CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Bay Jammin' Concert and Cinema Series needs your help. Organizers are raising money to keep the series, which was started in 1989, going this summer. The series has only been canceled twice before; when the Cole Park Amphitheater was being renovated, and in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Event founder and producer J.J. Nelson said many of the typical sponsors have struggled the past year because of the pandemic.
“Many of our bars and restaurants, and live music venues, have really been taking it on the chin. As businesses, promoters, the employees there, not to mention the musicians, they’ve really been hurting. To ask them to come up with the money, like they have every year, to promote this show, this concert and cinema series, as they have every single year for 30 years, that’s a little rough,” Nelson said.
So, Nelson is calling on the residents of Corpus Christi, those who have enjoyed the events over the last 30+ years.
“For everybody that comes out here, and we get 1,000 or more people out here, if each person donated $1 for each of the shows, that would be all that we needed to make sure this goes in for another great season, the 31st season,” he said.
The series has been a staple in Corpus Christi since it was started. Nelson said people who started coming to concerts as a kid now bring their kids to the events. Some, like Esaiah Martinez, grew up attending concerts, and now performs in them.
“I grew up going to Bay Jammin' as a kid, and it was always like, ‘oh wow this is so awesome,’ and whenever they asked us to play it was like, ‘what?! That’s awesome! Hell yeah, let’s do that!’” said Martinez, who is a singer and guitarist for the Corpus Christi-based Any Colour You Like.
Joseph Martinez is a singer and guitarist for another local band, Wings Over Society. He is from Corpus Christi, and said playing in front of his neighbors at an iconic city park is a great experience.
“To me, it is the symbol of Corpus Christi, being along the bay there. To be able to play to 100-200 people, it was amazing. The sun setting right behind the hill there, it was amazing, we had a great time there,” Joseph Martinez said. “It’s always a great time going there, it’s such a great atmosphere.”
He said, this year especially, having the event would be great for the area.
“In particular this year, it would be fantastic, more so in previous years, just because you get the chance to enjoy live music, which is a lot harder nowadays. You can socially distance, you can bring the entire family and stay 15, 20 feet away from anyone else, and I think that’s a great aspect to it,” Joseph Martinez said.
The Bay Jammin' Concert and Cinema Series has set up a GoFundMe for donations, or people can who wish to donate via check can reach out to Nelson via the Bay Jammin' Facebook page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.