North Shore Jazz Project merges with Salem Jazz and Soul Festival

Two North Shore music nonprofits with similar missions have merged.

North Shore Jazz Project merges with Salem Jazz and Soul Festival
January 27, 2016 – The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival (SJSF) and North Shore Jazz Project (NSJP) filed merger paperwork with Massachusetts’ Attorney General in late 2015 and will retain the name Salem Jazz and Soul Festival.

Founded in 2009 to “create an environment on the North Shore where jazz education, performance and appreciation can flourish,” NSJP produced world-class concerts featuring artists such as Joe Lovano, Danilo Perez, Anat Cohen, Roomful of Blues and J Geils, among others. In addition, the NSJP established an all-star high-school student ensemble led by internationally recognized tenor saxophonist and Berklee School of Music professor Mike Tucker. The NSJP All-Stars have appeared at the Shalin Liu Performance Center, Castle Hill, the Litchfield Jazz Festival, Salem Jazz and Soul Festival, Chianti Jazz Lounge and the Cabot and Larcom theatres.

“The NSJP has been an awe-inspiring experience in terms of creating high-level music opportunities for aspiring young musicians. We are very excited about the merger as it combines two-like minded organizations and provides even greater possibilities for the young artists”, said Mitch Goldfeld, President of the North Shore Jazz Project.

In recent years, NSJP has scaled back its concert schedule to concentrate on the NSJP All Stars. The band, made up of some of the best young jazz musicians on the North Shore, will retain its name and concert schedule with SJSF.

“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to work directly with the talented students of the North Shore Jazz Project All Stars,” said Nick Giarratani, SJSF’s education director. “This merger gives us yet another opportunity to expand our educational involvement in the communities that we serve.”

According to Larry Claflin Jr., SJSF’s co-founder and executive director, merging these two nonprofits has been a goal for a couple years.

“Our board saw that the jazz project was looking to develop and needed a partner to expand its reach,” said Claflin, adding that both groups had similar missions. “NSJP’s board and volunteers had worked so hard to build up this amazing nonprofit. It was a no-brainer that we merge.”

The festival will debut the 2016 North Shore Jazz Project All Stars at the Salem Five Community Room on Saturday, April 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. The concert is free.

The Salem Jazz and Soul Festival was founded in 2007 and will celebrate its 10th season this summer. With a mission of producing free concerts and supporting music-education causes on the North Shore, the festival puts on eight free concerts a year, culminating in a two-day festival at the Salem Willows, featuring 10 bands, music-education and family tents, artisan vendors and beer pavilion. The 2016 Salem Jazz and Soul Festival will take place Aug. 20-21.

For more information about Salem Jazz and Soul or to audition for the 2016 NSJP All Stars please visit