(JERSEY CITY, NJ) -- Pier Fest, Jersey City’s annual Latin Jazz & Salsa series is returning Friday nights this September. Riverview Jazz, the producers of the Jersey City Jazz Festival, have partnered once again with Exchange Place Alliance to present the music and dance series at the J. Owen Grundy Plaza located where Montgomery St meets the Hudson River. The events begin Friday, September 8th at 6:00pm and will run consecutive Fridays through September 29th. Each event features two world-class bands, food trucks, a Salsa dance lesson, and is free to the public.
The series, now in its fifth year, has become a community staple drawing over 2,000 attendees each Friday night. Riverview Jazz has once again partnered with local organizations to highlight the rich culture of Jersey City. Salsa Fever on2, a Jersey City Heights-based dance studio led by Mario B will provide free dance classes at each event. Circle 9, a JC-based record label, has curated a lineup of world-class Latin bands for the series, and Rooftop at Exchange Place (Hyatt House) will be hosting an afterparty featuring DJ Double A entertainment at the conclusion of each event.
This year’s lineup includes world-class legends of Salsa and Latin Jazz, amongst them multi-Grammy® award winners. Listeners will be able to hear 4-time Grammy® Award winner and leader of Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Oscar Hernández and Alma Libre on opening night. The lineup also includes salsa trombone legend Jimmy Bosch’s “Salsa Masters”, a heel-tapping mambo-charanga band led by legendary NYC flautist Karen Joseph, and performances by Chick Corea alumnus, percussionist Luisito Quintero, and the industry’s most in-demand latin drummer, Robby Ameen. The legendary Tito Puente veteran John “Dandy” Rodriguez will be back with his Dream Team, and drummer Michael Tate will lead his 3D Rhythm of Life ensemble. The festival will close with Circle 9 founder Doug Beavers’ Titanes del Trombón, featuring multi-Grammy® award winner and trombone legend, Conrad Herwig.
Bryan Beninghove is the director of Riverview Jazz, the Jersey City-based non-profit that produces the Jersey City Jazz Festival as well as many other community events. “We are so lucky to have such a plethora of great musicians in our community. It is an absolute pleasure to present this incredible lineup in such a magnificent setting. The backdrop of the city lights, the dancers twirling, the horns blaring and the drums pounding - you need to really experience this, it’s incredible. Major thanks to our partners - especially Exchange Place Alliance. Their generous support keeps these events free to the public!”
"We are pleased to present Pier Fest, a unique weekly experience in our flourishing community” said Exchange Place Alliance director Elizabeth Cain. “Residents around Exchange Place and citywide are all able to enjoy our diverse and vibrant events which grow in prestige every year. The Alliance is thrilled to partner with Bryan Beninghove and Riverview Jazz to host this Latin jazz and dance party."
Admission is free and the events are rain or shine. In the case of rain, the event will be held at Harborside (210 Hudson St.). Attendees can go to www.RiverviewJazz.Org, follow RiverviewJazz on FaceBook, or follow #riverviewjazzjc on Instagram for updated information. Public transportation is available via the PATH, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, NY Waterway ferries, and NJ Transit bus.
Doug Beavers is a Grammy-winning trombonist, composer, and the founder of Circle 9. “Circle 9, a Jersey City-based record label, is very excited to work with riverviewjazz.org to present all live music at this year’s Jersey City Pier Fest! We have invited the very best performers of Salsa and Latin Jazz music today, ranging from Salsa legends to multi-Grammy® award winners. Grab your dancing shoes, take the free salsa lesson, and come down and listen to some of the hottest performers of Latin Jazz and Salsa today, only at Jersey City Pier Fest!”
PierFest is sponsored by Exchange Place Alliance, a not-for-profit Special Improvement District. PierFest is also made possible in part by Mayor Steven M. Fulop, the Jersey City Municipal Council, and the Office of Cultural Affairs. RiverviewJazz.Org is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
September 8: Oscar Hernandez & Alma Libre at 6:00pm; Dance Lesson with Salsa Fever on2 at 7:00pm; Karen Joseph Mambocha at 7:30pm
September 15: 3d Rhythm of Life at 6:00pm; Dance Lesson with Salsa Fever on2 at 7:00pm; John “Dandy” Rodriguez Dream Team at 7:30pm
September 22: Luisito Quintero y su 3rd Element at 6:00pm; Dance Lesson with Salsa Fever on2 at 7:00pm; Jimmy Bosch at 7:30pm
September 29: Robby Ameen Group at 6:00pm; Dance Lesson with Salsa Fever on2 at 7:00pm; Doug Beavers “Titanes del Trombón” at 7:30pm