The Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival was developed by Blues to Green, led by the efforts of founder Kristin Neville, along with Evan Plotkin, President of NAI Plotkin and Director of Springfield City Mosaic, with the hope that people of many different communities could unite in Springfield, the urban center of Western Massachusetts, to share their love for music and art.
The Festival celebrates music as well as its host the city of Springfield, whose many cultural attractions, rich historical legacy and beautiful architecture are too often overshadowed by a negative perception of the city. By presenting the festival in the heart of downtown, the organization seeks to bolster a positive image of Springfield, engage artists and a diverse community in fueling its revitalization, and emphasize its place as a cultural hub and driver of cultural excellence in the region.
This free outdoor festival, accessible to people of all ages and walks of life, presents many unique opportunities for the Springfield community. The participation of community groups and non-profits is actively encouraged, allowing them to reach new audiences and raise awareness about their causes. Thousands of people spend the day enjoying themselves downtown, stimulating the local economy and walking away exposed to the richness of cultural and dining opportunities available to them there year round. Above all, the festival inspires younger generations and has the power to spark their interest in jazz and roots music. That spark could be the reason a child or a teenager decides to pick up a saxophone or a microphone–maybe one day they will even be performing in front of a cheering audience in Court Square. In a time when arts and music education is far from accessible, this event offers the opportunity to open the eyes of children and young adults to a brand new world: a world full of wonderful sounds and passionate people.
Blues to Green, Inc. is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization.
Blues to Green uses music to bring people together, uplift and inspire, and to help build a more equitable and sustainable world. The Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival will embody this mission by gathering people of all walks of life to enjoy the wonderful, beautiful sounds of jazz, gospel, Latin jazz, blues, and more.
Blues to Green hopes to continue presenting the Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival annually for many years to come, with the help of loving fans, supporters, and sponsors. Each year, an increasing number of children and young adults will be exposed to genres of music that may be unfamiliar to them. With opportunities to learn from and listen to professional musicians, the festival strives to help younger generations develop a continuously growing appreciation for jazz, art, and culture in their communities.
It is our aim to grow and become a festival that celebrates and supports the work of the many community organizations in Springfield who are working to uplift the city and its residents through the arts, youth development, and community building in so many ways. In addition, the festival strives to be an inclusive event and to model environmentally sustainable practices.