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".
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