Bell Atlantic to Sponsor KnitMedia's New York Jazz Festival
Weekend Festivals also Planned in Boston, Philadelphia and
March 10, 1999
NEW YORK -- Bell Atlantic has become the title sponsor for the annual
New York Jazz Festival produced by KnitMedia.
Now in its 10th year, the musical event will be renamed the "Bell Atlantic
Jazz Festival" and will be expanded to include venues in three other major
East Coast cities -- Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
New York City will continue to be the site of most activities, with the
epicenter being the Knitting Factory in lower Manhattan, June 3-13,
according to Michael Dorf, CEO of KnitMedia and executive producer of
the festival. Each of the other cities will host a weekend festival in the
weeks leading up to the New York festival.
"We are proud to be able to play a major role in bringing jazz into so many
peoples' lives," said Janet Keeler, Bell Atlantic's vice president for brand
management and marketing communications. "Our sponsorship affords
the festival an opportunity to grow through technology, while enabling us
to showcase our products and services using jazz as the platform."
Citing Bell Atlantic's sponsorship as a good strategic fit, Dorf said: "While
our previous sponsors have enabled us to produce a large, diverse and
multi-ethnic festival with hundreds of concerts and performances at a
dozen New York venues, Bell Atlantic's network and new technology will
enable us to bring music to the ears of even more listeners."
He noted that the 1999 festival has ambitious plans to use Bell Atlantic's
telecommunications capabilities to link customers to jazz to give the music
a "telepresence" via the festival's Internet web site (www.belljazz.com).
Through the use of Bell Atlantic's new data transmission service, known
as Infospeed DSL, customers will be able to access unique live and
archived performances in video and audio formats from the Bell Atlantic
In addition, some of today's top jazz artists are using Bell Atlantic's
technology to teach teenagers at eight public schools in New York City,
New England and Washington this spring. Pianist Geri Allen, clarinetist
Don Byron, Latin jazz star Eddie Palmieri and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane
(son of the legendary John Coltrane) are among the instructors in
J@zzschool, an 11-week distance learning program, produced by
KnitMedia in conjunction with Bell Atlantic.
The talent lineup for the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival will be released later
this month. The schedule for the festival is: Philadelphia, May 7-9;
Washington, May 14-16; Boston, May 28-30; and New York, June 3-
Additional sponsors of the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival include United
Airlines, Tower Records and New York Magazine, which will publish the
festival's full program guide. The guide, to be published by New York
Magazine, will be distributed throughout the region.
KnitMedia has emerged as a leader in producing live events and
combining new media to reach a larger audience. The company operates
the Knitting Factory performance space that has four stages connected to
an in-house state-of-the-art studio which is able to create CDs, videos, and
broadcast to the Internet and broadband audiences via cable modems,
digital television and other devices. In recent years, the company has
produced the Intel New York Music Festival, the DIVX Soundtrack
Festival and the MacFest sponsored by Apple Computer, as well as a well-
attended "Cyber-Seder" for the last three years.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access lines
and 8.6 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies
are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services,
market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of
directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's
largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with
operations and investments in 23 countries.