Arts & Entertainment

TAP into Westfield’s Complete Guide to Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival: Week 7

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Catch Jim Cohen: Steel Guitar Jazz in Downtown Westfield Tuesday night. Credits: Jim Cohen
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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 seventh evening Aug. 16 with free outdoor concerts by five bands at locations throughout Downtown Westfield. (Rain date Aug. 17.)

The festival is sponsored by the Downtown Westfield Corporation.

Your complete guide to week seven bands:

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East Broad Street and North Avenue West: Stringbean and the Stalkers. Bluesman Ken “Stringbean” Sorensen and his band take pride in their authentic sound, with music that contains elements of blues, classic country and funk.

Elm Street (in front of the Baptist Church): Dave Leonhardt Trio. Leonhardt leads his trio as a jazz pianist and composer. He has traveled the world, performing live and on television. To date, Leonhardt has released 25 CDs. He gives educational clinics worldwide.

Central Avenue (in front of Banana Republic): Jim Cohen: Steel Guitar Jazz. As an early enthusiast for rock and country music, Cohen found his passion in pedal steel guitar. He specializes in jazz, country and swing music as well as unique arrangements of jazz, pop and classic rock tunes.

North Avenue West and Elm Street: VooDUDES. The VooDUDES are an enthusiastic band of musicians who perform a variety of styles ranging from New Orleans funk, blues, boogie-woogie and honky-tonk to Zydeco, Southern soul and Caribbean party music. The VooDUDES have brought their diverse range of styles all over the world and to many music festivals. Their original compositions have been published in six CDs.

Foundation Park (South Avenue West and Westfield Avenue): B.D. Lenz. Guitarist and composer B.D. Lenz has been widely praised for his warm jazz and rock sounds. According to a review in the Morning Call, “Lenz strives to maintain accessibility, mixing in his own original music with jazz standards, pop and rock songs." He is known to electrify his audiences with his natural musicality.

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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