Jazz By The Water returns to Governors Island and beyond with free live music

International jazz day and World Jazz festival. Saxophone, music instrument played by saxophonist player musician in fest.
Photo via Getty Images

Summer is right around the corner, and Governors Island is taking advantage of the warm weather with Arts and JazzFest NYC™.

Now in its 19th year, Arts and JazzFest NYC™ is back with 3rd Annual Jazz By The Water on Governor’s Island. The festival aims to provide an escape for New Yorkers with live jazz performances in a beautiful setting.

Artist and curator Gwendolyn Black was inspired to create Arts and Jazzfest NYC™ & Visual Arts and Jazzfest NYC™ to bring the importance of the many visual artists who are dedicated to preserving jazz through their work to the public. The festival officially kicked off on June 4 on Governors Island with performances from Justin Robinson Quartet; the Phil Young Jazz experience; Return of the Frozen Earth featuring Paul Brown (guest vocalist Rochelle Thompson); and Amanda Pucci Jhones Quartet; C. Kelly Wright Band.

“Displaying the artwork in public venues along with the music such Governor’s Island increases the economic base for the artists and musicians as well as enables the public to see the art as well as hear the music,” said Black. “Looking back, it is amazing how far we have come which started off with 30 participating visual artists in the legendary JVC Jazz Festival as a special event up until 2008. We are grateful to everyone for helping us to reach our 19th Anniversary.”

The fun times will continue on June 10 at 145th St Riverbank State Park. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the 6th Annual Visual Arts and Jazz Day™ will feature art and music-making including storytelling, puppet making, music instruction, swing dancing, live music by Charles Butler and The Blues Bandits and other performers, adult coloring, and an outdoor picnic with food. Those who attend are encouraged to register ahead of time and bring their own picnic basket and lawn chair.

The festival will also take place at Governors Island on July 23 and Aug. 13 (rain dates July 24 and Aug. 14). Additional events will continue until September 2022 with exhibitions dedicated to jazz at several galleries in Harlem including Centro Civico Cultural Dominicana on 145th Street and select galleries in Brooklyn. This year will also bring the return of a 20ft long mural dedicated to the hit tune “A Night in Tunisia” in conjunction with AHRC NYC.

Each event is free to the public, but for the Governors Island shows, reservations for the NYC Ferry $3 are required and can be made at www.govisland.com under plan your trip. For more information, visit www.artsandjazzfestny.com. For sponsorship opportunities, visit www.artsandjazzfestny.com or email [email protected].