Friday December 20, 2013

Let the music play

The University will continue the legacy of Cityfolk's jazz programming.

The University of Dayton has agreed to pick up the baton from Cityfolk to insure that first-rate jazz programming for the community will continue.

Under an agreement between the two organizations, Cityfolk will designate the University to receive revenues from a JazzNet endowment to maintain jazz programming as Cityfolk closes its doors.

"We welcome the chance to expand the University's efforts to promote and present the arts to people throughout our community," said Paul Benson, dean of the University's College of Arts and Sciences. "We are especially pleased to be able to continue the legacy of Cityfolk's jazz programming, which occupies such an important place in America's cultural heritage and in Dayton's own artistic traditions."

Cityfolk announced in July that it would cancel the 2014 Cityfolk festival and 2013-14 season due to continuing funding challenges and begin looking for a community partner to carry on its legacy.

According to Cityfolk president, Matt Dunn, the Cityfolk board is proud of the value the organization has brought to the community through the festival, the presentation of concerts and its educational program. “We’ve had a long relationship with the University and believe it is the right organization to continue our jazz programming,” said Dunn.

Area jazz fans have recognized Cityfolk's Jazz Series as a local treasure for more than 30 years. It has received national recognition and funding to support artist residency programs at schools and in local communities as well as sponsor jazz performances of the highest quality.

The endowment will be used to increase the University's cultural and community offerings related to jazz, Benson said. Revenue from the endowment will be used to support artistic fees and related fees for visiting jazz artists, promoted and supported as part of the UD Arts Series. The University already offers academic concentrations in Jazz Studies and Ethnomusicology.

Benson said the partnership will help continue Cityfolk's tradition of visiting artists who bridge performance and education, build relationships and create great music with students and musicians throughout the Miami Valley.
“Cityfolk considered several options and felt the University offered the most comprehensive approach to maintaining quality programming that would serve both the students and the community," Dunn said.

Although the Cityfolk board will be disbanded, some current board members will form the core of a community advisory committee to counsel the University on innovative jazz programming, Benson said.

And he said the University will continue its commitment to bring world music to the community and the campus through the World Rhythms series and annual Arts Series. Additionally, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company continues to expand and deepen its role and involvement on campus as community-artist-in-residence. For more on the Arts Series series, visit the related link.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or

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