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8th Annual Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival To Take Place On August 18

originally published: 08/09/2018

8th Annual Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival To Take Place On August 18

(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- The eighth Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival will be held on the Green on Saturday, August 18, from noon until 10:00pm. The annual free concert is made possible by the generous support of many sponsors who are well-known in the region. Performers include Rhythm in Blue, Bria Skonberg, LaBamba and the Hubcaps, Bernard Allison Group, and Davy Knowles.

This year’s festival begins at noon with Rhythm in Blue, the dynamic new jazz ensemble from the United States Air Force. Comprised of 14 talented musicians, the jazz band draws on a classic well-known big band repertoire with an unparalleled level of excitement and versatility. Joining the band will be the guest soloist trumpet player Mark Pender who is currently with the Basic Cable Band on the late night show Conan. As a member of The Miami Horns, Pender has appeared with Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, Robert Cray and Bon Jovi. 

Jazz fans know that the military jazz bands have a rich history of spawning superb musicians. During World War II, many top jazzmen joined the service bands, the most well-known being Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw. But many younger musicians honed their chops playing in the service as well including a young Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and a singer who has gone on to have a pretty good career, Tony Bennett. 

At two o’clock jazz trumpeter, singer and songwriter Bria Skonberg returns to the Green for the first time in three years, taking over the slot held for the past several years by Bucky Pizzarelli. Unfortunately, the hot sun of August has become too much for the legendary nonagenarian so the mantle has passed to the young musician who continues to win critical acclaim and more awards. 

Since her Festival debut in 2015, Bria has had two new releases, won the prestigious JUNO Award, received the Swing! Award from Jazz at Lincoln Center, took home a Hot House Jazz MagazineAward last fall, and most recently won Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. Her band includes Evan Arntzen on reeds, Mathis Picard on piano, Devon Starks on bass, and Darrian Douglas on drums. 

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Following Bria will be New Jersey’s own LaBamba and the Hubcaps. Led by long-time Conan O’Brien band member Richie “LaBamba” Rosenberg, this explosive ensemble has been a fixture on the Asbury Park music scene for many years and was the stage band for the first five induction ceremonies of the New Jersey Hall of Fame. Equally at home playing jazz, and blues and funk, the Hubcaps provide a perfect transition from hot swinging jazz in the afternoon to steamy blues at night. 

Trombonist Richie Rosenberg got his start with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, but quickly became one of the most sought-after horn men around, leading Bruce Springsteen’s Miami Horns at the Super Bowl, and joining drummer Max Weinberg and the Conan O’Brien Band more than two decades ago.  

At six o’clock, the music turns to the blues with the European-based Bernard Allison Group. Born in Chicago in 1965, Bernard Allison was first introduced to the blues by his father, the legendary guitarist Luther Allison. Bernard developed his guitar chops with the Koko Taylor Blues Machine as well as the legendary Willie Dixon. A star in Europe, Bernard is beginning to get a lot of notice here in America through appearances at Festivals and radio airplay. 

Wrapping up the day is blues guitarist Davy Knowles who may just be in his early thirties, but has been turning heads with his mature playing. He has toured with a long list of top blues guitarists and has headlined at festivals such as Lollapalozza, Bonnaroo, and Austin City Limits. He is praised by guitar greats such as Joe Satriani who proclaimed Knowles his “favorite modern bluesman” and Peter Frampton who called him “the gunslinger guitarist of the 21stcentury.” He is often featured in concert tributes to the late Rory Gallagher. 

Festival co-producer Linda Smith of LKS Associates looks forward to the show this year. “It is great to feature some young artists, such as Bria Skonberg and Davy Knowles, along with established stars like LaBamba. We love the variety that this festival can provide.” 

Mayor Tim Dougherty, who initiated the festival in 2011, commented, “With swinging jazz in the afternoon and hot blues in the evening, there is great music for everyone. The Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival has become a much anticipated event and we thank our generous sponsors for making this day possible.” 

Admission is free and many local restaurants will be offering specials for festival attendees. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets.  

Victor Wainwright & The Train To Perform At Lizzie Rose Music Room
(TUCKERTON, NJ) -- The Lizzie Rose Music Room presents Victor Wainwright and the Train on Wednesday, August 22 at 7:30pm. A 3 time BMA Piano Award winner,  BB KING Entertainer of the Year Award Winner, and Band of the Year Award winner, Victor Wainwright is at the top of his game right now.  The band is touring in support of their latest record, The Train, on Ruf Records. Tickets are 30 in advance and $35 at the door.
State Theatre presents Lost 80's Live
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Lost 80’s Live on Saturday, September 20, 2018 at 8:00pm. The Lost 80’s line-up features some of the most iconic bands from the 1980s including A Flock of Seagulls; Wang Chung; Bow Wow Wow; Farrington and Mann, Original Vocalists of When in Rome UK; Naked Eyes; and Animotion. Tickets range from $48-$98.
White Eagle Hall Presents Sloan
(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- White Eagle Hall presents Sloan, one of Canada's best power-pop bands, on Friday, September 7 at 8:00pm. The band recently released their first album in four years, 12, which has become their highest-charting album in their long career.  Tickets are $25.
Vanessa Williams To Open MPAC's 24th Season
(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Vanessa Williams, one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in entertainment today, performs at Mayo Performing Arts Center on Friday, September 14 at 8:00pm.  Tickets for MPAC's Opening Night celebration are $49-$99. 
NJSO presents 2018 Opening Night Celebration: Ode to Joy
(NEWARK, NJ) -- The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra celebrates the joys of giving, diversity and the state’s remarkable communities at its Opening Night Celebration on October 5 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. The gala, which kicks off Music Director Xian Zhang’s third season at the helm of the NJSO, honors two outstanding community members—Stevens Institute of Technology President Nariman Farvardin and NJSO Community Relations Liaison Florence Johnson. The NJSO repeats the concert performance on October 6 at 8:00pm at State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick and October 7 at 3:00 pm at NJPAC. Concert tickets start at $20.

Let’s Hang On’s Tribute to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons LIVE! at The Strand
Q: So what do four guys from Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, and Massachusetts — and all currently based out of Florida — have in common with four guys from “Joisey” this summery August 3, 2018 evening at the Strand Theater in Lakewood, NJ?
80's Tribute Band Almost Journey Rocks iPlay America
I never in a million years would have thought about iPlay America in Freehold as being an event venue. To me, it's a place to ride bumper cars, have kids' birthday parties and play video games. Never been there.
The Great Rock N Roll Time Machine LIVE! at Toms River’s Grunin Center
As we make our way inside the Grunin Center of the Arts located on the campus of Ocean County College in Toms River, NJ, this Saturday, July 28, 2018, we see music lovers of all ages. Some of them are wearing street clothes but some are decked out in outfits from the 1970s and ’80s for tonight’s concert by the ’70s and ’80s tribute band, The Great Rock N Roll Time Machine.
Classical Guitarists Alex and Wesley Park LIVE! at The Great Auditorium
The bucolic seashore town of Ocean Grove, NJ is a place designed for quiet reflection and spiritual renewal. An artist sketches in the lush green park off Pilgrim Pathway. Still others read or meditate in the heart of this picturesque village which features gingerbread houses and colorful gardens, all just steps away from the fresh salt air wafting off the blue Atlantic Ocean.
“Rock and Roll Icons!” Hippiefest LIVE! at BergenPAC
A light summer rain is falling outside Englewood, NJ’s BergenPAC this Wednesday July 25, 2018, as music lovers decked out in peace signs, tie-dyed shirts, and bell-bottomed jeans arrive for tonight’s Hippiefest concert event starring Vanilla Fudge, Rick Derringer, Mitch Ryder, and Badfingers’ Joey Molland.

Event calendar
Saturday, Aug 18, 2018


90s By Nature Dance Party @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 10:00pm

BALLYHOO! @ The Saint, Asbury Park - 7:30pm

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists @ Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park - 9:00pm

THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 5:00pm

ZEBRA @ The Wonder Bar, Asbury Park - 9:00pm

Blake Shelton @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

Legendary Beatles Recording Engineer Geoff Emerick @ The Vault at Victor Records , Berlin - 8:00pm

HAIR in Concert @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 10:00pm

AMERICAN IDOL: LIVE! 2018 @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 7:30pm

Billy Walton Band with Joe D'Angelo @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 8:00pm

REMEMBERING THE KING @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 7:00pm

Funky Feat @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

Fuel (20th Anniversary Tour) w/ Ropetree, New Theory @ Starland Ballroom, Sayreville - 6:00pm

Ronnie Penque’s Panama Dead @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm


Saturday Night Fever @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 8:00pm

The Lion In Winter @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 8:00pm

Fern Hill @ New Jersey Repertory Company, Long Branch - 3:00pm and 8:00pm

Bob Goss and his Silver Sizzles @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 8:00pm

Shakespeare in the Park' Twelfth Night & Macbeth @ Various Bergen County Parks, Teaneck - 7:00pm


HASAN MINHAJ: BEFORE THE STORM @ Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), Morristown - 7:00pm and 9:30pm

View all events


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