The Jazz & Roots Festival is an annual celebration that draws roughly ten thousand people to the heart of downtown Springfield. Presented by BLUES TO GREEN, the internationally heralded festival attracts visitors from throughout the Northeast and has become a powerful expression of civic pride, uniting the City’s diverse cultural communities through music, arts, education, and revelry. 


Recognizing Springfield’s rich history and the diversity of its population, we are committed to celebrating the vibrant heritage of American music and shining a light on the vital role played by communities of color. Workshops, master classes, art programs, and dialogues elevate and reinforce these contributions which continue to shape our collective American identity.
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Creative placemaking is an innovative method of leveraging the power of the arts, culture, and creativity to create positive social and/or environmental change for a community while also cultivating a positive character and quality of a place in the community. Through creative placemaking, Blues to Green leverages the arts in innovative ways to create social change on multiple levels:
Arts Access for All Incomes
We convene legendary and local artists to offer world class live music and educational workshops, and we recruit arts nonprofits and businesses to offer family-friendly arts activities. We offer all of this for free in an area where many people with low incomes live, and schools have cut arts programming due to their financial struggles.
Amplifying Springfield Arts & Culture
We bring acclaimed musicians to Springfield and enable talented local musicians, dancers, and spoken word artists to perform before thousands. Youth arts groups both perform and recruit new members at our events.
Economic Development
The Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival draws up to 10,000 people to enjoy downtown Springfield and bring economic stimulus to the city and to diverse local craft and food vendors onsite. Festivalgoer spending in the city far exceeds the event cost. Once visitors come and enjoy the city, they are more likely to come back. The city’s Rebuild Springfield plan calls for more events like ours to help transform Springfield into a thriving cultural hub drawing visitors and their dollars from surrounding towns.
Desegregation & Multiculturalism
A University of Michigan study found the Springfield area one of the most racially segregated in the nation; over 50% of the area’s Hispanic residents and 75% of Black residents live in the city, while surrounding towns are overwhelmingly white. These groups don’t mix much, but our events bring together people of all ethnicities in Springfield to celebrate the vibrant heritage of American musical genres created by communities of color.
Cultural Pride
Our music events and educational programs showcase the illustrious musical heritage of communities of color. It was the Black community that generated the first uniquely American roots sounds of gospel, blues, and jazz. With Latinx community influence, these begat most modern American music, such as rap, hip-hop, R&B, reggae, reggaeton, rock, pop, and Latin. We highlight this rich history and its connections with African and Afro-Caribbean culture and social justice, connecting people with pride in their cultural heritage.
Springfield Hometown Pride
We show off the amazing talent of Springfield artists and provide a platform for city artisans, chefs, and nonprofits to reach thousands. The Springfield Jazz & Roots Festival also includes basketball activities celebrating the city as the birthplace of the sport, which is improvisational, like jazz. This cultivates hometown pride among city residents.
Environmentalism & Social Justice
We model eco-friendly practices, provide platforms for local nonprofits to reach thousands with their work, and host public talks and performances on themes like Jazz & Justice and Resilience in Art Across Cultures.
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