Tag Archives: Winard Harper

Jersey City celebrates the return of popular annual Jazz Festival

The Jersey City Jazz Festival is back for a special 2021 edition on Saturday, September 25 in the Powerhouse Arts District. The free-to-the-public annual event will feature eight bands on two stages, food trucks, a full bar, and a VIP experience from noon – 8pm at the 107 Morgan Street lot in Jersey City. The event is produced by Riverview Jazz and presented by Exchange Place Alliance.

The lineup includes two of the signature guitarists of their generation – ace musician Russell Malone (4pm) and gypsy jazz virtuoso Stephane Wrembel (2pm). The world-renowned NYC  jazz club Smalls will present an All-Star band featuring Victor Lewis, Seamus Blake, and Peter Washington at 5pm, and legendary drummer and Jersey City resident Winard Harper will perform at 6pm. There will also be plenty of dancing opportunities with salsa outfits La Excelencia (7pm) and Karen Joseph’s Mambocha (3pm). Rounding out the festivities will be the 9-piece eclectic music collective Brawlik at 1pm, while the NJCU Jazz combo will kick things off at noon. WBGO on-air host Lezlie Harrison will be the master of ceremonies.

“Wow, does it feel good to be back!” says festival director Bryan Beninghove. “The pandemic really hit the music community hard, between those we’ve lost and the lack of work, so it feels particularly energizing to work with all these amazing artists again to create something awesome for Jersey City.”

The festival, in its eighth year, strives to present a variety of music to the public. “We don’t focus on any particular style of jazz, our goal is to showcase the plethora of great music all around us, and put it in a fun, inclusive environment for the community. If people associate the good time they had at the festival with jazz as a genre, then it will only make the music more sustainable in the future – and that’s our goal.”

For information on purchasing VIP tickets, directions, parking, or links to the artists, visit www.JerseyCityJazzFestival.com. The presenting sponsor of the Jersey City Jazz Festival is Exchange Place Alliance. Other main sponsors and partners include Bank of America, Jersey City Cultural Affairs, Hudson County Cultural Affairs, WBGO, Guinness, Ketel One, Bulleit Bourbon, Silverman, and Sawyer Smith Residentia