MORRISTOWN JAZZ & BLUES FESTIVAL
SATURDAY, AUGUST 20th
As a result, this popular music festival, which takes place on the Morristown Green on Saturday, August 20, will celebrate the 90th birthday of legendary jazz guitarist who has become a regular fixture at the annual event. In addition, many of the artists will pay tribute to the late Rusty Paul, the bass-playing son of the great Les Paul. Rusty passed away in January after a long illness and had a special relationship with the festival.
Initiated in 2011 by Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty, this year’s festival will be headlined by Robert Randolph & The Family Band. Hailing from New Jersey, Robert has a special relationship with Morristown, although the group tours around the world. Although he was named by Rolling Stone to their list of the 100 greatest guitarists of time, Robert has surrounded himself with top flight musicians and generously shares the stage.
The music begins at noon with the George Gee Swing Orchestra, considered by jazz fans and critics to be one of the best swing bands in the country. Then at two o’clock, Bucky Pizzarelli takes the stage along with his long-time partner Ed Laub on guitar, his number two son Martin Pizzarelli on bass and the always popular Aaron Weinstein on violin.
At four, the Festival presents Louis Prima Jr. and The Witnesses playing a swinging combination of originals as well as classics from the catalog of his incomparable father, including such hits as “Jump Jive an’ Wail,” “Just a Gigolo,” and “Sing Sing Sing,” with a contemporary style all their own.
As evening begins, the music turns the blues with guitar prodigy Quinn Sullivan and his band. Sullivan has been mentored by the legendary Buddy Guy and at the age of 16 is considered one of the best of the new generation of blues artists. He exploded onto the national scene at the age of seven and this summer is touring the United States, Canada and Europe.
And then at eight, Robert Randolph concludes the full day of music with a two-hour performance.
Major sponsors for this summer’s Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival include Sherman Wells, Bijou Properties, ConnectOne Bank, Hampshire Real Estate, Inglesino Pearleman, JCP&L, KSA Capital Management, NJTV, Normandy Real Estate Partners, NJTV, Gia Maione Prima Foundation, Riker Danzig, the Rockefeller Group and Transmar Commodity Group.
Additional sponsors include Alaimo Group, Atlantic Health, Delaware Raritan, F.J. Rawding, George and Martha’s Restaurant, Greenbaum Rowe Smith Davis, Lindabury McCormick, Morristown Municipal Airport, the Community Theatre at MPAC, O’Donnell McCord, The Office Tavern Grill, PKF O’Connor Davies, PSEG, Stolar Capital, Toll Brothers, Topology NJ, Vertical Realty Capital, Villa Restaurant Group, Morristown Parking Authority, Trustees of the Morristown Green, Hot House Jazz, Morris Arts, NJ Arts, the New Jersey Jazz Society, the Star-Ledger and WBGO.
The Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival will take place on the Green in Morristown rain or shine from noon until 10:00 p.m. Admission is free and many local restaurants will be offering specials for festival attendees. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets.
For more information, visit www.morristownjazzandblues.org
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Don Jay Smith