A special jazz concert organized by a Milford musician raised $8,000 for the Milford Public School district.
The 13th Annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert took place on April 24 and 25, created by local jazz aficionado Jay Rowe.
Rowe presented an $8,000 check to the Board of Education at its regular business meeting on Monday evening.
Rowe, a world-renowned jazz musician and local resident, donates the proceeds from the concert to the Milford Public Schools Music Department each year as a way to thank the educators who were there at the beginning of his musical career. A graduate of Calf Pen Meadow Elementary and Joseph A. Foran High School, Rowe has donated more than $66,000 to the Milford music program since the benefit concert’s inception.
Superintendent of Schools Elizabeth Feser expressed her appreciation for not only Rowe’s financial support of the district’s music program, but also for the gift of annually hearing him perform as well as other great jazz musicians.
“Both the school system and the community are very fortunate,” she said.
During the check presentation, Rowe thanked the corporate sponsors that helped support this year’s performances, including The Milford Bank, Barrett Outdoor Communications, Briarpatch Enterprises and Colonial Toyota of Milford.
Rowe has performed and recorded with the elite in the world of jazz throughout the world and has played in many major jazz festivals across the U.S., and around the world, including South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. As a solo artist, he has recorded and released five CDs, including the very successful Live At Daniel Street (2011).
Rowe has been able to present a top-of-the-line jazz experience for attendees, who come from the entire tri-state area. Over the years, Rowe has brought other world-class jazz musicians to perform with him, including Chieli Minucci, Nelson Rangell, Marion Meadows, Marc Antoine, Vincent Ingala, Peter White and Jackiem Joyner.
“I am just so happy to be able to do this, not only to bring a professional, high quality jazz event to Milford, but also to contribute to music education in my hometown,” Rowe commented. “It just doesn’t get any better than this.”