Jazz and Strings initial concert, sponsored by a grant from Lincoln Financial, was conceived and directed by Gene Bozzi. Owen McNally describes Gene in the Hartford Courant as “a professional musician who has dual citizenship in both the jazz and classical worlds”. The concert was held At Immanuel Church in Hartford in March of 2009. The performance was a celebration of the landmark Charlie Parker album from 1959, “Charlie Parker with Strings”. The audience response was so positive that it led to research of hundreds of other jazz with strings albums recorded by major jazz artists over the next 30 years. The soloists for Jazz and Strings concerts are well known contemporary vocal and instrumental jazz artists.
The mission of Jazz and Strings is to perform jazz music originally recorded by major jazz artists incorporating string instruments usually associated with classical music. The goal is to present jazz styles from swing to third stream music, in order to break down the barriers between classical music and jazz.