MONTCLAIR, NJ - JAZZ ON CANVAS, a solo exhibition of jazz-inspired paintings by artist Andres Chaparro opened Friday, June 17 and will be on display through August 19 at the Gallery at Hillside Square.

An event hosted by Jazz House Kids kicked off the display with an opening reception from 6-9pm. The exhibition highlights the work of Chaparro, a mixed-media artist, and shines a light on jazz, America’s original art form.

The free Andres Chaparro art exhibition leads up to the annual “No Tickets Required” Montclair Jazz Festival (www.monclairjazzfestival.org), nine hours of world-class jazz on Saturday, August 13, 2016 in Nishuane Park produced by Jazz House Kids each year.

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For the past three years, Jazz House Kids has used the distinctive and colorful jazz icon portraits by Chaparro to provide the backdrop and overall texture of the Montclair Jazz Festival. This year, Jazz House Kids has chosen one of Chaparro’s works entitled “Albert Ayler’s Cry,” an interpretive portrait of the avantgarde jazz saxophonist, singer and composer. The Montclair Jazz Festival will feature the painting on its souvenir festival t-shirt, program book, and festival merchandise. The image will be prominently featured on street banners throughout Montclair as well.

Montclair Jazz Festival Artistic Chair Christian McBride and Mistress of Ceremonies, S. Epatha Merkerson lead the stage Page 2 of 3 action on August 13th, which will include more than 150 multi-generational performers, headliner Dee Dee Bridgewater, the Jazz House Faculty Collective and the Family Jazz Discovery Zone.

The unique array of musicians and exceptional festival experience all come together under Jazz House Kids’ far-reaching mission to bring America’s original musical art form to the community and use jazz as an exciting teaching tool to mentor and apprentice young, emerging artists. Back for the second year is title sponsor The Bravitas Group/Silver Family Foundation.

Andres Chaparro has been regarded as one the most visionary and captivating artists in the New York metropolitan area. At the age of 13, he made an instant spiritual connection to jazz - this was a defining moment in Chaparro’s life as an artist. In high school, his frequent visits to the Wadsworth Athenaeum opened up the world of visual art to him.

His artwork is fluid and free, and the paintings reflect more concern for spontaneous emotion rather than traditional conventions, strong color contrast, and distorted subject matter. “Music plays an important role in my art and jazz is the impetus of all my paintings. I work without premeditation, simply following the path that the music and each painting sets forth for me. I like to work with a range of different media, which include found objects, collage, spray paint, oil sticks, oil paints, enamel, and acrylic. I describe my work as transcribing jazz music onto canvas,” says Chaparro.

Chaparro was born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries across Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey. He resides in Windsor, Connecticut, and has studied art history in New York City.

Hillside Square is located at 8 Hillside Avenue, Montclair, NJ. Originally the First Church of Christ, Scientist church, the property was converted into a Silver LEED certified professional office building and provides space for a community art gallery. Hillside Square is the recipient of the 2013 NJ Smart Growth Award for Creative Adaptive Re-Use, the 2012 Downtown NJ Excellence Gold Award for Built Projects, and the Montclair Historic Preservation Award for Excellence in Adaptive Re-Use.

The Gallery at Hillside Square is open Monday through Friday, 7:00 am - 7:00 pm. For all other information or inquiries regarding purchases, contact Lynne Toye at Jazz House Kids; ltoye@jazzhousekids.org, or (973) 744-2273.