Arts & Entertainment

TAP into Westfield’s Complete Guide to Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival: Week 4

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Catch guitarist Joe Taino during jazz night in Downtown Westfield Tuesday. Credits: Joe Taino
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WESTFIELD, NJ — The 20th Annual Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival, taking place Tuesday nights in July and August from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., hosts its fourth evening July 26 with free outdoor concerts by five bands at locations throughout Downtown Westfield. (Rain date July 27.)

The festival is sponsored by the Downtown Westfield Corporation.

Your complete guide to week four bands:

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East Broad Street and North Avenue West: Pat Cuttitta. A drummer since his teenage years, Cuttitta’s style is largely influenced by the music he grew up listening to: Rock, R&B, the blues and mostly jazz. His original compositions are praised for bringing a refreshing sound to contemporary jazz, combining elements of jazz, blues and bossa nova.

Elm Street (in front of the Baptist Church): Gordon James. Often compared to artists such as Miles Davis and Chuck Mangione, James is known for his original compositions which encompass an impressive blend of styles including jazz, Latin, R&B, hip hop and more. His upbeat music has been described as uplifting and inspiring.

Central Avenue (in front of Banana Republic): The Joe Taino Group. Leading the group is guitarist Joe Taino. Though he started out as a rock musician, Taino found his true passion in the blues, finding a fervent audience in New York City. Inspired by rock musician Little Richard, Taino is now praised for his own unique style and skillful guitar playing.

North Avenue West and Elm Street: Don Braden, Karl Latham and the band Big Funk. The various artists collaborating to form this group are individually renowned for their contemporary and improvised jazz music. The band members featured are Braden on saxophone, Latham on drums, Nick Rolfe on keyboards and Gary Foote on bass. Having known each other for years, the musicians share a unique connection that shines through in their passionate performances.

Foundation Park (South Avenue West and Westfield Avenue): Swingadelic. The band, started in 1998, has traveled across the country spreading swing music to the younger generation through powerful performances and educational programs. Though the band focuses on swing, a review of their most recent album Toussaintville describes the group’s music as encompassing aspects of a diverse variety of genres.

Learn more about the festival and other downtown happenings at WestfieldToday.com.

The Downtown Westfield Corporation is an advertiser on TAP into Westfield. To learn about becoming an advertiser, email jlieberman@tapinto.net or call 917-676-2302.

Soo Min Chung is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into Westfield.

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