Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival

"The greatest jazz festival in the world™"

In Sussex County, DE

Produced by the Delaware Celebration of Jazz

A 501[C][3] Corporation

October 16 - 19, 2019

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2018 Producer of the Year - Chuck Snyder

The behind the scenes production of any live performance, show or event is varied and extensive. Producing the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival is an on going, year long endeavor. By the time the first note is struck on opening night, hundreds of people have been involved and thousands of moving parts have already come together. Rehoboth Beach’s own Chuck Snyder is one of those hundreds of people. But Chuck also has the notable distinction of being one of the very few people to have been a constant contributor to the festival from the very start! Through his camera’s lens, Chuck’s creative eye has been providing amazing imagery of the many artists that have graced our stage over the past 28 years.

A self taught photographer, Chuck started shooting in high school in the early 70’s. His passion grew quickly as he fully embraced all aspects of the craft. Chuck began developing his own film in the ninth grade. Outside the darkroom, Chuck’s talented eye was soon recognized by local and state newspapers such as The Coast Press and Delaware State News. Before long, his hobby began paying dividends with requests for his work. As if that wasn’t exciting enough for a teenage boy, Chuck caught the attention of professional award winning photographers Pat Crowe, Fred Comegys and Chuck McGowen. These pros became mentors and, in short order, colleagues. These were the days of the Associated Press Wire System. It was shots of a Nascar race at Dover Downs in the late 70’s, that earned Chuck his first official published photo credits on the AP Wire System.

A strong community and work ethic had been the example with which Chuck was raised. He always helped with the family candy business on Rehoboth Avenue. Snyder’s Candy was open every day, even on Christmas for a few hours, just in case someone needed something. In order to pursue his passion for the camera while working the family business, Chuck managed to build a darkroom in the back of the store. Its that work ethic and passion that drove him through the ‘70s and into the ‘80s. With the advent of marriage and children in the 80’s, Chuck felt it was time for more consistency in life. While raising his young family, he took a break from photography for opportunities in the resort town’s ever growing hospitality industry. One opportunity led to another; which brings to another facet of Chuck Snyder for which our community is grateful. Chuck has served as a Volunteer Firefighter for a remarkable 45 years. He has been an officer, in varying capacities, of the Fire Company for 25 years and he is currently serving his third term as Fire Chief. Chuck has also served the City of Rehoboth Beach for 28 years working as City Building and Grounds Supervisor overseeing Management and Maintenance of the Convention Center.

It was the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival in 1989 that brought Chuck back behind the camera for public events. From its inaugural year, Chuck has fond memories of the business owners who brought together the first jazz festival in Rehoboth, Bob Derrickson, Sydney Arzt, Linda DiDomenicis, Barbra Jarrell, to name a few… From the first riffs of that first year, Chuck was hooked on the music and the energy of the festival. While awed by the caliber of talent and the musicianship of the artists, Chuck somehow “captures”  that energy and musicianship so profoundly in his photography that it brings us right back into the room. We love that. And Chuck loves it too, as he recalls some favorite folks that have taken the stage or sat in attendance at the RBJF.  Sitting and smiling he mentions  “Bob Johnson, Butch Lewis, Denzel, Michael Jordan, Chris Tucker, and Queen Latifah, …and Al Jarreau, Nick Colionne, and Eric Darius! …so talented and great performers…  and so, so many more… all in little old Rehoboth!”

Chuck Snyder is deeply rooted and clearly committed to the Rehoboth Beach community. “This is my home” he says when asked about his years of service.  A humble, homegrown hero (although he would never define himself as such) of not only the RBJF, but for hundreds of local events, media outlets, guests of our community and our community at large. We are grateful beyond measure and we thank him for his years of work and dedication. Congratulations to you, Chuck Snyder, our 2018 Producer of the Year!

Thursday, October 11th marks the start of the 2018 Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival. Chuck will receive his award at the festival’s opening event at the Cape Henlopen High School Performing Arts Theater beginning at 8pm.

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