Archive for Recaps & Reviews

2013 Sweet Sounds Downtown Westfield Jazz Festival

// June 14th, 2013 // No Comments » // Jazz Events, News

Local jazz group, Watson, performs at the Westfield train station July 2012.

Cadillac Phil and Michael Mullins head jazz group, Watson. Here they perform at last year’s Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival in Westfield, NJ.    PHOTO SOURCE: TheAlternativePress.com

 

Though you might not know it by the weather we’ve been having, one of the surest signs of the return of summer is almost upon us: Westfield’s annual Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival. This year marks the festival’s 17th edition and it’s bound to fill your summer Tuesdays with colors from all over the jazz spectrum.

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Interactive Jazz Fun at Rockn’ Joe Cafe

// April 7th, 2013 // No Comments » // Jazz Events, Recaps & Reviews

A sandwich board in front of Rockn' Joe Cafe in Union promotes their upcoming Open Jazz Jam.

Rockn’ Joe Cafe in Union hosts an Open Jazz Jam on the First Friday of every month.

The sounds of jazz can be heard at Rock’n’ Joe Coffeehouse in Union on the first Friday of every month. As a venue without a liquor license, this comfy shop makes for an unconventional jazz venue, though BYOB is allowed and encouraged.

As the brainchild of Rock’n’ Joe owner, Ted Kwok, the jam taps into the Kean University student musician community for what’s officially known as the Friday Evening Open Jazz Jam at Rockn’ Joe, although it would be more appropriate to call it The Dan Hutchinson Show. (more…)

Free Jazz Appreciation Month Events – April 2013 Edition

// March 31st, 2013 // No Comments » // Jazz Events, News

Stan Myers, Host of the Tuesday night Open Jazz Jam at Crossroads in Garwood, NJ

Stan Myers, Host of the Tuesday night Open Jazz Jam at Crossroads in Garwood, NJ gestures to make a point as he announces the next tune.

Just a quick announcement about some free events going on for Jazz Appreciation Month:

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Gas House Gorillas Mix It Up At Roxy & Dukes

// March 2nd, 2013 // No Comments » // Gas House Gorillas, Jazz Events, Recaps & Reviews, Roxy & Dukes, Dunellen, NJ

The Gas House Gorillas perform at Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen on March 1, 2013.

The Gas House Gorillas perform at Roxy & Dukes in Dunellen on March 1, 2013.

Last night we recently made our first trip to a venue we’ve been clamoring to visit. Having opened a few years ago to much fanfare, Roxy & Dukes caught our attention with word of their unique style and dance floor — a feature missing from many jazz venues these days.

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Jazz-Age Lawn Party Is The Cat’s Pajamas

// June 27th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // History, Jazz Events, News, Recaps & Reviews

This past weekend we attended the Jazz-age Lawn Party on Governors Island which, for the last few years, has injected a bit of Roaring 20’s-style class and sophistication into NYC two weekends each summer. As usual, the event is nothing if not a great place to people-watch. It’s striking how over 85% of the revelers (not an official statistic) are decked out in full 1920’s regalia. (more…)

Lou Pallo And The Gibson Bus

// May 22nd, 2011 // 4 Comments » // Crossroads, Garwood, NJ, Jazz Events, News

Gibson Tour Bus

A bus similar to this, and no doubt loaded with musical goodies, will be at the Crossroads in Garwood on Tuesday, May 22.

Just got an email from organist Radam Schwartz, who runs the Tuesday Night Jazz Jam at the Crossroads in Garwood. Check it out and consider attending. Sounds like a fun time! Here’s Radam’s original email with full details:

Lou Pallo and friends pull up in the decked-out Gibson bus on Tuesday, May 24th to hang at the Crossroads weekly jazz jam.
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Full Details For Point Pleasant Beach Jazz & Blues Fest 2011 (Address, Schedule, Etc)

// May 2nd, 2011 // No Comments » // Blues Events, Jazz Events, News

Well, this certainly is a rarity. Usually I find out what’s going on in the jazz & blues scenes around NJ and blog about it here, ultimately pointing you, faithful reader, to the official website for any given event.

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From Dawn Till Dusk: Fill Your Day With Jazz

// April 2nd, 2011 // 2 Comments » // Jazz Events, News, Robin's Nest, Linden, NJ

Pat Metheny standing, surrounded by the mechanized instruments that make up his Orchestrion tour.

Pat Metheny redefines the term "solo concert" with his Orchestrion Tour. Here, he stands surrounded by the mechanized instruments that share the stage with him.

Sunday April 3rd is set to be a windfall for NJ jazz fans:

First, wake up to the sounds of Pat Metheny and his Orchestrion (a show we attended this past October) at 9am on Channel 2’s “CBS News Sunday Morning.” Full details for this interview & performance can be found here.

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Tearing Down The Nest With Gas House Gorillas

// March 20th, 2011 // 2 Comments » // Blues Events, Gas House Gorillas, Recaps & Reviews, Robin's Nest, Linden, NJ

Gas House Gorillas rock out during their first set of the night.

Gas House Gorillas lead singer Rick Fink cuts an imposing silhouette in his fedora, A-shirt and suspenders.

Wow. Talk about a band that does not disappoint! It’s Saturday night and Jazzville, NJ Meetup Group is in attendance at the Gas House Gorillas show at the Robin’s Nest in Linden. It’s a friendly, if cozy, little juke joint that specializes in blues acts. But if you’re here to sit back and take in a quiet, relaxing evening, you are at the wrong show. Early in the night, the crowd’s energy boils over into spontaneous dancing as couples -and even singles- writhe and twist rhythmically among the tables.

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Best New Artist Esperanza Spalding Mesmerizes Crowd In Her Only NJ Appearance

// March 6th, 2011 // No Comments » // Artists, Esperanza Spalding, Jazz Events, Recaps & Reviews, UCPAC, Rahway, NJ

esperanza-spalding-bassist

Grammy Award winner Esperanza Spalding's innovative style is paving the way for future jazz musicians. PHOTO CREDIT: Afrobella.com

She may have made history at this year’s Grammy Awards by becoming the first jazz musician EVER to win Best New Artist, but Esperanza Spalding hasn’t let the hype change her. Humbly walking onto the unlit stage of the Union County Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 5, Spalding turned on a lamp, took off her coat and poured herself a glass of wine, creating an atmosphere of tranquility amidst the whirlwind of activity that’s occurred in these few weeks since then. Having read Esperanza’s bio detailing how she first decided she wanted to be a musician at age four after watching Yo Yo Ma perform on an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, I couldn’t help but feel that her “arrival”  was a small tribute to the daily ritual he performed at the start of every episode.

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