Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Keeping The Hartford Jazz Society Alive

A letter from Dan Feingold, President of the Hartford Jazz Society...

To members and friends of the Hartford Jazz Society:

I am writing to inform you of a serious financial setback suffered by the HJS, and to ask for your financial support.

During this 50th anniversary year, the HJS experienced a major theft from its bank account, leaving it with virtually no funds. We have had to lay off our long time secretary, Louise Harris, and our new General Manager, Sharon Steinle, and we have been forced to cancel our spring concerts.

The good news is that the HJS has been a strong and vibrant organization for over 50 years, and we are determined to rebuild and keep going. We are working with the bank and the police to identify and prosecute the culprit. We have instituted internal procedures to ensure that such thefts will never happen again. We are reducing our office overhead, and members of the Board of Directors (all volunteers, and not a wealthy group) have each contributed toward paying immediate expenses. Sharon continues to work with us on a volunteer basis.

Local musicians and HJS scholarship alumni have offered to perform in fund raisers to help restore our bank account. The first fund raising concert will be on Saturday, June 4 at Asylum Hill Congregational Church. Meanwhile, we are entering into collaborations to maintain a schedule of HJS events until we can fund our own events. The Hartford Jazz Society’s New Directions Ensemble, which has independent funding, has performed three concerts in the last four months.

Funding has been committed for Monday Night Jazz in Bushnell Park, so that series, and our September 18 Jazz Cruise/fund raiser will take place.

But we need your support as well. We must produce the cancelled concerts to honor our commitments to the foundations whose funds were stolen from our account, and the musicians who had been scheduled to perform. We must also fund our basic operation until we can secure new grants. This means that we must raise $50,000 more than the anticipated proceeds of the above-mentioned fund raisers: $1,000 for each of our 50 years.

The HJS has been “keeping jazz alive” for 50 years, and jazz lovers have been there to support us. Our trust in your continued support motivates us to continue the Society’s work. We need your support now more than ever.

Daniel Feingold,

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