Cobi Narita Jazz Producer 88th Birthday BASH at SWING 46 NYC 3.9.14

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( — February 11, 2014)  — New York, New York



MARCH 9, 2014 5 TO 9PM


In the small tight knit jazz community, Cobi Narita is known as a true jazz hero. She will be 88 years young on March 3rd, but the BIG BASH is on Sunday March 9, 2014. Since the late 60’s in California right up to to today in New York, Ms. Narita has been an indefatigable supporter of all things Jazz. Musicians from LA to New York have benefitted from her hard work, tenacity and visionary life. 


The jazz loft scene in the 70’s and 80’s flourished in New York City, with lofts available to rent for reasonable prices. In those lofts, Ms. Narita produced many concerts, workshops, classes and open mics that opened up the world of jazz to new listeners and gave new instrumentalists and singers the opportunity to meet and be mentored by the jazz masters. 


Unlike a college or classroom, these lofts gave aspiring musicians a performance foundation that served as real world experience and also functioned as a teaching environment. Narita brought seasoned musicians together with those starting out and mixed elbows, getting down to the nitty gritty of jazz.  Narita was also very active in producing concerts for professional jazz instrumentalists and singers.


Nothing compares with one on one exchanges, person to person, musician to musician. Narita brought in the famous and the not so famous, gave them a venue to present and then opportunities to teach, mentor and pass the knowledge on to all who heard the call.


From writing grants, to establishing a community service Jazz Line, that was a jazz gig listing service, to volunteering for organizing mailing lists and heading up the Collective Black Artists Repertory Company, Founding the UNIVERSAL JAZZ COALITION , INTERNATIONAL WOMEN IN JAZZ and THE JAZZ CENTER OF NEW YORK, Narita has consistently brought her skills and drive to the task of promoting jazz.




Along the way she has worked with and promoted countless jazz artists, among them Dizzy Gillespie, 

George Coleman, Reggie Workman, Stanley Cowell, Frank Foster, Charles Tolliver, Jimmy Owens, Sheila Jordan, Jamil Nasser, Frank Gant, Abbey Lincoln, Harold Mabern, Maxine Sullivan, Dakota Staton, Charles Mingus, Jay Clayton and Mary Lou Williams, just to name a few.


Her husband and major contributor to her work has been Paul Ash, the president of Sam Ash Music. Together, with Paul Ash mostly in a supportive role, they worked tirelessly to bring jazz to the best audiences and venues. On February 5, 2014, Paul passed away on Long Island, NY so this birthday will be the first birthday in 41 years Paul will not be there to celebrate. 


Ms. Narita (  is still producing concerts and open mics in New York City. At 88 she continues to present new artists such as pianist Victor Lin and long time collaborator Billy Harper at Zebs in NYC. The Jazz Center of New York keeps an updated Facebook page at  


The George Gee Orchestra is a popular swing dance band with a large New York following. Frank Owens will be at the piano, and there will be special guests, among them, singers and tap dancers . Their music encompasses material from Count Basie and Duke Ellington to today’s pop music. 


Performing a regular Tuesday evening gig at Swing 46 Dance and Supper Club,  The George Gee Orchestra is terrific and George Gee carries on a great tradition sanctioned by Count Basie himself. George Gee says: ” I have known Cobi for over 25 years and she has always been a very staunch supporter of my musical efforts!


Cobi’s birthday party should be a fun filled evening and a fine celebration for Ms. Narita as well as an opportunity for the jazz community to show their love for this one of a kind jazz woman. Ticket purchase info below.


For more information on Cobi Narita’s life and work in jazz, here is an excellent article published in Jazz Times magazine written by Sylvia Levine Leitch, a regular contributor to Jazz Times Magazine. Photo of Ms. Narita credit to Sylvia Levine Leitch.





Admission: $25.00 plus $20.00 Food and Drink


For tickets contact Cobi Narita and The Jazz Center of New York directly:




PO Box 395

Hicksville, NY 11802-0395



For more info on The George Gee Orchestra:


For more info on Swing and Supper Club Swing 46:

349 W.46st Manhattan, NY 

(212) 262-9554 


Cobi Narita Website:



Catherine Castle


White Diamond Media