SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — The Jazz and Roots Festival returned to downtown Springfield on Saturday, after the pandemic had sidelined the popular attraction a year ago.
Instead of Court Square as in previous years, the music flowed to the ears of Jazz fans at Stearns Square in the heart of the downtown restaurant district. This year the concert was proceeded by a parade New Orleans style, that began at the Springfield Historical museum near the quadrangle.
The Jazz Roots festival was dedicated to the memory of the late noted musician Charles Neville. His widow Mrs. Charles Neville spoke with 22News about this tribute.
“It’s a wonderful tribute to start here and to then make our way down to where the festival is going to be,” she said.
Mayor Domenic Sarno kicked off the festival before the growing crowd.
“Oh, I love the New Orleans style parade. It’s one of the marquee events in the City of Springfield, draws from all over New England, New York,” Mayor Sarno said.
Jazz fans who had previously attended the festivals at Court Square, filled Stearns Square anticipating the same joyous experience.
“I danced so much the last time I was here my hips actually hurt, that’s how much I was dancing. And my cheeks were hurting from smiling so much,” Carol Devine told 22News.
A unique start, steeped in New Orleans jazz tradition, marking the return of Springfield’s Jazz Roots Festival Saturday at Stearns Square.