You are reading

Sunnyside to honor local Jazz legend with concert at Bliss Plaza August 3

Concert when held under Arch

July 25, 2017 By Jason Cohen

The sound of 1920’s big-band jazz will resonate throughout the Sunnyside shopping district on Thursday, August 3.

Sunnyside Shines is hosting the 17th annual Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival at 46th Street Bliss Plaza, which will feature a number of local musicians and dancers between 5 pm and 7 pm.

The annual concert is in recognition of Bix Beiderbecke, a highly-acclaimed jazz musician who grew up in Davenport, Iowa, before living out his final days at 43-30 46th Street.

Beiderbecke, who struggled with alcoholism, died on August 6, 1931, at the age of 28.

The Sunnyside Wolverines, a pickup band, comes together each year for this festival. Paul Maringelli, a Sunnyside resident and jazz fanatic, is the band’s organizer.

Maringelli founded the event in 2001, after discovering Biederbecke’s connection to the neighborhood after viewing a Ken Burns’ PBS documentary on jazz.

Sunnyside Wolverines

Marringelli, who plays the drums with the Wolverines, was able to document Beiderbecke’s history in the neighborhood after he tracked down the jazz great’s great nephew.

The concert was held at the All Saints Church courtyard in its earlier years, before Maringelli joined forces with Sunnyside Shines and moved it to the Arch and now Bliss Plaza.

Today, there is a plaque outside the Sunnyside building where Beiderbecke lived, which Maringelli advocated for.

The August 3 festival is part of the Sunnyside Shines Summer Thursdays series. The BID hosts events under Bliss Plaza every Thursday, between 3pm and 7pm, until Sept 7.

Jaime Faye-Bean, the executive director of Sunnyside Shines, said more than 1,000 people attended the Beiderbecke event last year.

“It’s a very festive community gathering,” she said. “People look forward to it every year. “It’s one of the focal points of the neighborhood.”

The festival will conclude with a procession to Beiderbecke’s apartment building on 46th Street.

The full schedule of Summer Thursdays performances and activities, as well as details on the Bix Memorial Concert, is available at

Plaque at 46th Street



email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

i wish i could partake, but rent isn’t free, and i cant just take off work. it would be better to have it during the weekend.


Taken from Wikipedia about the alcoholic know as Bix:

“He pulled me in and pointed to the bed. His whole body was trembling violently. He was screaming there were two Mexicans hiding under his bed with long daggers. To humor him, I looked under the bed and when I rose to assure him there was no one hiding there, he staggered and fell, a dead weight, in my arms. I ran across the hall and called in a woman doctor, Dr. Haberski, to examine him. She pronounced him dead.”

Glad to see us Sunnysiders have been blaming Mexicans for our problems since the 30’s!

if you want to be proud of the contribution Sunnyside has made to the musical legacy of not just New York but the United States there should be a celebration of the Popcorn/Coventry club on Queens Blvd!


Just reading these comments should show anyone why I left Sunnyside 41 years ago and never looked back.

Oil beef hooked

You obviously never looked back. Sorry you stumbled on this site by some pure coincidence of fate 🙂


Why are we celebrating a Midwest transplant? I thought we hated transplants from fly-over states.

Oil beef hooked

Why didn’t the article explain if Bix would be there. Terrible reporting!


Great article, looking forward to the concert! But it’s Davenport, Iowa not Ohio.

I know, I know what’s one flyover state compared to another. But still…

The Real Oil, Beef, Hooked

It’s not his name, it’s mine. This weasel keeps using it.

Just keep saying it fast a few times, you’ll know what it means.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.