Arts & Entertainment

Downtown Westfield Gears up for Summer Jazz Festival

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Don Braden is one of many popular jazz musicians who will perform at the 18th Annual Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival, sponsored by the Downtown Westfield Corporation.  Credits: Cheri Rogowsky for Downtown Westfield Corporation
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WESTFIELD, NJ — The Downtown Westfield Corporation is getting ready to host its ever-popular Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival, which begins July 1. The 18th annual event spans nine Tuesday  nights, offering free outdoor concerts throughout July and August, with rain dates the following Wednesdays.  

Head downtown on Tuesdays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. to hear four outstanding bands, which are placed at Central Avenue in front of Turning Point Restaurant, the lawn in front of the North Avenue Train Station, the corner of East Broad Street and North Avenue and Elm Street in front of the First Baptist Church. 

“Sweet Sounds Downtown is extremely popular for all ages. From contemporary or traditional jazz to blues to big band, there are live performances to please everyone,” said Sherry Cronin, DWC Executive Director. 

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“We have a mix of great bands which played in past festivals as well as new bands this year,” said Assistant Executive Director Beth Brenner. “Sweet Sounds has become so popular that our jazz committee has to turn away many talented groups.”

Thirty-six different groups in total will play over the course of the festival:

On July 1 there will be David Aaron Quintet, Eric Mintel Quartet, Cynthia Holiday and Chris Colaneri and Friends. On July 8, Radam Schwartz, Daniel Rufolo, Patty Cronheim Ensemble and The Joe Taino Group will perform. On July 15, hear Lauren Shub, Pat Cuttitta, Claudio Roditi Quintet and The Hammers. July 22 will feature Richard Reiter Swing Band, Allen Carrescia & the Romantics, David Leonhardt Trio and Roxy Perry. July 29, enjoy Glenn Alexander, Eric Foster, Holli Ross, and Chuck Lambert.

August jazz begins on Aug. 5 with Bradford Hayes, Charlie Apicella & Iron City, Christine Spero and The Gold Magnolias. On August 12, catch Don Braden/Karl Latham Big Funk, Gus Bardaji Group, Gordon James and VooDUDES. August 19 offers Jazz Lobsters, the Murphtet, Carrie Jackson and B.D. Lenz.  Finally, on August 26, enjoy performances by New-Trad Sextet, No Name James & Butterball, Ali Ryerson and Watson.

While enjoying Sweet Sounds Downtown, the DWC encourages everyone to dine at Westfield’s restaurants. (For a complete list of Downtown Westfield dining options, click here.) Many Downtown Westfield shops will stay open late those nights, as well.

Learn more at WestfieldToday.com.

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