Arts & Entertainment

Westfield’s Summer Jazz Festival Continues Every Tuesday in August

Don Braden/Karl Latham Big Fun(k) fills Westfield's streets with the sounds of smooth Jazz. Credits: Kim Statler
Raphael Cruz Quartet gets the crowd moving with their smooth Latin Jazz outside of First Baptist Church on Elm Street. Credits: Kim Statler
Chalk art at the North Avenue train station lawn shows Westfield's appreciation for the area's musical talent. Credits: Kim Statler

WESTFIELD, NJ – The Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival will continue to fill the streets of Downtown Westfield with music each Tuesday night, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., until its closing night on Aug. 29. (Rain dates Wednesdays.) Sponsored by the Downtown Westfield Corporation, the annual two-month music festival encourages residents and visitors alike to support the area’s dining and shopping establishments while coming together as a community.

“This concert series is an essential element of being a destination town,” Pat Cruz, director of TEATRO Si and long-time supporter of the arts, said. “It’s so effective because you’re giving people what they want – good food, music, camaraderie – and the local businesses blossom because of it.”

Cruz was quick to point out how great of an opportunity it is for concert-goers to experience a recent performance by the Raphael Cruz Quartet led by Grammy-award winning Latin Jazz recording artist Raphael Cruz.

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Each week, festival attendees of all ages can be found enjoying performances by five unique jazz bands spread all throughout Downtown Westfield. From Foundation Park at 439 South Avenue all the way to First Baptist Church at 170 Elm Street, varying styles of jazz music can be heard.

Saxophonist Don Braden shared some words Tuesday about what it means to him to be a part of a performance in Westfield.

“I love anytime that we, as artists, can contribute to bringing the people of the area together. We are always happy to do that,” he said. “It’s a win-win when the community can come out to enjoy good music and support local businesses.”

As the 2017 Sweet Sounds Downtown Jazz Festival continues, each week will showcase a new variety of musical talents. For a complete list of upcoming performances and specific locations, click here.

This Tuesday, Aug. 1, jazz night will combine with the Westfield Police Department's National Night Out event. For more information about that, click here.

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