By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia will host an LGBT jazz festival in September.
It’s called “Outbeat: America’s First Queer Jazz Festival,” and it will comprise events at various venues from September 18th through 21st.
Chris Bartlett, executive director of the William Way LGBT Community Center, says jazz has always been shaped by unconventional people, even outlaws, and the idea of a festival built around them took a leap forward when Bartlett ran into Homer Jackson of the Philadelphia Jazz Project.
“I met Homer at the TedX talks recently, through serendipity,” Bartlett recalled today at a City Hall press conference, “and in a conversation with Homer, we began to talk. And I told him about this project and he said, ‘It’s time.’ We’re really ready to have this conversation about the LGBT community influence on jazz.”
Outbeat’s performers will include Andy Bey, Fred Hersch, the Patricia Barber Quartet, and there’s room for more. The final lineup won’t be set until July. Keep track of things at outbeatjazzfest.com.