Annapolis Jazz & Roots Presents “Sounds Of The Seventies” Fundraiser


Annapolis Jazz & Roots plans to entertain music lovers with “Sounds of the Seventies” on August 3 from 4:00pm-6:00pm at Eastport United Methodist Church in Annapolis. The fundraising event will highlight music from a decade when political discord gave way to positive advances and reforms in social justice.

Listeners will recognize Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon” and “Watermelon Man” (the 1973 version foreshadowed the genre known today as world music). The question raised in Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” is still being asked and the tune covered across the U.S. along with “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. Simon & Garfunkel’s enduring “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and Aretha Franklin’s hit “Respect” will be heard. Written by soul singer Otis Redding in the ‘60s, the latter tune became an anthem of the women’s movement in the ‘70s. Ravita Jazz will invite audience members to tap their toes, get up to dance and sing along as the spirit moves them.

Ravita Jazz is led by bassist, composer and educator Phil Ravita. Featuring prominent Mid-Atlantic musicians, the group will appear with special guest Joe Brotherton on trumpet. The band includes vocalist Deirdre Jennings, drummer Nick Costa and pianist Greg Small. They released the album “Oriana” in 2023, receiving airplay and favorable reviews across North America. The band appears widely, and Ravita is honored to be a Maryland State Arts Council touring artist.

Some milestones of the ‘70s were the first Earth Day celebration on April 22, 1970, the first gay pride parade in New York City in the same year, ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and the end of the Vietnam War. While societal problems continue to challenge the U.S., seeds were sown for continued advancement.

In that era, cultural contributions offered solace and inspiration to the fractured country. Films such as “Saturday Night Fever,” “Rocky” and “Star Wars” were wildly popular, providing shared experience and points of reference to people from many walks of life. The enduring TV comedy series “Saturday Night Live” was launched in 1975, giving viewers loads of laughs and stress relief as it does today.

Television also played a pivotal role in addressing the Black experience. The miniseries “Roots” aired on American television in 1977. Based on Alex Haley's 1976 novel “Roots: The Saga of an American Family,” the epic novel and subsequent series had a significant cultural impact.

The August 3 concert will raise funds for the third annual Annapolis Jazz & Roots Festival. To be held at multiple sites in Eastport on weekends November 1-10, 2024, the festival will present international and local performers in free and ticketed events. Presenting partners include Eastport-Annapolis Neck Library, Eastport United Methodist Church, Jazz Beyond Borders, Peerless Rens, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and Pip Moyer Recreation Center. The 2023 festival drew attendees from seven states (Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Florida, New York, North Carolina and California) and Washington, D.C.

Eastport United Methodist Church is the venue for the August 3 event. It is located at 926 Bay Ridge Avenue in Annapolis. There is ample free parking in the rear lot of the church and the site is wheelchair accessible. The concert is suitable for adults and teens. Admission is $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Tickets are available from Select the venue Annapolis Jazz & Roots.

Those unable to attend can still support the festival by purchasing a ticket online or mailing a donation. Make checks payable to Annapolis Community Foundation. Be sure to write “Annapolis Jazz & Roots” in the memo and send checks to P.O. Box 4922, Annapolis, MD 21403. To learn about the history of the festival, visit and join the “Annapolis Jazz & Roots Festival” Facebook group.


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