing the community residents together,” Christine Brown, director and administrator of Beech Interplex community service said. “There are a lot of people that are actually attending the festival, I think one of the reason is because a lot of the other festivals have shut down and Jazz on the Ave is one of the only free festivals available in Philadelphia.”
Developing the festival is a lot of work, Brown added, but the passion that she feels about the project and the assistance from those in the Cecil B. Moore community pushes her to give "110 percent" each year.
“The whole idea is really about community engagement and bringing residents back who lived here, back into the community for fellowship and to just have a fun filled day with free activities,” Brown said. “We showcase individuals as far as California, North Carolina and New York City. The attendance is definitely increasing.”
One of the many positive aspects of Jazz on the Ave, Brown said, is that it brings awareness to the North Philadelphia community. It helps community residents have an opportunity to come together and know who their neighbors are.
“Unfortunately, we have a lot of individuals who live in this community that are not able to afford to take their family or children to the shore or amusement park,” Brown said. “So this is an event that they can come for free and bring their entire family.”