The hills may not be alive with the sound of music, but part of the Palisades will rock with the second Annual Riverview Jazz Festival.
This may be one of the city’s best kept secrets, since it takes place in Riverview Park in Jersey City Heights. Set to the backdrop that includes the Hoboken and midtown Manhattan skylines, the festival will bring a lineup of accomplished jazz acts for a one-day musical treat.
Bryan Beninghove, one of the founders of the festival, said it will be located at Riverview Fisk Park and will take place on June 1, from noon to 6 p.m.
Presented by RiverviewJazz.Org and Farms in the Heights, the festival will be a free, day-long event featuring live performances, food vendors, a jazz photography exhibit by renowned photographer Mickey Mathis, and children’s activities.
“We are excited to be showcasing some amazing live talent and celebrating the vibrant diversity of Jersey City Heights,” said Will Tatz, the festival’s organizer. “Anyone who has been to Riverview Fisk Park knows how spectacular the views are. It’s a great showcase for the newly designated Riverview Arts District, and even though our historic gazebo was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, this park has hosted live performances dating back to the early 20th century, and we intend to keep the tradition alive.”
The lineup for the festival features five musically diverse artists, each with ties to Jersey City, which is one of the most culturally diverse communities in the world. The festival is being held in conjunction with the weekly Farms in the Heights farmer’s market, which features locally-sourced and wholesome food vendors.
New Tricks featuring Ted Chubb will kick off the festival at noon. Founded by Ted Chubb and Mike Lee, New Tricks is a tightly-knit quartet committed to musical exploration, featuring memorable compositions, dynamic group interplay, and infectious groove. New Tricks has developed a unique sound and singularity of purpose over the past six years of touring nationally and performing locally in New York City. Originally hailing from Ohio and currently residing in Jersey City, trumpeter Ted Chubb has made a name for himself performing with the likes of Wallace Roney, Billy Hart, Steve Turre, and Christian McBride
At 1:15 p.m. Vince Ector’s Organatomy will perform. Ector is one of the most in demand jazz drummers in the Metropolitan area, and has worked with jazz luminaries including: Freddie Hubbard, Randy Weston, James Moody, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Gloria Lynne, Charles Earland, Bobby Watson, Lou Donaldson, Grover Washington Jr., Dr Lonnie Smith, Ron Carter, Claudio Roditi, and Shirley Scott. He currently is in demand performing with the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, Nat Adderly Jr, and Ben E. King.
Beninghove’s Hangmen with pick up the beat at 2:30 p.m. This is a instrumental sextet that critics claim is reminiscent of Tom Waits and Danny Elfman, but with the menacing yet playful instrumentation, the result is more of a psycho-crazed soundtrack to a Tarantino film.
Mark Guiliana Quartet with special guest Gretchen Parlato will continue the music feast at 3:45 p.m. Guiliana is an acclaimed drummer, composer, educator, producer and founder of the independent record label, Beat Music Productions. He has appeared in more than 30 recordings and has toured extensively with performers such as Meshell Ndegeocello and Avishai Cohen.
Gretchen Parlato, who has emerged as one of the most inventive and mesmerizing vocalists of her generation and is the winner of the prestigious Monk competition in 2004, will follow next. She was recently awarded the 2014 Nightlife Award for Outstanding Female Jazz Vocalist.
The Brightside Tavern brings their Monday Night Jam Session to the Heights to close out the Festival at 5 p.m. the tavern jam spotlights some of the best local singers and instrumentalists in the north Jersey area.
The festival this year is being sponsored by Farms in the Heights, Riverview Neighborhood Association, Washington Park Association, The Distillery Gallery, Jersey Cycles, Brightside Tavern, Orange and Olive Catering and Chef’s Table, Rockit Dockit Blog, The Drum Den, and Remco Press.
The program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the arts, administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A DeGise, County Executive, and the Board of chosen Freeholders.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.