A message from the Festival Director…

Welcome to the 8th Annual Manchester-CT Jazz Festival sponsored by Beth Sholom B’nai Israel (BSBI) of Manchester, CT. 8 years ago, I was approached to lead a team that would spearhead fundraising for BSBI, and while fundraising can be a demanding and often grueling task, I accepted the position not knowing where it would ultimately lead. With a clean slate and a passion for great music, I partnered with local Jazz musician & educator, Alex Nakhimovsky. Together we envisioned an east-of-the-river music festival featuring both local and national jazz greats! We never thought it would grow in popularity to the festival we have today.

Over the years, we’ve had a wide array of renowned world class performers, Grammy Nominee’s and international jazz greats. The festival’s popularity has grown so much, that even in the height of the pandemic, our live-streamed virtual festival was a huge success.

But a festival like this could never be the work of just two people. Nakhimovsky and I work alongside a talented and enthusiastic team of volunteers to help make each year’s festival better than the year before…and we couldn’t do any of this without them. We’re forever grateful for everyone’s hard work and dedication.

So, grab your seat and get ready for another exciting evening of live jazz!

-Festival Director, Dr. Ken Wichman

Dr. Ken Wichman – Festival Director

Dr. Ken Wichman, founder of the Manchester CT Jazz Festival, is a native of Manchester and life time resident. While growing up, he was active in numerous community organizations including, the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, United Synagogue Youth, The Round Table Singers and more. Additionally, he has volunteered with the Manchester Road Race for over 45 years.

After graduating from the Illinois College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago, he returned to Manchester where he practiced Podiatry until 2014, when he went into semi-retirement, focusing his remaining efforts on home-bound patients.

Throughout it all, Ken has had a love of music, and it was as the fundraising chair for Beth Sholom Bnai Israel, that he conceived of the Manchester CT Jazz Festival. 7 years later, the festival is still a year-long passion for Ken.


Alex Nakhimovsky – Musical Director

Pianist ALEX NAKHIMOVSKY enjoys a versatile career as a performer, recording artist, producer, composer and educator. His musical accomplishments as a jazz and classical artist include musical direction, arranging, solo and ensemble performances.

He has toured throughout the United States, Russia, Japan and Israel, performing with jazz legends Benny Golson, Jackie McLean, Jimmy Cobb, Valery Ponomarev, Sheila Jordan, Curtis Fuller, Victor Bailey and Grammy-nominated artists Bill Evans, Carla Cook, Jazzmeia Horn & Rene Marie. His performance as soloist with award winning Joe Hisaishi’s New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in Tokyo was recorded and released on the Universal label as American In Paris in 2005. Later that year, Nakhimovsky toured with the Orchestra, performing in Japan’s major concert halls.


Jazz Festival Team

Ron Abrahams

Bea Brodie

Dr. Gordon Brodie

Russ Benblatt

Debbie Cinquemani

Maddy Turk

Phil Margolis

Mike Turk

Dawn Steigelfest

Steven Wollins

Jodette Bentley