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Couple brings free jazz to their new home of Cambridge

Already scheduled again for next summer, Galt Jazz is attracting large crowds every month to the downtown core

David and Ruth Ottenbrite first came to Cambridge for a wedding five years ago. Afterwards, they wandered around historic Galt, a visit that immediately captivated their attention.

The architecture and bridges along the river mixed in with the local downtown vibe made for a perfect retirement spot. The Ottenbrites ultimately decided to move here three years ago.

The only thing missing from the couple's picture-perfect setting was the soothing sound of jazz music.

Not knowing anyone in the city but having a strong love for live music, the couple started meeting people from the local music scene who helped them with their vision of what Galt Jazz could look like.

"When we first came here, we knew no one," David says.

Now, on the first Sunday of every month, jazz fans from around the region can come and listen to local artists, free of charge, in the main core of Galt. The first event was held in June, attracting more than 175 people. The second show had an audience of nearly 300.

The couple has already struck a deal with the Galt Business Improvement Area (BIA) to bring the shows back next summer.

The next two events are scheduled for Sept. 4 and Oct. 2, from 2 pm to 5 pm. After that, the Ottenbrites have plans to take the music inside and upstairs at the Local 13 restaurant during the winter months.

The Ottenbrites recently started a non-profit for Galt Jazz to help attract sponsors to keep shows going throughout the year.

"It is our intention to make this a permanent fixture in downtown Cambridge," David says. "We decided that rather than hike up to Waterloo to the jazz room all the time, we'd start something here."

It was their way of showing Cambridge how much they have enjoyed living here since moving to the community.

"We're retired and have a real love for jazz," David says. "And we have the time and we have the energy to do something."

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Justine Fraser

About the Author: Justine Fraser

Justine joined CambridgeToday in March of 2022 as a social issues reporter. She enjoys living in the city (and walking her giant white dog!). A camera is never far from her hand.
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