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Massachusetts Upbeat about Jazz Tourism
(Published: July 28, 2009)

(Boston) - Massachusetts is singing the praises of its vibrant jazz scene to visitors this summer, as tourism officials introduce MassJazz, a new marketing initiative to promote the Bay State's extensive jazz activities year round to the tourism industry.

Organizers of the campaign have issued a 40-page MassJazz Travel Guide detailing hundreds of outdoor and indoor concerts, jazz festivals, nightclubs, radio programs, hotel brunches and jazz connections for out-of-town visitors and local residents. Details are also available on MassJazz.com.

"The beauty of jazz is its influence from musical cultures from across the world, while remaining a distinctly American art form," said Governor Deval Patrick. "We want to translate the unique features of Massachusetts's jazz heritage into a strong tourism brand that appeals to both domestic and international visitors."

While promoting jazz concerts, festivals and clubs, organizers also plan to support the state's hospitality industry by publicizing jazz gigs and jazz brunches in hotels, restaurants and other venues.

"All summer and fall visitors can hear great jazz from Boston to the Berkshires, Cape Cod to the North Shore, and everywhere in between," said Betsy Wall, executive director of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. "Our goal is to offer jazz as a new way of showcasing the many cultural and hospitality amenities Massachusetts has to offer."

Wall pointed to the strong jazz presence in regions across the state, with festivals taking place in Boston, Falmouth, Lenox, Marblehead, Melrose, Pittsfield, Provincetown, Salem and Worcester over the next four months.

"Of the many cultural riches we have in Massachusetts, our jazz treasures deserve to be celebrated in the tourism industry," said MassJazz founder Michael P. Quinlin, who developed the campaign with Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Berklee College of Music, Tanglewood Jazz Festival and other jazz advocates in the state.

Quinlin said that Massachusetts has a stellar tradition of producing popular jazz musicians like pianist Chick Corea, drummer Roy Haynes, saxophonists Sonny Stitt, Phil Woods and many others.

In addition, Massachusetts offers some of the world's best jazz study programs at Berklee College of Music, New England Conservatory, UMASS/Amherst and other universities throughout the state. Numerous jazz leaders have studied or taught in Massachusetts, including Quincy Jones, Diana Krall, Branford Marsalis, Esperanza Spalding, Archie Shepp and Yusef Lateef.

"Today thousands of young people are studying music here, and there is a long tradition of jazz musicians learning their craft here and taking it out to the rest of the world," said Tom Riley, vice president of external affairs at Berklee. The college also hosts the annual BeanTown Jazz Festival in Boston each September, which draws upwards of 70,000 participants.

In addition to bolstering visitor attendance at BeanTown, Tanglewood and a dozen other jazz festivals across the state, organizers hope to develop music education as a tourism product too. They'll also promote summer jazz courses offered at local universities and at cultural venues like Jacob's Pillow, which offers jazz dance workshops each July.

The MassJazz Travel Guide is available for free in tourism centers around the state and in local concert venues, jazz clubs, hotels and restaurants. It is being distributed to incoming conventions, tour operators and travel agencies throughout North America and to select international outlets.

For up-to-date information about jazz activities year round, visit www.MassJazz.com. To request further information, contact MassJazz at 617 696 9880 or massjazz@comcast.net

About MOTT:

Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) is the state agency dedicated to promoting Massachusetts as a leisure-travel destination. MOTT serves as a leader in the tourism industry, working with the public and private sectors to stimulate the Massachusetts economy by generating state and local tax revenues, creating jobs and supporting the growth of travel-related businesses. Tourism is an integral part of the state's economy, generating over $887.2 million in state and local taxes and $14.2 billion in travel related expenditures. The industry supports 125,800 in-state jobs.
For more information visit www.massvacation.com.

About MassJazz:

MassJazz is a concerted, statewide effort initiated in 2009 to promote a full range of live jazz performances, community events, educational courses and related cultural activities to the convention and visitors industry. Working with the state's travel and tourism agencies, MassJazz is developing a singular program that brands Massachusetts as a jazz destination for domestic and international visitors. Its goal is to develop visitor packages with hotels, restaurants, performing arts venues and travel services to create an alluring new tourism campaign that stimulates the local economy.

More Information: http://www.massjazz.com

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