Home Culture The Montclair Jazz Festival is Back

The Montclair Jazz Festival is Back

by Victoria Marie Moyeno
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The Montclair Jazz Festival, the state’s largest music festival hosted by Jazz House Kids, is back for its 12th anniversary! Jazz House Kids announced that not only is it back but it’s back with a twist. The festival will take place from July through September, but this time, in the downtown Montclair area with the main events taking place at Lackawanna Plaza. Read on to learn more about this year’s Montclair Jazz Festival.

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“Due to the pandemic we felt it was important to present a series of concerts throughout the summer to bring people together again, and for the Grand Finale to keep people moving with four stages and to be able to support local businesses across Montclair hard-hit by the pandemic,” said Jazz House Kids founder and president Melissa Walker in a press release.

The Ivy at Chatham

The grand finale events in September spreads west down Bloomfield Avenue, turning it into a pedestrian musical playground after 10 years in Nishuane Park in the town’s South End. A portion of Bloomfield Avenue closed to traffic and offering food and craft vendors, and family activities.

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“After such trying times for all humanity in 2020 and the beginning of 2021, being able to bring the Montclair Jazz Festival back this year is a miracle, a blessing, and a gift,” Walker’s husband and Jazz House Kids artistic director Christian McBride, said in the press release. “Pablo Picasso once said that ‘art washes away the dust of everyday life,’ but Art Blakey specified that quote to ‘music washes away the dust of everyday life.’ After the last 16 months, we’ll be washing off a lot of dust at this year’s Montclair Jazz Fest.”

montclair jazz festival

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Event Schedule

July 8th at 6PM at Lackawanna Plaza – Cocomama Latin jazz orchestra, Story Tellers featuring Alex Laurenzi.

July 22nd at 6PM at Lackawanna Plaza – Dave Stryker’s 8 Track Band featuring Warren Wolf, Chica Power All-Stars.

August 7th at 1PM at Lackawanna Plaza – “Block Party” with Ingrid Jensen, the Kelly Green Trio, Lee Hogans & Pursuance.

August 14th at 1PM at Lackawanna Plaza – “Block Party” with Irwin Hall Organ Trio and the Lauren Sevian Quartet.

August 14th at 6PM at Lackawanna Plaza – “Dance Party” with DJ Brother Mister (Christian McBride) playing old school funk and soul music.

September 22nd at 7PM – Jazz film screening curated by Montclair Film’s Tom Hall (movie + location TBA) plus a reception for friends of the festival.

September 23rd at 6PM – VIP reception and concert directed by Christian McBride at Van Vleck House and Gardens.

September 25th at 1PM – Downtown Jamboree Grand Finale. Music, vendors, family activities, and more in downtown Montclair. Lineup TBA.

The event organizers are also looking for volunteers to help set up the festivities, apply here. Learn more about the Montclair Jazz Festival here.

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