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The Bluebird Educational Foundation Teams Up with the Backus Museum to Celebrate “The Art of Jazz”

Fort Pierce - Friday March 22, 2024: April is Jazz Jazz Appreciation Month, and to celebrate the A.E. Backus Museum and the BlueBird Educational Foundation will present 'The Art of Jazz' on April 26 from 6 to 8 pm at the Backus Museum, with galleries open early at 5 pm for viewing. The program will include the lecture, performance, and hors d'oeuvres, wine and soft drinks.

Seats are $30 each and can be purchased at the Backus Museum or online at: All proceeds benefit the A.E. Backus Museum and the BlueBird Educational Foundation.

Jazz Appreciation Month was created to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz for the entire month of April. It is intended to stimulate and encourage people of all ages to participate in jazz - to study the music, attend concerts, listen to jazz on radio and recordings, read books about jazz, and more.

This special program between the Museum and BlueBird Educational Foundation is a perfect collaboration for keeping the legacy alive that A.E. "Bean" Backus left in the community. Backus (1906-1990) is well-remembered for his love of jazz music. The creative environment of his open studio was fashioned as a Bohemian-styled hangout, regularly featuring live jazz performances and attracting people from all walks of life for conversation, friendly debate, music, and of course, art.

The Art of Jazz will feature a special lecture by Jon Ward along with a musical performance by the Billy Cofrances Jazz Quartet.

Music and visual art are both very distinct forms of creative expressions. Each can evoke a full range of emotions. They tell stories and communicate ideas to those that view or experience them. Ward’s lecture will explore how visual arts and music are entwined and how each art form influences and inspires the other. The lecture presentation and live band performance together will explore the fascinating relationship between music and the visual arts. So whether you're a fan of visual arts, music, or both, this event will introduce you to a fascinating experience that will expand your appreciation of the relationship between the different forms of arts.

Jon Ward has served as the development director for several Florida cities and as the Director of the St. Lucie County Cultural Affairs Council. He has also served as a board member for the Florida Humanities Council and for the Florida Council for Arts and Culture.

The Billy Cofrances Jazz Quartet was well-known in the New Haven, Connecticut jazz community before Cofrances moved to Stuart, Florida several years ago. Cofrances started his career as a member of the popular east coast favorite Jump Street. He has worked with legendary jazz pianist Sarah Cion, jazz vocalists Billy Weston, Giacomo Gates and Walt Andrus, lead singer of the Tommy Dorsey Big Band. Currently the group performs throughout Florida.

The Art of Jazz will be held at the Backus Museum, 500 North Indian River Drive, in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce on April 26, from 6 till 8 pm, with galleries open early at 5 pm to enjoy the special exhibition Art of the Fantastic: Imaginative Illustration from the Korshak Collection.

The Bluebird Educational Foundation is dedicated to enriching the cultural arts in St Lucie County by sponsoring quality musical performances and enhancing music education through student scholarships and instrument donations. The mission is to broaden the community's exposure to musical arts by presenting workshops, demonstrations, lectures, and concerts in local schools and various public venues. The foundation focuses on providing assistance and support to neighborhood school music programs. The goal is to help young people in their pursuit of music which can be an everlasting benefit to our community.