Jersey City Jazz Festival Launches 10-Day Party in the Heart of the City

Over 250 musicians will perform at 30 events held throughout the city, with a majority of the shows free to the public. The festival will begin with the Exchange Place Alliance Opening Party located on the J.Owen Grundy Pier Friday, May 31 from 6 – 9pm and will feature 2019 Grammy winner Doug Beavers’ Salsa Orchestra, and the brass band Nation Beat. The closing festival June 8 – 9 will feature three stages, vendors, and refreshments. In addition to the Bank of America and NJCU stages will be the WBGO Jazz Alley sponsored by Courvoisier. This will be a tented jazz club curated by the world renowned venue Smalls Live (NYC). Both of these events are free. 

“This year has been so exciting as we have seen such tremendous growth in the local music scene, the city, and our organization”, said Bryan Beninghove, the Executive Director of Riverview Jazz, the non-profit organization that produces the festival. “There is such a wealth of talent in the area, a desire to see quality music, and a growing institutional support to make this type of event happen. It’s not quite the scale of the Montreal Jazz Festival, but this year’s footprint – moving it downtown, having a mix of quality ticketed events, free outdoor festivals, and bringing in world-class partners has certainly got us moving in the right direction. It’s going to be a real party!” 

Highlights of this year’s festival include the “Jazz Underground”, a ticketed tour on the evening of June 8 featuring three underground venues, all with distinctly different vibes. Those participating are Pet Shop (featuring saxophonist Tony Malaby with Mike Formanek and Tom Rainey), Pasta e Vino (noir classic trio Big Lazy), and Underground Grove Square (Ted Chubb

Group featuring Charenée Wade, followed by a jam session). On Friday, June 7, the Indian brass band Red Baraat will be playing at White Eagle Hall. Saturday, June 1 marks the return of Vault Allure, a sensory experience presented by the Statuary, RNA, and Nokia Labs at the historic Holland Street (Riverview-Fisk Park). There will also be a pre-festival show at the Brennan Courthouse featuring legendary saxophonist Houston Person with the Matt Chertkoff Trio. 

The two-day closing festival will feature such diverse acts as the NY Palladium Mambo

All-Stars, saxophonist J.D. Allen, pianist Miki Yamanaka, the LadyBugs, Cuban vocalist Chino Pons, the NJCU Salsa Orchestra featuring John Benitez, trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, drummer Winard Harper, vocalists Marion Cowings and Lezlie Harrison, Swingadelic, Akiko Tsuruga, and many more. 

A VIP experience is available that includes free food and drinks during the closing festival, and a premium VIP experience that includes access to all festival related ticketed events throughout the week, including the Jazz Underground tour. For all information, including tickets, scheduling, and planning your trip, go to JerseyCityJazzFestival.com

The main sponsors of the Jersey City Jazz Festival include Bank of America, WBGO, Courvoisier, and NJCU. Partners are the City of Jersey City, Jersey City Cultural Affairs, HDSID, Exchange Place Alliance, Hudson County Cultural Affairs, and the Archer Bar. 

This program is made possible by a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a division of the Department of State, and administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. DeGise, Hudson County Executive & the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders.  

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