by Janice MacDaniels
“An ad on the wall of a music store looking for a bluegrass jams session and a desire to see, hear and play more bluegrass inspired the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association. Only a week old and already our members span three states from the Mohawk Valley to the Big Apple…” - Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association
Jamboree; Winter, 1994; Vol. 1; No. 1.
That’s how it began…..one man, seeing a need and stepping up to fill that need. Jeff Anzevino was that man. His tenure as president of the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association is one filled with accomplishments. He founded the HVBA in 1994 and in those early days served as president, organized jams and acted as the first editor and publisher of HVBA’s newsletter Jamboree. From the very first HVBA event; the “Bluegrass Extravaganza” at the Rhinecliff Hotel in 1994 to the open jams to Bluegrass in the Schools to fund raisers, concerts, Bluegrass Between the Bridges events and the general promotion of Bluegrass music in this, our community, Jeff’s leadership has steered this ship, always forward, towards the preservation and promotion of this traditional music, broadening its exposure in the Hudson Valley.
Jeff’s vision also brought about a place, a network of like-minded musicians and fans to learn and grow and experience, in a real way, the music that we all love. “Thanks to Jeff, a ready-made network of musicians and friends welcomed my arrival to the Hudson Valley and continued to support my musical efforts…I’m grateful for the opportunity to reap the rewards of his hard work and devotion to bluegrass.” – Joan Harrison, Too Blue. Hear, Hear, Joan!
Jeff has always been a presence on the HVBA Board of Directors, and though he is stepping down as president (allowing others to shine in their service to the Association) he will continue to serve on the Board. He is also the producer for the upcoming Laurie Lewis concert and The Right Hands concert. The Marist Center for Lifetime Study (CLS) is planning a six week class on Bluegrass next spring and Jeff will be the teacher.
All of us who have benefitted from HVBA, who enjoy this music, who will pass it on down to the next generations can thank Jeff for his tireless efforts and his voluntary efforts as founder and subsequent servings on the Board of Directors in all the various capacities over these past seventeen years. Dolores Tubbs, one of the original members and the first membership secretary said it best…“There would be NO HVBA without Jeff and all of his organizing.”
Editor’s Note: Please add your comments to this article and let everyone know what Jeff & the HVBA has meant to you.