Updated: Jazz Brunch Kicks Off Gold Standard Arts Fest on UWS; First Song Sets the ‘Perfect Tone’

Photograph by Margie Smith Holt.

By Steve Holt

At Stand Up NY on Sunday, the excellent trio (Jonathan Lower on tenor sax, Gui Duvignau on bass, and Taro Okamoto on drums) had just announced Thelonius Monk’s “Ask Me Now,” when Council Member Gale Brewer exclaimed: “Thelonius Monk was an Upper West Sider!”

That set the perfect tone for the festival. The brunch was the opening course in a weeklong feast of music, comedy, drama, and film, designed to highlight artists in their 50s and older, at the same time emphasizing how important the arts are to aging well.

In more serious remarks, Brewer referred to the pandemic and declared: “The way New York comes back is through the arts!” She went on to add she was happy to be there because she loves Goddard Riverside, the long-time UWS social service center, one of the Festival partners, which is sharing in the proceeds.

Roderick Jones, the executive director of Goddard Riverside, was on hand to support the festival. “It’s important for older adults to have renewed meaning in their life, and engage with other generations, and the arts are the beginning of that.”

The Festival continues with Cabaret tonight (sold out!), comedy on Tuesday, a play fest on Wednesday, and a host of films from Thursday through Sunday. (There’s more information here: https://www.goldstandardartsfestival.org )

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