“Jazz is as synonymous with New York City as the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty. On any given night, live jazz options abound for nearly all preferences and budgets.
Then there’s the serendipity: those times when we encounter a jazz band performing on a subway platform or a saxophonist playing amid the trees in a park. That sort of scene is undoubtedly what some unsuspecting souls will come across in Central Park this weekend — especially if they venture to the northern end, where the annual Great Jazz on the Great Hill festival will convene for its ninth iteration.
This free concert, on Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m., will feature a range of jazz and blues musicians, including the George Gee Swing Orchestra; the King Solomon Hicks Blues Quintet; Ray Schinnery, a blues guitarist, singer and songwriter; and the actress and singer Ebony Jo-Ann. Dancing and family activities will be among the other highlights at this event, hosted by the Central Park Conservancy, a nonprofit that oversees maintenance and restoration of the park and is celebrating its 35th anniversary.
As many a fan of live jazz knows, partaking of food or drink is de rigueur at most clubs. In Central Park, though, (almost) anything goes. Feel free to pack a picnic, sample fare from food trucks (including Kimchi Taco, Coolhaus ice cream and Andy’s Italian Ices NYC) or simply soak up the rays.“