With the Chestertown Jazz Festival on a pandemic pause, “Jazz on Wheels” is stepping up to offer a different showcase to engage jazz lovers—an evening of drive-in movies celebrating the legacy of jazz.
Two films will be presented: “Jazz on a Summer’s Day” (90 minutes) and “Sweethearts of Rhythm” (30 minutes) will show at the Broken Spoke Winery near the Bohemia River on September 12.
Leslie Prince Raimond, the founder of many of Chestertown’s art endeavors, tells the Spy that the idea came about after the renovation of Sumner Hall, Charles Sumner Post #25.
“There was lots of excitement around the possibilities of history and art celebrations when the building was ready to once again serve the community, she says.
From the 1920s to the 1960s, Sumner Hall was known as Grand Armory Hall, a center of activities to support the returning USCT (U.S. Colored Troops) and their families. Later, other community activities such as club meetings, wedding receptions, children’s activities, and musical performances were held.
Raimond also said that she was inspired by a story told by Armond Fletcher about his mother’s wish to see “The Sweethearts of Rhythm” when they came to town. Unable to attend, she at least saw them arrive.
Mrs. Roseanna Frazier Fletcher wrote “We, as children, one day was very excited when we heard that the “Sweethearts of Rhythm Band” was going to be at the Grand Armory Hall. We heard the time they were to arrive. We, the children, waited outside to see the band as it was an all-girl band. They came and we saw them. That is one of my memories.”
“We’re thrilled that this movie celebrating the legacy of music in Chestertown and Sumner Hall will be shown,” Raimond says.
Tickets are $15 and kids 15 and under are free. Broken Spoke Winery is about 40 minutes from Chestertown.
For more details and tickets, go to the Garfield Theatre here.
A sample of the film may be seen here.