Benefit jazz concert set for Saturday

Backcountry Jazz, the nonprofit organization started by Greenwich resident and acclaimed jazz musician Bennie Wallace, is presenting its fourth annual Benefit Concert on Saturday, June 16. Mr. Wallace and the Disorder at the Border All Star Jazz Orchestra will perform, along with guest vocalist Rene Marie, at Bright Brook Farm at 45 John Street in Greenwich. The event is open to the public and tickets can be purchased in advance.

“The benefit has grown each year,” said Mr. Wallace, who founded Backcountry Jazz (BCJ) to bring jazz, a uniquely American art form, into schools and to audiences of all ages. “Our concert sold out last year and we hope to do so again.”

The Disorder at the Border All Star Orchestra includes 11 of the finest soloists and ensemble musicians in the jazz world. This year will mark the first Greenwich appearance of award-winning jazz diva Rene Marie, whose style incorporates elements of jazz, soul, blues and gospel. She has graced the Billboard charts multiple times and headlined at prestigious venues in the U.S. and abroad.

In addition to growing audiences for jazz, education is a major part of Backcountry Jazz’s purpose. In 2011, Backcountry Jazz fully funded and re-established the canceled Bridgeport summer music camp, but with more kids, a longer day and created a much better program. BCJ was awarded grants this year from the Fairfield County Community Foundation and Newman’s Own. But with the situation in Bridgeport going from bad to worse. Backcountry Jazz needs to raise additional funds to bring the camp up to last year’s success and continue this outreach into the school year.

Locally, Backcountry Jazz is working with John Yoon and the Greenwich High School jazz program. On May 21, BCJ held an interactive performance and workshops at the New Lebanon School. Backcountry Jazz is also preparing an upcoming series of events in partnership with the Greenwich Library.

“We are grateful that our community support has deepened and our benefit committee has been instrumental in this,” Mr. Wallace said. “The barn and saloon at Bright Brook Farm is extraordinary. It has wonderful acoustics in an intimate and relaxed setting. It’s a concert to have a good time for a good cause.”

The benefit concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres precede the concert, starting at 6:30 p.m., and dessert follows the concert.

On-site parking is available. Ticket levels are $250 and $500 per person. Patron levels start at $1,000 to $20,000. All tickets should be purchased in advance of the concert by contacting Backcountry Jazz at 203-869-9454 or [email protected]

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