NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The sound of jazz music will return to the city on Wednesday night.
The New Brunswick Jazz Project will be presenting a Facebook Live concert starring pianist and vocalist Champian Fulton.
The one-hour concert not only celebrates the project’s 10th anniversary, but it will mark the return of jazz music to the city since last month’s social distancing orders forced restaurants, lounges and other venues to close their doors to the public amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I'm hoping this event can bring some joy to people in their homes during these dark times,” said Michael Tublin, the CFO of the New Brunswick Jazz Project. “Unfortunately, we can’t all be together, but we can deliver the music to you. We can bring it to you. Hopefully, it spreads a little happiness.”
Starting with its first concert in 2010, the New Brunswick Jazz Project has become an artistic and cultural institution in the Hub City. Since then, the 501c3 nonprofit organization founded by Tublin, Jimmy Lenihan and Virginia DeBerry has sought to enrich the lives of city residents and provide jazz music and its brilliant musicians a stage.
For much of those 10 years, they have worked with local venues to host more than 1,400 events featuring more than 1,600 artists, including Arturo O’Farrill, Jimmy Cobb, John Lee, Ed Cherry, Dave Stryker, Akiko Tsuruga, Roseanna Vitro, Jerry Weldon, Rudy Royston, Virginia Mayhew, Joe Magnarelli, Ralph Peterson, Steve Williams, Kenny Davis, Tia Fuller, Orrin Evans, Tim Ries, Victor Lewis, Conrad Herwig and Ravi Coltrane.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the city and the rest of the nation, the organization was hosting three events a week. On Tuesday nights, the Emerging Artists Series was hosted at the George Street Ale House. On Wednesday and Thursday nights, artists played at Tavern on George.
About eight years ago, the New Brunswick Jazz Project teamed up with the Central Jersey Jazz Festival. The annual event takes place over three counties, over three days. This past September, the festival launched with performances on Friday night in Flemington, on Saturday night in New Brunswick and on Sunday night in Somerville.
And if the jazz musicians can’t come to New Brunswick and play because of the health crisis, New Brunswick Jazz Project will bring music to the people.
“Champian Fulton, who is a fantastic singer and pianist, will be performing from her home,” Tublin said. “So, she'll be solo. I wouldn't be surprised if her father (Stephen), who is an accomplished trumpeter and flugelhorn player – maybe we will see him stop in. She’s going perform for an hour.”
Tublin said that because the New Brunswick Jazz Project has worked closely with many local organizations and cultural groups – even literally lending its voice to charity endeavors – it’s hard to single out tomorrow night’s performance as the most important one in the organization’s history.
“But,” he said, “This is extremely important. We want to just let people know that the music is still out there. The artists are out there and we're trying to support them and support keeping jazz alive.”
The concert begins at 7 p.m.
The New Brunswick Jazz Project’s Facebook page can be found here.