Peekskill Jazz and Blues Festival [PHOTOS]

Thousands pack downtown Peekskill for 6th-annual event.

The 6th-annual Peekskill Jazz and Blues Festival drew thousands to Central Avenue and North Division Street on Saturday. The streets were jammin' with people dancing, clapping and having a great time.

Several local businesses kicked off the event at 1 p.m. with a live jazz brunch while later in the day, four acts took to the main stage to entertain the crowd for the free event.

Nation Beat started the show, followed by the Marc Cary Focus Trio, Saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin and Soul Squad, who brought the crowd to it's feet. The show was headlined by Latin Jazz performer Bobby Sanabria & Ascension.

Floyd Kitty July 22, 2012 at 02:37 PM
better last year...bigger crowd better music.
Patty Villanova July 22, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I was very disappointed with this year's J&B and wish that whoever's in charge at the BID would have allowed the very talented gentleman who produced it so successfully last year do it again this year. Instead we had someone who obviously knows nothing about PR, production, Jazz & Blues or how to run a successful event in Peekskill. Despite trying to make in an upscale event by having thee crafts people, the lack of marketing to a more affluent audience kept this event from being all that it should have been. The locals who showed up weren't interested in spending much and it seemed that as ususal the local restaurants and pubs cleaned up. There are less than half a dozen quality retailers left; the rest are make believe variety stores and barber shops that are fronts for other activities. Too bad Jason Angell & the other BID honchos don't bother to read the retail study that's up on the City's website. Until the systemic problems are solved, the City will never return to its former greatness. Very sad.
Peter Goodson July 22, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Patty and Floyd are correct. This year the music stunk and the layout was terrible. The restaurants take up too much of the area and takes away from people who want to sit. Division St. Grill is always the worst and globs up too much space and the food is not too good. Rubens and Quiet Man always are great. Once again I read about a stabbing in Peekskill the same day as the festival. The downtown and city as a whole is dirty, empty storefronts galore and illegal activity in the backrooms of many "delis" etc. Perhaps the city government should face reality and stop trying to deflect away from the real problems of the city. The sad truth is it is going to get worse. Foster & co. are destroying this once great place.
Matt Singleton July 23, 2012 at 12:25 AM
This years festival was better attended and the addition of the food court and craft booths added more to the event. The music was great and it was such a blast to be there with my family and friends. All I can say is congratulations to the folks who produced this and to the Peekskill BID. Mrs Villanova, with all due respect I don't know which festival you speak of but this one topped last years festival by far!
ted bitter July 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no Pain” that's what my brother Bob Marley said. That's how I felt on Saturday evening. Congratulations to the BID and the City of Peekskill on a job well done. The "It was better last year" quote is sounded every year and should be ignored.
C. Anderson July 23, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Well Matt,you must have gone to a different event last year,the food court and the craft areas were instituted for the event last year by that events organizer and last years crowd was a record setter not in any way exceeded by this years show. and there was no blues at a jazz and blues concert. Glad you enjoyed this yraes show Matt, have another beer.
laura koller July 23, 2012 at 01:49 PM
I totally agree w/ most of you. It was a huge disappointment. Where was the scatting, bossa nova or any of the good old endearing jazz standards? Not to mention there wasn't a blues act. Maybe if I could understand the "lyrics" of some of these "musicians" I would have enjoyed it a bit more. Thank goodness for the local establishments like 12 Grapes & St. George's Winery who actually have real jazz / blues performers.
laura koller July 23, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Branwen MacDonald July 23, 2012 at 03:24 PM
The lineup was fantastic this year! Bobby Sanabria's band was world-class, and so much fun to dance to. We stayed until the very end with our kids falling asleep on our shoulders. The whole lineup was great. The food was delicious, the crowd was enthusiastic and it was a perfect evening. Last year's was a blast too - I couldn't find a reason to complain about a fun free event here in the city.
ted bitter July 23, 2012 at 03:30 PM
I own a business in the BID District and am Subject to the BID Tax Many of the Businesses in the BID District are Hispanic and pay the BID Taxes also. Since the BID sponsors the Bulk of the expenses for the event, Latin Jazz is perfectly appropriate. Correct me if I am wrong but this event was free to the Public. The comment about understanding the Lyrics is totally out of line and reeks of something deeper. To set the record straight. This event has gotten better every year. Thanks and Praises to all those who have worked so hard in the past and to those who will continue to work to keep it successful. There are those who don't have the capacity to see anything positive even when it doesn't cost them anything. We refer to those as “HATERS”
leesther brown July 23, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Lighten up! it wasn't that bad in fact I had a great time even seeing you! I hope that next year they could add some more chairs and not have the ropes,every year I meet new folks from far and near the food is always good from 12 grapes,Rubens and La Viletta's hot wings were good enough to smack your mama.Take it easy you lived another year to see another... Pray on seeing next years....
laura koller July 23, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I didn't say a word about the Hispanic. Not sure what you're talking about. I just thought the diction for some of the band's vocalists as well as the sound system made it hard for me to understand. Btw, my daughter is a jazz vocalist & sings Portuguese pieces quite fluently & clearly. I forgot to mention, a shout out to the BeanRunner who also who has great diversfied jazz performers & not just Latin at their cafe. Needless to say, in my opinion, the last band was the best. Maybe next year the local music businesses can have a say & even recommend the talent since they see so many come through their establishments.
ted bitter July 23, 2012 at 09:08 PM
LeeEsther obviously u did not come to the Food Court and try the BeanRunner Jerk Chicken Rice and Peas, Platanos Black Beans and Salad with Ginger Beer? Shame on you ah weh yuh Cum From?
leesther brown July 24, 2012 at 03:07 AM
I didn't know you'll were doing it like that...is that on the menu over there?


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