Youth Workshop

with the Garifuna Collective

Prior to their evening performance, the Garifuna Collective will provide a youth oriented educational workshop, sharing their history, culture, and language and leading attendees in drumming, dancing and singing activities. Participating community organizations include the South End Community Center, Martin Luther King Family Services, the New North Citizens’ Council and the summer music programs at the Community Music School of Springfield CMSS.

The Garifuna Collective's performance is supported by a grant from the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies.
5PM - 7PM
MLK Center Gymnasium

Second Line Dance Workshop

Experience the vibrant tradition of Second Line dance at the Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival's workshop with Tracey Thomas. 

Taking place on Thursday, July 11th from 5 - 7 pm at the MLK Center Gymnasium, this workshop dives into the rich history of Second Line parades. 

Originating from West African circle dances brought to New Orleans by enslaved Africans, Second Line parades evolved into a celebration of community, music, and dance.

 Participants will learn the distinctive dance style characterized by energetic strutting, accompanied by parasols and handkerchiefs, embodying the spirit of freedom and cultural resilience. 

Don't miss this opportunity to explore and engage with one of America's most enduring cultural traditions.

sjr dance workshop
2PM - 6PM
Tower Square

Digital Storytelling Space to Highlight Arts for Racial & Climate Justice at 2024 Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival

This year’s Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival will feature a groundbreaking Digital Storytelling Space in Tower Square on Saturday, dedicated to supporting Arts for Racial & Climate Justice.

Currently in its nascent stages, this program's inaugural project focuses on a documentary exploring Puerto Rico's food sovereignty, art, music, and resilience amid climate change. Inspired by past Jazz Festivals, this initiative underscores the festival's commitment to cultural and environmental activism.

Blues to Green, an organization embedded within climate change and health equity initiatives, has long recognized the transformative power of art and culture. Collaborations with Commonwealth Murals and LiveWell Springfield have further strengthened these efforts, elevating voices from the frontlines of climate change.

Brendaliz Cepeda, a descendant of Puerto Rico’s renowned Cepeda family known for Bomba y Plena music, epitomizes this spirit. Her artistic journey reflects her heritage and the resilience of her community, offering hope and inspiration.
In 2023, Tara Rodriguez Besosa of El Departamento La Comida in Puerto Rico introduced a pop-up art installation in Tower Square Park, intertwining food sovereignty with cultural preservation. Against the urban backdrop, this installation stood as a powerful symbol of resilience, challenging the erasure of Puerto Rico’s cultural heritage and the impacts of climate change and gentrification.

Festival-goers experienced not just art, but compelling narratives of struggle, triumph, and unity. These stories fostered deep reflections on farming, identity, and the resilience of diasporic communities.

This year's installation draws from this inspiration. We invite individuals of Puerto Rican descent to share their stories on Saturday, July 13, at Tower Square from 2 PM to 6 PM.

Artists contributing to this installation include:

Bianca Jiménez, Project Manager, Blues to Green.

Alexis Diaz, Director of the Holyoke Farmers Market.

Jailyne Torres, Graphic Designer.

Iohann Rashi Vega, Director of Media Engagement, Holyoke Media.

Join us in celebrating and supporting the intersection of art, culture, and justice at the Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival.

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New Location!

The Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival takes place on July 12th – 13th, 2024 in the streets surrounding Stearns Square.

About Us

This festival is produced by Blues To Green, a nonprofit organization that harnesses music and the arts to celebrate community and culture, build shared purpose, and catalyze social and environmental change.
Copyright © 2024 Blues To Green Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Site by Laudable Productions
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