WESTFIELD, NJ — Big Band sounds rang out from a backyard on Dudley Avenue in Westfield Saturday afternoon as the New Jersey Festival Orchestra performed jazzy rhythms of the era.

The sold-out show drew an estimated 150 people, who set up on lawn chairs and blankets for the concert in the backyard of NJFO Board President Keith S. Hertell, where select audience members could be seen dancing to the tunes.

With Broadway performer Rosena M. Hill Jackson belting out solos, the orchestra regaled the audience with music by Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and others of the Big Band era.

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David Wroe, the NJFO’s music director and conductor, had promised a festive program — a promise he and the performers delivered with gusto.

“It represents a musical ‘coming out’ party, an upbeat, celebratory and popular event designed to lift people’s spirits. Nothing fits the bill better than the uniquely, yet classy, jazzy dance rhythms and melodies of the Big Band era,” Wroe said.

Due to COVID-19, the concert was physically distanced with circles spray-painted on the grass, designating “pods” where audience members placed their seats, each pod allowing for up to four people.

Video by Dave Marcus/For New Jersey Festival Orchestra:

TAPinto Westfield is proud to be a media sponsor of the New Jersey Festival Orchestra.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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