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Christian McBride, John Scofield Headline Free Montclair Jazz Festival, August 16
(Published: July 22, 2014)

Nishuane Park - 12 noon - 8:00 pm
New Jersey's eclectic town of Montclair will once again transform into a bonanza of incredible, world-class music and elated jazz fans, as the Montclair Jazz Festival kicks off eight hours of FREE music on Saturday, August 16th in Nishuane Park.
Produced by Jazz House Kids with support from lead sponsors City National Bank, North Coast Brewing Co. and Arctic Glacier, this year's festival is hosted by award-winning actor S. Epatha Merkerson. Featured headliners include bassist Christian McBride with special guest guitarist John Scofield; pianist Chuchito Valdés; vocalist Melissa Walker; saxophonist Bruce Williams and More to Go; and The Jazz House Faculty Collective. Jazz House Kids large ensembles, including the award-winning Jazz House Big Band, will perform alongside the professional musicians throughout the day.
The Montclair Jazz Festival is a fun-filled day with entertainment for the entire family. Returning to the festival is the Family Jazz Discovery Zone, a collaboration among Jazz House Kids and partners Montclair Public Library and Montclair Art Museum, which will feature healthy snacks, music-related story books read by festival musicians, and a host of other kid-friendly art activities for wee-boppers and their parents. Also returning to the festival is the popular Beer Garden, sponsored by North Coast Brewing Co.
New this year, Emmy and Golden Globe winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, best known for her 17-season run as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on NBC's "Law and Order," for which she won three NAACP Image Awards, is the Montclair Jazz Festival's Mistress of Ceremonies. The Montclair Jazz Festival is the brainchild of jazz vocalist and recording artist Melissa Walker, with creative direction from her husband, Christian McBride. Walker is the president and founder of Jazz House Kids, a Montclair-based nonprofit that has gained a reputation as one of the nation's preeminent arts education and performance organizations.
"This year, we celebrate five years of bringing vibrant jazz and culture to music lovers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and beyond," says Walker. "We are thrilled that our festival continues to grow, as this year we expect more than 5,000 fans to join us for a day of great music, food and fun."
Artist-in-Residence Christian McBride is a GRAMMY Award-winning bassist, composer and arranger. He has been one of the most important and omnipresent figures in the jazz world for more than 20 years. He also serves as Artistic Chair for Jazz House Kids. This year, McBride welcomes the master improviser John Scofield, whose guitar work has influenced jazz since the late 70's and still remains powerfully relevant today. Best known for his groundbreaking work with Miles Davis, Scofield is a legendary jazz musician who performs in a wide array of styles, including post-bop, funk edged jazz, and R & B. Scofield will be one of the many artists at the festival reading jazz-related children's stories at the Family Jazz Discovery Zone.
Also starring on this year's festival lineup is the incomparable, Chuchito Valdés with "Mambo Revolution - Bebo, Cachao And Me." Valdés, who follows in the footsteps of his famed father Chucho Valdés and grandfather Bebo Valdés, continues the great piano tradition that was born in Cuba and now is celebrated worldwide. With influences of Caribbean rhythms and jazz, he creates an exciting and energetic blend of dance music that brings audiences to their feet. Valdés will read children's stories at the Jazz Discovery Zone in his native tongue, Spanish.
Lovers of standards will be musically delighted as Melissa Walker sings in tribute to legendary jazz vocalists Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln. Both women were trailblazers who made immense contributions to the jazz art form. Jazz House Kids faculty member Bruce Williams also will lend his melodic talents to the festival. This powerful jazz saxophonist is one of the premier alto and soprano saxophonists today. Also performing is The Jazz House Faculty Collective, musically directed by Julius Tolentino, the group is comprised of nationally and internationally recognized jazz artists who also serve as faculty members for the Jazz House Summer Workshop.
The future of jazz will be showcased as more than 125 students from the Jazz House Summer Workshop perform throughout the day. WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM's on-air host Gary Walker will serve as the stage host, providing an "inside scoop" on the many talented performers.
The Montclair Jazz Festival is proud to welcome back City National Bank of New Jersey as a Stage Sponsor. A minority-owned and managed bank, City National Bank plays a pivotal role in strengthening urban communities. "Their mission beautifully aligns with ours at Jazz House Kids, and we are thrilled to partner with them again, making communities stronger through the power of music," says Walker.
The festival also welcomes the return of North Coast Brewing Co. as a Stage Sponsor. North Coast Brewing Co., is a proud and continuous supporter of jazz education, will once again donate 100% of the Beer Garden proceeds to support Jazz House Kids' mission. The festival also recognizes Arctic Glacier returning as an Artist Tent Sponsor.
The festival is also supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, New Jersey State Council on the Arts and official airline sponsor United. Festival partners include Montclair Township, the Montclair Public Library, Montclair Art Museum and Fazioli Pianos, with media sponsors WBGO 88.3 FM, The Montclair Times and Baristanet.
Jazz fans are invited to bring friends and family, lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets. In addition to the North Coast Beer Garden and Family Jazz Discovery Zone, food and artisan craft vendors are part of the offerings in the historic, 17-acre park. (Directions: http://bit.ly/Q4wiry).

More Information: http://www.montclairjazzfestival.org


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