The Jersey City Jazz Festival has returned for its ninth annual celebration on the weekend of June 4th and 5th in the Powerhouse Arts District.
Just across the Hudson River, the free-to-the-public event will include performances from fourteen bands on two stages, food trucks, a full bar, and a VIP experience at the parking lot on 107 Morgan Street. The festival will also coincide with Bike JC’s annual Ward Tour on the 5th, with there also being an “after-party jam session” at Moore’s Place.
Brazilian-inspired group Nation Beat will lead off performances at noon on the 4th, followed by singer & WBGO radio host Lezlie Harrison at 1, pianist David Kikoski at 2, Winand Harper and his band the Jeli Posse at 3, flamenco guitarist Andreas Arnold at 4, Afro-Cuban jazz group Santi De Brian’s Arkestra Bembe at 5, and acclaimed vocalist Svetlana at 6.
The next day, award-winning duo Sounds of A&R will lead off at noon, followed by guitar-driven ensemble Walter Parks and the Unlawful Assembly at 1, modern gypsy jazz artist Gonzalo Bergara at 2, New Orleans-based trad group Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses at 3, and guitarist Julian Lage at 4.
Both days will close out with dancing to salsa performances by percussionists Little Johnny Rivero on the 4th at 7, and Johnny Rodriguez and the Dream Team the following day at 5. Shows will alternate on an hourly basis between the Bank of America and Exchange Place stages.
The festival, which was first held in 2013, is produced by Jersey City-based non-profit Riverside Jazz, and is presented by Exchange Place Alliance. “We have some of the best players in the world here – and it’s not just one style of music or jazz, it’s everything!” says Riverview Jazz director Brian Beninghove. “Not everyone has access to great music and art, but we do here – and we want to celebrate it with a big, free party for the people.”
Information on purchasing VIP tickets, directions, parking, volunteering, and links to the artists can be found on Riverview Jazz’s website.