Paterson Top Stories

Patersonians Jazzed About Great Falls Music Festival

About Funk
Carlos and Juana Rodriguez
John Harris and Russell Graddy, aka Mr. "G"
L-R: Jaiden Lee, 7; Natalie Payne, 8; Talitha Payne, 5; Taylor Carter, 9
Robin Spencer
MUA Chairman Erik Lowe and Mayor Jones
Mayor Jeffrey Jones
Linda Mecca and Laurie Brown
Art by Mohamed Khalil
Marcia Julian, Division of Cultural Affairs
MUA Chairman Erik Lowe
Patersonians under the festival tent
L-R: Nazir Wilder, 11; Charity Wilder, 9; Kayla McDonald, 5


PATERSON, NJ - Summer was in full swing at the Great Falls on Saturday night.

Enjoying a cool breeze on a warm gorgeous night, families gathered together at Overlook Park for the second performance of the Great Falls jazz festival. Everyone was doing their own thing. Some chilled out in lounge chairs. Others sipped on lemon and tropical drinks, or snacked on gyros and shish kebabs. , Kids rode their bikes and played. Adults basked in the sweet sounds of the two bands -  About Funk and One Accord.

Sign Up for E-News

The glorious Great Falls provided the back-drop and as twilight hit, candles were lit on the café-style tables under a tent. There was also some cool, inventive artwork displayed in the café area, created by local Egyptian artist, Mohamed Khalil.

“This shows that the negative persona people have about Paterson is not true,” said Erik Lowe, chairman of the Paterson municipal utilities authority, the agency that sponsors the festival. “You can enjoy great music … the people … at the nation’s newest national park. This is to dispel the rumor that Paterson isn’t safe.”

Charity Wilder, a 9-year-old Paterson resident agreed. She said, “I’m always safe [in Paterson.]”

Marcia Julian of the Division of Cultural Affairs who helped put together the event said. “Summer is here. Jazz is here. It’s a nice way to breeze through the summer wind and bring people together through hard times,” Julian said.

Carlos and Juana Rodriguez were serving refreshing pina coladas from their island-influenced hut at the festival.

“We enjoy,” said Carlos. “It brings everybody together. It’s about the music, and beats being on the streets. Let them know there’s a real life out there.”

Russell Graddy, also known as Mr. G, owner of Mr. G’s Diner on 18th Street in Paterson was enjoying himself, chatting with a friend at the fall’s view. He said he had a “fabulous afternoon.”

“Paterson’s got a lot to offer,” said Graddy.

Mayor Jeffrey Jones raved about the event as well. “The venue is a lot cheaper for folks who have a love for music. You can’t be more alive!” said Jones. And Jones certainly was alive, showing off his fancy footwork as he danced to the live bands later in the evening, along with Lowe.

Talitha Payne, 5, of Paterson was having a blast playing with Jaiden Lee, 7; Natalie Payne, 8; and Taylor Carter, 9. Talitha’s eyes lit up as she expressed her love for the music.  “I like the music! I like to dance!” she said, excitedly.

Tyrek Eillie, 14, came with his family and his puppy, Dice. Tyrek was having a great time playing with his puppy all night, holding him and moving Dice’s paws in time with the Michael Jackson tunes that were played while the band took a break. Tyrek said his favorite part of the festival was listening to the songs made famous by the late artist, Jackson.

While Paterson residents all joined together as a community, folks from other towns in New Jersey also came to join in the festivities. Robin Spencer of Garfield, formerly of Paterson, said she came to support a positive event in Paterson.

“I love New York City,” she said, “but this is free.

Linda Mecca and Laurie Brown came all the way from Jackson to see The Falls and ended up staying for the event once they realized jazz bands were performing. “It’s really nice,” said Mecca. “I wish they did this in our town.”

“We will definitely come back,” said Brown. “Everybody’s friendly. We’re enjoying ourselves.”

Mayor Jeff Jones said these festivals will be held weekly up until August 4 and encourages people from all communities to come join the fun. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


‘We Must Not Be Enemies’

May 9, 2018

Dear Editor

I want to take opportunity to congratulate Mayor Elect Andre Sayegh on his awesome election night victory and for running a campaign to unite all Patersonians. His message of “One Paterson” resonated with the electorate. I believe that Paterson's best days are ahead. He will govern the city the same way he campaigned, always putting Paterson and ...

Adopt A Pet

May 20, 2018

This little cutie is the last “good” reminder of a bitter winter. The family, mom included, were rescued during a nasty blizzard. They adapted quickly to being safe inside and are now ready to find their new homes and their new families. Hailey is quite the player and is all about kitten energy. Born in late February of 2018, this beautiful grey and white girl enjoys wrestling with ...

Five Former Salesmen For Morris County Clinical Lab Sentenced For Bribing Doctors In $100 Million Test Referral Scheme

NEWARK, N.J. – Five individuals were sentenced today for bribing doctors in exchange for test referrals as part of a long-running and elaborate scheme operated by Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC (BLS), of Parsippany, New Jersey, its president and numerous associates, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Doug Hurley, 38, of Hillsborough, New Jersey, and Kevin Kerekes, 52, of ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.


Q. When did you join

I joined in September, ...

Passaic County CASA Recognizes Volunteer Child Advocates at Annual Event

May 11, 2018

WAYNE, NJ- More than 50 staff members, volunteers, and board members from Passaic County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) celebrated the impact of CASA volunteers at the organization's Volunteer Appreciation Brunch on April 28, 2018, at Laurelwood Arboretum in Wayne. This annual event recognizes Passaic County CASA volunteer advocates and the difference they make in the lives of ...

PayPal CEO says Rutgers grads need to "Help Repair the World"

May 14, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, called on the Class of 2018 to take a stand for social justice as they graduate during a time of unprecedented technological and social change.

He talked about the decision at PayPal to rescind plans to build a global operations center in North Carolina following legislation many considered discriminatory against the ...

Murphy Signs Legislation Championed by Paterson Senator Nellie Pou to Give DREAMers In-state Financial Aid

NEWARK, NJ - Legislation co-sponsored by Paterson's Senator Nellie Pou (D-35) allowing students to apply for state financial aid assistance, joining nine other states nationally to make both tuition and financial aid available to DREAMers, was signed into law on Wednesday by Governor Phil Murphy.

The DREAM Act was a bill created by Congress to allow undocumented immigrants ...

Brownie Troop Donates Cookies to Paterson Military Food Pantry. Joint Effort by Great Falls Rotary and Passaic County Board of Realtors Continues to Thrive

May 19, 2018

Today was such a momentous day in the life of a Rotarian/Realtor and the perfect example of community service and partnerships.

Roger Fields, a fellow realtor and current President of the VFW post in Butler and his wife Joan, when approached by Brownie Troop 96521 Butler-Bloomingdale Service Unit regarding the donation of Girl Scouts cookies immediately provided them with my contact ...