MONTCLAIR, NJ - The wonderful sounds of trumpets, saxophones and pianos among other instruments filled the air of Montclair today at the seventh annual Montclair Jazz Festival. Held in Nishuane Park, the festival featured many talented jazz musicians including Grammy winners Dee Dee Bridgewater and Cristian McBride.
Bridgewater is also a Tony Award winning actress for her performance in “The Wiz”. Christian McBride is a twenty-five year Grammy Award winning jazz veteran and is the host of “The Lowdown: Conversations with Christian” on SiriusXM radio.
Louis Prima, Jr. an iconic songwriter, performer and the son of the legendary bandleader Louis Prima, Sr. also made an appearance with the award-winning Jazz House Band. Students of Montclair’s very own Jazz House Kids Summer Workshop also graced the stage with their musical talent.
Bob Silver, who has been involved with Jazz House Kids for six years said, “This festival is our opportunity for the kids to learn about music that they would not normally have which is what our real mission is”.
The festival also featured a large amount of sponsors, including both local businesses and large corporations.
However, the Montclair Jazz Festival is not just about listening to music. Mayor Robert Jackson of Montclair said, “The festival has become a focal point for Montclair’s summer season and it has become a celebration of the town's values because there is nothing better than getting together to enjoy old music, see old friends and meet new friends at an event such as this one”.
Mayor Jackson could not have spoken truer words about this festival. This year's festival proved him right with many of Montclair’s citizens in attendance to enjoy music, be among friends and meet new friends. The festival ended a bit earlier than planned due to the threat of lightning storms, but it was nonetheless a success and with the festival's reputation, next years festival will be just as great.