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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



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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.


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