June 14, 2021

Jazz at Buttonwood Tree

The Buttonwood Tree Performing Arts & Cultural Center offers a wide variety of musical selections in the Middletown, CT, area. For over 25 years, The Buttonwood Tree (TBT) has been a hub of vibrant arts performances and events in the North End of Middletown.  Providing an art gallery, a used bookstore, a coffee shop, and space for people to share their creative talents, The Buttonwood Tree is a warm and inviting place for our community to gather for entertaining performances, casual meetings, and engaging conversation.” While most shows take place on Friday and Saturday nights, they can be held any night of the week. Thursdays are typically reserved for open mic.

Upcoming Jazz Night

The Danny Green Trio

June 15 @ 8:00 pm10:00 pm

A rising force on the jazz scene, Southern California pianist and composer Green has distinguished himself with his beautifully articulated touch and melodically charged sensibility. Signed as an Origin recording artist in 2014, Green’s growing portfolio of vibrant sounds has garnered multiple awards and has captured the attention of critics around the world. His work has been featured in the San Diego Union Tribune, the Boston Globe, DownBeat Magazine, Jazziz, and Public Radio International.

Green’s trio, including bassist Justin Grinnell and drummer Julien Cantelm, were a featured group at this summer’s San Jose Jazz Festival. They have performed at the Blue Whale in Los Angeles, TEDxSanDiego, UC San Diego, Cal Arts at CSU Monterey Bay, the Museum of Making Music, Jazz88.3’s Jazz Live, the KSDS Ocean Beach Jazz Festival, the Marine View Church Jazz Live series in Tacoma, Tula’s Jazz Club in Seattle, Shapeshifter Lab in NYC, the Pasadena Playhouse District Jazz Series, and many other prominent venues and festivals.

“The tunes themselves are like short stories, with each and every tale branching off, sometimes sincere and in ernest, sometimes playful and adventurous, yet always with a consummate skill and passion.” – UK Vibe

In addition to the concert The Danny Green Trio will be holding a Master Class from 6:30-7:30pm. Admission is $15 for general and $10 for students.

Admission to the concert is $20 for students.

More about Buttonwood Tree

The Buttonwood Tree operates under the 501(3)(c) nonprofit organization of North End Arts Rising, Inc. (NEAR, Inc.). From its opening in 1989, The Buttonwood Tree has been a grassroots, avant garde center for all ages, all comers, artists and audiences. Recognized nationally and internationally as a music venue (see Kunle Mwanga), it has also offered programs led by outstanding artists in contemporary theater, literature, art, poetry and dance—from belly to hip hop—as well as opening its doors to community activists, educational and religious groups.

The Buttonwood Tree opened its doors as a storefront bookstore and performance space in Middletown’s storied North End in 1989. Begun by their first director, Wesleyan alumna Susan Eastman Allison and her husband, the DJ and radio personality, Stephan Allison, it was the first such place in the city. Middletown has and has had many cultural enterprises over the years, but The Buttonwood Tree is unique in that company.

In 1990, the city’s Commission on the Arts approached the Allisons with the concept of turning the bookstore into a non-profit arts organization to serve the North End and all of Middletown as a hub for the Arts. In 1991 Ibis Books was transformed into North End Arts Rising, Inc. (NEAR, Inc.) still carrying “The Buttonwood Tree” name.

For over 20 years now, NEAR has served greater Middletown and beyond with low-cost/free entertainment and enrichment. Their funding has come from state and local arts grants, foundation grants, individual contributions, box-office donations and book sales.

There have been challenges along the way. A fire in 1995 forced us to move from their original storefront location on Rapallo Avenue to temporary quarters at Odd fellows Playhouse before finding a new home in what had been the lobby of the historic Arrigoni Hotel; now a subsidized housing facility. As it happens, this space has become famous. It is utterly singular and inviting, even though this location and their neighbors (St. Vincent De Paul’s Soup Kitchen and The Community Health Center) have been a problem for some in the city. As well, the general economic collapse of 2000 hit us especially hard, obliging The Buttonwood Tree to cut the full-time directorship to a less than half-time position, though the number of hours didn’t change!