SOMERVILLE, NJ  - The Central New Jersey Jazz Festival concludes Sunday afternoon, with upwards of 6,000 people expected to bring their lawn chairs and their love for music to be entertained in front of the stage on East Main Street, with seating spilling over on to the lawn at the historic Somerset County Courthouse.

The weather forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures near 80 degrees.

All that jazz started here ten years ago, and has since found a home in two other central New Jersey locations, a three-day festival of live music, visual arts on the Division Street pedestrian mall and fine dining at a number of Main Street restaurants.

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Founded in 2008, the Somerville Jazz Festival has grown in sophistication, drawing top-flight talent and a loyal following that attracts people from throughout the tri-state area and beyond, with its popularity spawning even more success in New Brunswick and more recently, Flemington. 

Opening night for the Central New Jersey Jazz Festival was in Flemington, Sept. 14, moving to New Brunswick on Saturday, Sept. 15 and concluding in Somerville on Sunday, Sept. 16.

Seating first come, first served on East Main Street in front of the stage, and on the courthouse lawn. Food and beverages will be available at nearby restaurants.

There is no admission charge.

Somerville Line-up, Sept. 16

Day Three of the Central Jersey Jazz Festival will be held on East Main Street adjacent to the Somerset County Historic Courthouse Green at the corner of East Main Street and Grove Street.

(1:30-2:40 p.m.) Riza Printup is a jazz harpist, based in New York. Among many others, she has recorded with acclaimed jazz trumpeter and husband Marcus Printup, Grammy nominated pianist and composer Kenny Werner, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Chick Corea. Her live performances include collaborations with Paquito D'Rivera, Yo-Yo Ma, and Kathleen Battle.

Printup studied classical harp at the Indiana University School of Music under the instruction of Susan McDonald and jazz with Professor of Jazz, David Baker. She continued her studies at Columbia College and Georgia State University's School of Music. Printup is currently on faculty at Jazz at Lincoln Center's WeBop (early childhood jazz education program) located in Manhattan.

(1:30-2:40 p.m.) Marcus Printup, born and raised in Conyers, GA, credits his musical roots to Peeks Chapel Baptist Church where his family (mother Annie, father Bobby, sister Angela and paternal grandfather 'Big Deddy') all sang in the church choir. In 5th grade he had an interest in playing the drums. His band teacher noted that because they already had plenty of drummers, Marcus try the trumpet instead. He hasn't put the trumpet down since.

He met his first mentor, Marcus Roberts while attending the University of North Florida. During his final year at UNF, he was invited and began touring with Roberts acting as both road manager and bandmate. In 1991, Mr. Roberts introduced Marcus Printup to renowned trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. In 1993, Printup was invited to join the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (of which Mr. Marsalis is the Director) and has remained a member to this day.

Printup has released fourteen solo recordings and appears as a sidemen on a host of others and is in demand as a composer, arranger and educator.

 (3:05-4:15 p.m.) A 35-year veteran of the New York music scene, Monte Croft is a multi-instrumentalist, playing six instruments and counting; drums, vibraphone, keyboards, chromatic harmonica, bass guitar and guitar. A brief stint in the 80’s, at Columbia records, produced two highly acclaimed albums - A Higher Fire and Survival of the Spirit.

 (4:45 -6 p.m.) Carla Cook, a Grammy-nominated, jazz singer/songwriter sings standards beautifully also puts a jazz spin on songs not written by traditional jazz composers. This Detroit native grew up in a musically rich and diverse environment. She gives a jazz flavor to pop classics from Simon & Garfunkel, Marvin Gaye to Neil Young. In 1998 her debut MAXJAZZ recording, It’s All About Love, earned her a Grammy nomination in the Best Jazz Vocal Performance category.

Sunday will also be the second day of the Arts on Division Jazz Festival Art Market in Somerville, featuring live performances and visual art displays on the pedestrian mall beginning at noon on Saturday, Sept. 15 and Sunday, Sept. 16. There will be interactive displays for children. Available for purchase will be hand-crafted jewelry, ceramics, clothing, drawings, paintings and clothing.

The CC Coletti Acoustic Trio  performrf all day Saturday on Division Street and will return on Sunday from 1:15-2:45 p.m., followed by John Busse from 3:15-4:45 p.m. and The Bob Lanza Blues Band from 5:15-6:45 p.m.

 Further information is available online at

Editor's Note: All biographical information on the talent featured in the Central Jersey Jazz Festival was provided by the management of the featured performers.