10th Anniversary Celebration:

Two Jam-Packed Weeks of Music

July 26 - August 10, 2019


Headliners include Bettye LaVette, Joey DeFrancesco, Mark Whitfield,

Christian McBride, Eddie Palmieri, Mike Lee, and the JAZZ HOUSE Collective



May 30, 2019, MONTCLAIR, NJ - Get ready, jazz fans! The award-winning JAZZ HOUSE KiDS® today announced the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL 2019 line-up.  The Garden State’s largest and favorite music festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary this summer with two jam-packed weeks from July 26 through August 10 featuring 250+ jazz musicians, 30+ musical acts, 2 marquee stages, 7 venues, and 20+ concerts and events.


Each August, the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL, produced by JAZZ HOUSE KiDS® along with presenting sponsor The Bravitas Group/Silver Family Foundation, attracts more than 15,000 music lovers from across the region to Montclair, New Jersey, and reaches thousands more who tune in to the many live-streamed performances.


The MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL transforms the vibrant, arts-rich New York City urban suburb into a musical mecca. The event culminates with a day of world-class jazz at Nishuane Park, with headliners that include Bettye LaVette, Joey DeFrancesco, Mark Whitfield, Christian McBride, Eddie Palmieri, Mike Lee, JAZZ HOUSE Collective, and inspired performances by the more than 125 talented JAZZ HOUSE KiDS emerging musicians from across the country and internationally who attend the acclaimed JAZZ HOUSE Summer Workshop.  


2019: Celebrating 10 Years with Jam-Packed Music!

On Friday, July 26th, the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL kicks off with the 3rd Annual DJ Brother Mister Old School Funk + Soul Dance Party followed by 15 days of spectacular music.


The alter ego of six-time GRAMMY-winner Christian McBride, DJ Brother Mister will spin classic R&B, soul and funk on original analog vinyl from what he considers the "sweet spot" of dance music, from 1966 to 1986. Dance Party-goers will see why McBride is known as one of the most versatile artists on the scene today when he plays virtually all of the bass solos on his curated soundtrack of classic soul. Tickets go quickly to this can't-miss dance party kick off! (8 pm to midnight @18 Label Studios, Montclair.)


NEW! MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL Hits the Downtown Montclair Hotspots!

The exciting two-week run-up to Nishuane Park will be a jazz fan’s dream, with smokin’ hot music in the afternoons and evenings throughout Montclair Center. Every day of the week brings something special. On Wednesdays, the Montclair Social Club will host Piano Stars: Featuring Emmet Cohen Trio + Isaiah Thompson Trio (July 31) and the Ed Palermo Big Band (August 7). Cohen, a graduate of Montclair High School, is the 2019 winner of the American Pianists Association jazz competition; Thompson recently placed second in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz international piano competition and is an alumnus of JAZZ HOUSE KiDS, as well as Montclair Kimberley Academy. The players are two of the most accomplished young musicians on the worldwide jazz scene. Bandleader, composer and saxophonist Ed Palermo has an almost cult-like following among fans across multiple genres, as he satisfies everyone's musical tastes from Frank Zappa to classic jazz with his genius mashups. Palermo is also an outstanding JAZZ HOUSE KiDS teaching artist.


On Thursdays, music fans will head over to the Montclair Brewery for high-energy performances by some of the most charismatic young performers on the scene today.  
On August 1, the venue will showcase Gemini, featuring tap dance phenom Michela Marino Lerman and saxophonist Julian Lee, a JAZZ HOUSE KiDS alum and recent graduate of The Juilliard School. Lee, a recipient of the 2017 Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award, is hailed as one of the most promising young saxophonists in New York City. In addition to a recent stint with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, he is a first call among the new crop of young lions. Both Lerman and Lee perform with the dynamic band Mwenso and the Shakes, and have appeared at Jazz at Lincoln Center and most major New York City jazz stages. Montclair Brewery patrons will enjoy a rare, up-close opportunity to see how Lerman has updated the jazz tap tradition for today’s audiences with Montclair’s own Julian Lee.


Matthew Whitaker’s B-3 Organ Party will give a special Montclair Brewery performance (August 1). A music prodigy and longtime JAZZ HOUSE KiDS student, Whitaker’s talents have taken him all over the world. In addition to television appearances on ELLEN and the TODAY show, and an upcoming 60 Minutes special, Whitaker has performed as a headliner on world-renowned stages, including Carnegie Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Apollo Theater, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the renowned Newport Jazz Festival.

New this year, the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL will take over the Montclair Center Stage in collaboration with the Montclair Center BID on Saturday, August 3 for Jazz on Church Street, five hours of live music with performances by JAZZ HOUSE KiDS Alumni All-Stars, Candice Reyes Quintet (CRQ) ft. Nathan Eklund, and the Oscar Perez Quintet. More live music can be found down the street at the DLV Lounge Backyard Concerts on Sunday afternoons with the JAZZ HOUSE Adult Community Band (July 28), and the Blues Jam Band (August 4). Ruthie’s BBQ & Pizza will host its annual JAZZ HOUSE Jam (Date TBA). Returning this year, community partner Montclair Film will feature a four-part curated jazz film series at its screening room on Bloomfield Avenue on July 28 and August 2, 4 and 9.


Daily Facebook Live Series! Jazz in the Afternoon with Special Guests

Tune in each day to the JAZZ HOUSE KiDS Facebook page to watch the JAZZ HOUSE Afternoon Concert Series offered at the JAZZ HOUSE Summer Workshop, a nationally recognized, two-week summer program that coincides with the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL. Afternoon concerts with an array of special guest artists every weekday afternoon from 2:30 to 3:30pm, July 29 - August 9, will stream live from Montclair State University. Last year, more than 10,000 fans enjoyed intimate performances by rising stars and jazz legends, and exclusive Q&A sessions with JAZZ HOUSE Artistic Chair Christian McBride.


GRAND FINALE – JAZZ @ NISHUANE PARK: Meet the August 10 Headliners

Curator of the Grand Finale at Nishuane Park and hot off his gig as artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival, Christian McBride has assembled another stellar MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL line-up for the 10th anniversary celebration. The list of all-star headliners includes soul singer Bettye LaVette, making her debut appearance on the Bravitas Group Main Stage. A true legend with a musical career spanning over 50 years, Ms. LaVette is rightly recognized as one of the finest vocalists and one of the great interpreters of song.  Returning to the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL is the incomparable Eddie Palmieri, a 10-time GRAMMY Award-winning pianist, composer, bandleader and NEA Jazz Master. Christian McBride tops off the Festival with his powerhouse quartet of musical friends: Hammond B-3 organ master Joey DeFrancesco, guitarist Mark Whitfield, considered one of the young lions of his generation, and drummer extraordinaire Quincy Phillips.


“As we enter the 10th year of the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL, we are gearing up for one of our most exciting concerts yet,” said McBride. “Our lineup of musical greats, along with the students of the JAZZ HOUSE Summer Workshop, are going to have Montclair swinging.”


Rounding out the day is saxophonist and JAZZ HOUSE KiDS faculty member Mike Lee, who performs regularly in New York City as a member of jazz ensembles including the Jimmy Heath Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie Orchestra and Loston Harris Trio, to name just a few. His most recent release, Song For All Of Us, shows the breadth of his musical palette. Lee draws on his wide-ranging musical associations and weaves them together with innovative compositions as well as standard repertoire.


Returning this year is the JAZZ HOUSE Collective, which includes JAZZ HOUSE KiDS’ renowned faculty. Each year, the Collective showcases the music of a jazz luminary; this year the group celebrates the centennial of Art Blakey, known as the guru of hard bop. Blakey’s famous technique - frequent, high-volume snare with bass drum accents - made him one of jazz's masters. His world-famous ensemble, the Jazz Messengers, was a rite of passage for top players from Freddie Hubbard to Wynton Marsalis. The Collective will pay tribute in grand style with a set themed “Free for All,” named after Blakey’s most dynamic album of the same name.


Straight from the set of NBC’s Chicago Med, award-winning actor S. Epatha Merkerson returns as our host to lead the festivities as Mistress of Ceremonies, along with WBGO on-air personality Gary Walker.


MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL is a rain or shine event. After the State of Emergency that hit our region last year, our friends at the Wellmont Theater will be our Climate Challenge Safety Venue should Jazz @ Nishuane Park on Saturday, August 10 require an emergency site.



Events July 26 - August 9th - some events require tickets...see the full Event Schedule

August 10th - No Tickets Required, suggested donation $10pp



Friends of the Festival packages $75 - $150

Take 5 VIP Club - all-access event packages and advertising $1,000 - $2,500 www.montclairjazzfestival.org.


A full list of times and locations for all two weeks of toe-tapping music and events can be found at www.montclairjazzfest.org. Go back in time and see how the Festival has evolved over the last 10 years through this historical photos and fun facts timeline. Follow the music on Instagram and Facebook.



 The Bravitas Group/Silver Family Foundation returns as Presenting Sponsor for the sixth year. The festival is also supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism and receives signature corporate support from Arctic Glacier, RWJBarnabas Health, The Hampshire Companies and Mountainside Hospital. Additional support is provided by the Dunphy Family Foundation, The Pinnacle Companies, Saxum Real Estate, ShopRite of Brookdale, So Delicious, Steinway & Sons, Ironstate, Brookfield Properties and URBY. The MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL is proud to partner with the Township of Montclair and the County of Essex for coordinated community services and safety support.


About The Bravitas Group

The Bravitas Group, Inc. is a Montclair, New Jersey-based firm founded in 2006 with the goal of having a positive impact on the local community. The company realizes this vision mainly through real estate and other entrepreneurial projects and philanthropy. More specifically, Bravitas creates green, architecturally interesting spaces through the adaptive reuse of existing, outmoded structures. Many of the buildings are constructed, designed and maintained using the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification program. Bravitas' buildings are environmentally responsible while simultaneously meeting the demand for unique professional space. For more information, visit bravitas.com.



JAZZ HOUSE KiDS has been swinging doors open for 16 years, and our emerging musicians are soloing and singing their way to greatness. Our year-round programs help young people from all backgrounds gain an artistic edge through music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship. Through pre-professional musical training along with community engagement and education programs, we use jazz as an effective teaching tool to enhance academic achievement, dedication, and teamwork and cultivate tomorrow’s global citizens. For more information, visit jazzhousekids.org.