Arts & Entertainment

Line-Up for Jazz Thursdays at Union Farmers Market


UNION, NJ – Hosted by Union’s Special Improvement District (SID), Jazz Thursdays at the Union Farmers Market kicks off four months’ of jazz in Union Center beginning opening day, June 22, with VMusic.

Performing on opening day at 4:00 p.m., VMusic is made up of several accomplished musicians who have toured, recorded and produced Jazz, Gospel, Hip-Hop, Funk and Pop music for over 20 years.

Founded in 2009, VMusic of Union consists of accomplished musicians whose resume includes performing with artists such as Kenny Garrett, Chante’ Moore, Ann Nesby, Gerald Levert, Alycia Keys, Vivian Green, Donnell Jones, R. Kelly, Bilal, Faith Evans, Mary J. Blige, Black Street, Tone’ Cissy Houston, Dionne Warrick, BET Celebration of Gospel, and Karen Clarke.  VMusic is currently working on a new CD called "Up Against the Wall".

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The Union Farmers Market is open every Thursday, June 22 through September 28 from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m., located in the Town Hall front parking lot.

Jazz Thursdays at the Union Farmers Market is sponsored in-part by PSE&G.

Other Jazz Thursday performers include:

June 29 – David Cedeno’s Orchestra has been a mainstay of the NY Salsa scene for more than 25 years. His unique blend of hot rhythms, powerful horns, and lyrical vocals compel his audience to sing along and move their feet. David’s albums, including popular crossover hits such as Lady in Red, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Somewhere and Sealed with a Kiss, have been sold throughout the US, Japan, Germany and the Netherlands. Don’t miss this exciting concert and receive free CDs.

7/6 – Clarence Conover and M-Pack - This cross-genre musician, Clarence “M-Pack” Conover, is creatively talented and has gathered other likeminded musicians and vocalists (Joe Scarpitto, Chris “Baby Funk” Meagher, Brett Calder, Kev “Nazt” Moore and Patricia Walton) to create this musical phenomenon known as the MPack Band. Clarence has performed and recorded with Patti Labelle, Teddy Pendergrass, Grover Washington Jr., the Delfonics, Bo Diddley and others.  He is a product of the Philly sound.  Clarence is a specialist in Funk, Jazz, Blues, Fusion, Neo-soul and R&B so come on down and enjoy an evening of the slickest grooves you will ever hear.

7/13 – Stephen Fuller This dynamic bass/baritone sings to diverse cross-generational audiences and has performed in Spain, Israel, Central America and parts of the Caribbean. He is often heard performing in upscale Jazz clubs throughout NJ such as Shanghai Jazz (Madison), Hyatt Regency (New Brunswick), Trumpets Jazz Club (Montclair), the Priory Jazz Club (Newark), Hibiscus Restaurant (Morristown), and the Stony Hill Inn (Hackensack).  Stephen performs in NY as well at the Metropolitan Room, the Iguana Room, and monthly at Tomi Jazz Club. Stephen’s voice has been compared to Jon Lucien and Johnny Hartman while performing a repertoire of R&B, Jazz, Calypso, and Gospel. He currently serves on the board of directors of the New Jersey Jazz Society and is a winner of the 2016 Jazz Forum Arts - Vocal Competition.

7/20 – Mike Kaplan Nonet has captivated club and concert audiences, jazz reviewers, DJs and radio listeners with their Hard Swing, Latin Jazz, Jump and New Orleans Funk. Their swinging CD “How’s That” has been played on over 150 Jazz radio stations across the US. This exciting 9-piece Jazz orchestra is made up of many of the most talented NY Jazz artists including 2 trumpets, a trombone and 3 saxes along with a swinging rhythm section. They perform originals as well as arrangements of Jazz mainstays such as Charlie Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and more. If you’re a fan of hot Jazz solos intertwined throughout exciting large ensemble arrangements layered upon a swinging rhythm section, then you will want to hear the Nonet!

7/27 – Rain Date Option

8/3 – Jay Rodriguez Quintet will excite listeners from the very first note! Jay is a Grammy nominated saxophonist, flautist, clarinetist, film composer, producer and arranger who has performed with the likes of Celia Cruz, Vincent Pacheco, Jose “El Canario” Alberto, Candido, Eddie Palmieri, Mongo Santamaria, Irakere and more in the Latin scene. He has graced Jazz stages with Roy Hargrove, Victor Jones, Kenny Baron, Miles Davis, the Roots (Tonight Show Band), Alex Foster, the Gil Evans Band, etc. Jay has also performed with many pop artists such as Melissa Manchester, Prince, Patti LaBelle, Natalie Cole and many more. Jay is a “Force” and a must hear!

8/10 – Vernon Crowe’s 953 Music Group Steller group of talented and creative Union High School students performing Jazz standards.  They name was based on the fact that their music teacher would kick them out of the facility every day at 9:53 and the rest is history.

953 has performed at the Union Boys and Girls Club, and other youth events. One of their biggest accomplishments was playing for the 2017 Senior Prom. They have received great reviews.

8/17 – Bill Ware Vibes is among the most sought-after Jazz Vibraphonists on the planet who has performed with artists such as Steely Dan, Debbie Harry, Elvis Costello and toured Europe and Asia with the Jazz Passengers. Bill has released numerous CDs throughout his illustrious career and has even recorded and performed with Latin Jazz artists such as Roberto Borrell, Bobby Sanabria and Chico Mendoza. Bill has been tagged in Jazz reviews as an innovator in the use of pedal effects for the vibes and he has delighted Jazz Festival audiences around the world. It is an honor to have Bill Ware’s Quintet perform right here in downtown Union.

8/24 – Dave Braham Ensemble is a jazz organist and pianist, originally from Pittsburgh, but a resident of New Jersey for 35 years. Dave spent the 1980's touring with jazz vocalist Etta Jones and saxophonist Houston Person. With them, he performed all over the US, Europe and Canada. He has also performed and/or recorded with Lou Donaldson, David "Fathead" Newman, Al Grey, Ernestine Anderson, Arthur Prysock, Harry Leahey, Bob Devos and Vic Juris. Dave has two recordings as a leader - "Blue Gardenia" (BlueJay records) and "To Be Free" (Random Act records). 

8/31 – Adam Brenner Quintet brings among the “Swingingest” musicians to the Union stage! Adam is one of the most talented Jazz soloists of today’s Jazz scene and has performed with such noted artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Mel Torme, George Coleman, Sonny Stitt, James Moody and many more. In 1989, he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Study grant to study one-on-one with renowned saxophonist George Coleman who he performed with throughout the US Jazz scene and in 1996, he was chosen to participate in the Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition where he received praise from noted artists such as Michael Brecker, George Coleman and Lou Donaldson. Adam is sure to delight the Union audience with his hard-swinging sound and sheer virtuosity!

9/07 – Adelante Latin Jazz Orchestra will deliver heart-pounding excitement of Latin Jazz to the Union Township stage. Adelante, made up of 9 of the most talented Latin Jazz performers in the NY area include Manny Oquendo, Lead Vocals, percussion, guitar (performed with Marc Anthony, Pacquito D’Rivera, Johnny Pacheco, Gato Barbieri, Gilberto Santa Rosa, etc.), Ricky Salas, bongo, percussion, vocals (performed with Ruben Blades, Prince, Candido, etc.), Willie Martinez, Drums, vocals (performed with Bebo Valdez, Chico O’Farrill, Steve Turre, Jewel, Faith Hill), Manny Carro, Congas, vocals, percussion, Nikki Denner, Piano (Played in US and Europe with Sheila E, Savion Glover, Candido, Doc Severinsen, etc.), Jennifer Vincent, Bass (Betty Carter, Abby Lincoln, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Roberto Rodriguez, etc.) along with horn players Rob Henke, Mike Kaplan and Ben Williams (performed with Perico Ortiz, Claudio Roditi, Ray Barretto, George Coleman and many others). Latin Jazz as you’ve never heard before!

9/14 - The Matt King Jazz Ensemble Pianist, organist, vocalist and composer Matt King began his musical studies at age 5, his professional career at age 14, and has since performed to audiences throughout the U.S. and 16 other countries. He has toured extensively with distinguished jazz guitarist Chuck Loeb and the legendary band Blood, Sweat & Tears. He recorded and performed with many other notables including pop vocalist Phoebe Snow, blues legend Earl King, and leading jazz artists such as Chris Potter, Rufus Reid, Joe Lovano, Vic Juris, and Dave Stryker. Matt has appeared with Billy Hart, Claudio Roditi, Charles MacPherson, Joe Morello and many other. He has also performed with four symphony orchestras in the United States, appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Holland’s North Sea Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and NJ’s Liberty Jazz Fest. He has garnered awards for his playing, composing, and arranging, and was a Composition Fellowship recipient from the NJ State Council on the Arts. A prior Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition semi-finalist, Matt won the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 2000.

09/21 – Rain Date Option

9/28 – William Paterson University Jazz Ensemble with surprise Guest Soloist





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Construction Update on Vauxhall Ave. Bridge, Chestnut St. Bridge and Morris Avenue Work

June 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – A CodeRed alert about road construction, the resulting congestion, and what can be expected, was sent to residents Tuesday morning.

The message said the work on these state roads is being performed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.  The message outlined the following work scheduled for June and July:

The Vauxhall Bridge over Route 22.  Work ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:

Monday, 6/18

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Adult Coloring, 1:15 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Construction Zone, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library
Read to Waldi, 4:15 p.m., Union Public Library
Connect, Explore & Discover Digital Resources, 7:00 p.m., Union Public Library

Tuesday, ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:

Monday, 6/11

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Adult Prize Bingo, 1:15 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Construction Zone, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library
Career Coach, 6:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Donuts with Your Dude,6:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library

Tuesday, 6/12

Senior Citizens ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, June 20, 10:15 AM

Union Public Library, Union

Chair Yoga in the Library


Thu, June 21, 3:00 PM

In Front of Town Hall, Union

Union Farmers Market


Thu, June 21, 4:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Pre-K Story Time


Thu, June 21, 7:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Off the Shelf Book Discussion

Union Residents Make Dean's List at the University of Delaware

June 18, 2018

NEWARK, DE - Students from Union have been named to the University of Delaware Dean's List for the Spring 2018 semester:

Natalie Caggiano 

Julia Hayes 

Steven Medina 

Maria Rocha 

To meet eligibility requirements for the Dean's List, a student must be enrolled full-time and earn a GPA of 3.33 or above (on a 4.0 scale) for the semester.


Kayla Douberley Graduates Elmira College

ELMIRA, NY - Kayla Douberley of Union was among the graduates celebrated at the 160th Elmira College Commencement on Saturday, June 2. The exercises, held at the Murray Athletic Center, Pine Valley, included 270 undergraduate and 27 graduate students.

Members of the 2018 Elmira College graduating class were recognized with multiple honors and prizes, including induction into Phi Beta Kappa, ...

Rashaunda Beasley of Union Earns a Bachelor's Degree from Georgia State University

ATLANTA, GA - Rashaunda Beasley of Union earned a bachelor's degree from Georgia State University during May 2018. More than 2,000 students earned bachelor's degrees from the university this spring, with more than 4,000 students earning degrees at the associate's, bachelor's, master's, specialist and doctoral levels.

Georgia State University, an enterprising urban public ...

Video: Union County Celebrates Pride Month with CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic

June 18, 2018

RAHWAY, NJ - Parents, children, friends, and all family members came out on Saturday afternoon to Rahway River Park for the Union County CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic.

The family-friendly celebration hosted by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, was a day of fun activities of arts and crafts, family lawn games, inflatable bounce houses, playground fun and more, along with music by the ...

Honey Bees Found in Dumpster Relocated

UNION COUNTY, NJ – The County found themselves in a sticky situation last week when a swarm of honey bees were discovered at a construction dumpster at the County Administration building.

A social media post by the County said a pair of beekeepers from the nonprofit organization Groundwork Elizabeth came to the scene on Friday, and the bees were relocated to the Elmora Public Library, as ...

Union Catholic Grad, Olympian Sydney McLaughlin Wins NCAA Title, Announces She's Going Pro

EUGENE, OREGON — College freshman phenom Sydney McLaughlin, who graduated from Union Catholic last year, won the women's 400-meter hurdles for the University of Kentucky at the NCAA Championships on Saturday at Hayward Field, and then announced after the meet that she's turning pro.

McLaughlin, a U.S. Olympian in the 400 hurdles in 2016, completed one of the ...

Boundless Talent on Display at Hannah Caldwell School

June 15, 2018

UNION, NJ –Talent was on full display last week as over 40 students participated in Hannah Caldwell School’s Talent Show, with singing, dancing, musical instrument performances, and even a comedian.

“This is a special performance because the children are in control.  All of the acts in the show were prepared outside of school by the students,” said music teacher ...

Battle Hill and Hannah Caldwell Students Celebrate Reading Accomplishments

UNION, NJ – Young readers in Hannah Caldwell and Battle Hill Elementary Schools enjoyed the fruits of their labor on Wednesday when they celebrated their accomplishments in this year's Olympic Reading Programs.

Librarian Karen Franciosa said, “I couldn't be more proud of the students who worked diligently throughout the year to accomplish their personal reading ...

Red Carpet Moment for Union High Seniors

UNION, NJ – Prom night for Union High School seniors means red carpet glamour.  

And glamour was on full display at the annual red carpet walk Thursday evening, as Union High students walked the red carpet, alone or with their date(s), to a cheering crowd. 

Sponsored by the Union Township Community Action Organization, Inc., the event showcased beautiful gowns ...

Charges Pending Against Roselle Man Found with More than 40 Dogs Living in Squalor

June 20, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - A Roselle man will be charged with multiple criminal offenses after more than 40 dogs were discovered living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last week, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

According to the authorities, members of those two agencies, the ...

Westfield High School Sophomore Dies; Counselors on Hand at School

WESTFIELD, NJ — Carthoris “Carter” Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High School, died Sunday night, according to Westfield Public Schools and a letter sent to parents by Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson.

“Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over the death of Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High ...

Mountainside Officials: We Knew Nothing About Allegations Until Lawsuit was Filed

MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – The mayor and council of Mountainside have gone on record stating they had no knowledge of the incidents alleged in the lawsuit filed on May 11 against the borough “until the filing of the lawsuit.”

The borough has also “retained former New Jersey State Police Superintendent Joseph Santiago” to help restore public trust in the department, ...

Union County’s Free Summer Arts Concert Series Launches this Friday, June 22

June 19, 2018

Union County, NJ – The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra kicks off Union County’s 57th annual Summer Arts Festival series of free outdoor concerts sponsored by the Freeholder Board with an evening of Broadway favorites, beloved opera overtures and more on Friday June 22nd at 7:30 p.m. at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

Attendees are also invited to bring a mat ...

Union Catholic's Goldera Surles has Received a Prestigious Scholarship

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Goldera Surles, one of the state's top bowlers during her career at Union Catholic, was recently awarded a very prestigious scholarship by The National Bowling Association, Inc.  

Surles, who will continue her bowling career at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, N.Y. this fall, was awarded the first place Owen O. Washington Scholarship, which was ...

Union’s Barbara Whitaker Sworn in as Advocate for Foster Youth

Elizabeth, NJ  — Union’s Barbara Whitaker is among the latest class of community volunteers to complete child advocacy training and take their oath from Superior Court Judge James Hely to become Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Union County.

Volunteers with CASA serve as extra eyes and ears for family law judges hearing cases involving the county’s abused, ...

Beatles Lecture @ Union Public Library

The Union Public Library will be hosting an interactive lecture about the early years of the Beatles on Monday, July 9th at 6:30 p.m as part of its “Libraries Rock!” summer series.  Presenter Paul Groom, who lived the first 17 years of his life in Liverpool, England and went to some of the same schools as the Beatles, will discuss the lesser known Beatles story about their days ...


The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)


A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

Could Monmouth Park's Haskell Invitational Be on Justify's Agenda?

June 13, 2018

ELMONT, NY — Triple Crown winner Justify came out of his stall to meet the media bright and bouncing on the morning after his gate-to-wire win in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes.

When asked to assess his colt's win, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert reported, “We were watching replays of the race. He could have gone around again.”

The brilliantly colored ...

Letters to the Editor

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 8, 2018

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by prominent ...