MORRISTOWN, NJ – The sixth annual Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival will take place on the Morristown Green on Saturday, August 20, from noon until 10:00 p.m. This year’s free concert will celebrate the 90th birthday of legendary jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli who has become a regular fixture at the annual festival.
In addition, many of the artists will pay tribute to the late Rusty Paul, the bass-playing son of the great Les Paul. Rusty passed away in January after a long illness and had a special relationship with the festival.
Initiated in 2011 by Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty, this year’s festival will be headlined by Robert Randolph & The Family Band. Although he was named by Rolling Stone to their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of time, Robert has surrounded himself with top flight musicians and generously shares the stage.
The music begins at noon with the George Gee Swing Orchestra, considered by jazz fans and critics to be one of the best swing bands in the country. Under the leadership of George Gee, the band has many top-flight jazz musicians including vocalists John Dokes, tenor saxophonist Michael Hashim, alto saxophonist Ed Pazant, and bassist Marcus McLaurine among others.
At two o’clock, legendary guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli returns to the stage with his quartet featuring his long-time partner Ed Laub on guitar, his number two son Martin Pizzarelli on bass and the always popular Aaron Weinstein on violin.
Then at four, the festival is presents Louis Prima Jr. and The Witnesses playing a swinging combination of originals as well as classics from the catalog of his incomparable father, including such hits as “Jump Jive an’ Wail,” “Just a Gigolo,” and “Sing Sing Sing,” with a contemporary style all their own.
At six o’clock, the music turns the blues with guitar prodigy Quinn Sullivan and his band. Sullivan has been mentored by the legendary Buddy Guy and at the age of 16 is considered one of the best of the new generation of blues artists. Robert Randolph concludes the full day of music with a two-hour performance.
The Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival will take place on the Green in Morristown rain or shine from noon until 10:00 p.m. Admission is free and many local restaurants will be offering specials for festival attendees. Attendees should bring a lawn chairs and blankets. For more information, visit www.morristownjazzandblues.org.