Mayor Dickert reads proclamation to Joe Mooney, Phil Pospychala and Jay Christie, l-r
You've heard the expression "cool jazz," right?
Well, on the steps of City Hall this afternoon, with temperatures in the mid-40s and a 10 mph wind, it was relatively frigid, as Mayor John Dickert proclaimed Jazz Day in Racine, honoring three men and the events that bring the music here each year.
The thousands of jazz lovers who attend Jean's Jazz, Animal Crackers and the Tribute to Bix Beiderbecke Fest were nowhere in evidence during the 10-minute ceremony. Fewer than a dozen people stood outside City Hall as Dickert read a proclamation -- originated by the National Council of Mayors -- and gave copies to Joe Mooney, who started Jean's Jazz to honor his late wife; Jay Christie, director of the Racine Zoo which hosts Animal Crackers; and Phil Pospychala of the Bix Fest.
Dickert, a fan of Louis Armstrong, praised the three events, saying "believe it or not, we have great things going on in the city... I bring people here, and they say 'W-O-W!' "
Christie said jazz is something that "transcends demographics, is able to bring people together." Pospychala, whose 21-year-old festival has been in Racine for the nine years, said, "I can't imagine a finer place than Racine to hold it." Mooney praised jazz's "diverse culture, with no color barrier." All also sent out thanks to Lee Roberts, the Journal Times' terrific arts reporter, for her support and coverage.
The 24th Annual Animal Crackers will take place this summer; the event has produced over $700,000 for the zoo. Jean’s Jazz ended its ninth season last week with a sold-out concert; it has donated over $50,000 to the Racine Theatre Guild over the years.
Few jazz lovers were present for the Jazz Day ceremony