August 12, 2020

Remembering Paul Brown

Paul Brown, the talented jazz bassist and founder of Hartford’s Monday Night Jazz series has passed away.  Hartford’s Monday Night Jazz series is recognized as the oldest continuously run jazz festival in the United States, which Brown ran for over 40 years before the Hartford Jazz Society assumed responsibility.

Paul Brown Hartford Connecticut

Monday Night Jazz in Bushnell Park

Hartford, Connecticut’s Monday Night Jazz kicked off in 1967 and were originally held in the Garden Area Center or on North End streets; years later, Monday Night Jazz was held in Bushnell Park downtown.  Gaining much notoriety, the Monday Night Jazz series was the precursor to the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, which first took place in 1992.  The Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz was initially a celebration of Paul Brown’s groundbreaking free outdoor music series.

Paul Brown Hartford Connecticut Monday Night Jazz

via WNPR

The Man Behind the Music

A true jazz aficionado and musician, Paul Brown, or PB as his close friends know him, would play with bands in New York and invite them to play in Hartford; Monday night worked out because that’s when all of New York’s jazz clubs were closed.  Sheparding live jazz music into the heart of Connecticut during the late 1960’s was no easy feat, but Brown had a free-spirited and vivacious energy.  Brown played with various jazz musicians throughout the years, including  Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Nina Simone and Betty Carter.

Read more about Paul Brown here.