Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Newburgh Jazz-Go-Round Forced to Cancel

The highly anticipated return of the Ferry Godmother to the City of Newburgh has officially come to an end. The Newburgh Jazz-Go-Round third free outdoor concert scheduled for Thursday is cancelled as well as the grand finale next week. The event producer, Aquanetta “Ferry Godmother” Wright cites the lack of funding and sponsorships as the reason she was forced to cancel the remainder of the new series. The Newburgh Jazz-Go-Round is financed entirely by individual donations and revenue generated by business advertising and marketing sponsorship opportunities. With two weeks to go Ferry Godmother Productions cannot risk getting into further debt, having her stellar reputation with the musicians damaged or both.

For a number of years Ferry Godmother Production had underwritten many of the expenses at previous concerts in the City of Newburgh but agreed to return only if never having to go out on a financial limb again. Any underfunded series of concerts run the risk of not being able to pay its’ bills. The production company still is obligated to pay any bills associated with the event, even if the weather conditions are bad and a show is cancelled.

Newburgh Jazz-Go-Round was created as a way to bring live music back to the City of Newburgh, more importantly into the diverse neighborhoods. The focus of the event is to create a family friendly event, which reaches into communities helping to pass the culture of jazz on to new generations—while enhancing the quality of life for people of all ages and backgrounds. Aquanetta states “I have attempted to return to Newburgh at the request of many but the series has failed to generate the funding necessary to make this dream a reality.”

The concerts were scheduled to be held each Thursday in a different park or playground around the city. So far there have been two concerts held, one in the heights section with Gabriele Tranchina and 7 times Grammy nominee Bobby Sanabria and the other in Colonial Terrace Park featuring Crazy Feet Band performing swing and lindy hop music of the 20s and 30s.

The City of Newburgh residents should recognize and commend the individuals which supported the free community concerts: Hannah Brooks, Judi Silvano, Anthony Davidowitz, Judy Kennedy, Fred & Betsy McCurdy, David & Mary McTamaney, Patricia Sullivan and Doug Abramson. There are also the supportive businesses; Newburgh Free Library, Storm King Art, Center, DMU Music, Larry’s Steps Inc. and SB Merchant Service.

For a number of years Ferry Godmother Productions produced a high profile and successful music venture, Newburgh Jazz Series. The series departed the city’s waterfront at the end of summer 2011 based on a lack of “adequate parking”.

If the funding becomes available there is an opportunity to reinstate the final concert scheduled that features Lillie Bryant-Howard, to be held in front of the Old Courthouse Park on Grand St. in downtown Newburgh. For details about being a sponsor contact the Ferry Godmother at

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