Montclair Jazz Festival Returns

The Montclair Jazz Festival is back for the sixth time, bringing a day packed with performances and events completely free and open to the public.

Sixth annual Montclair Jazz Festival.

© Grafvision | Dreamstime Stock Photos

The Montclair Jazz Festival is back for the sixth time this year, and it’s going to be better than ever. It takes place Saturday, Aug. 15 from noon to 9 p.m. in Nishuane Park at Montclair’s South End, rain or shine. According to its official website, the festival is Montclair’s “largest single one-day event, attracting an audience of more than 5,000 people.”

Two days before the concert, on Aug. 13, there will be a pre-festival Brewmaster Kick-off Dinner and Beer Tasting at Pig & Prince, located at 1 Lackawanna Plaza in Montclair. The reception is at 7:30 and dinner at 8:00. The tickets are $100 a person, which it includes a four-course dinner and beer tasting, and 100 percent of the ticket proceeds will go to support private lessons for students attending the Jazz House Summer Workshop. For information on how to get tickets, you can contact Gabriela Gonzalez at (973) 744-2273 or at

Now, on to the actual event; there will be two hosts for the day: four-time Grammy award winning bassist Christian McBride and Emmy and Golden Globe award winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson. Main stage headliners include José James, Paquito D’Rivera Quintet, Christian McBride Big Band and special guest Melissa Walker.

Also at the festival, there will be a “Family Jazz Discovery Zone” sponsored by Macy’s, which is a collaboration of Jazz House Kids, the Montclair Public Library and the Montclair Art Museum. This area will feature healthy snacks, music-related storybooks read by festival musicians and kid-friendly art activities. There will also be students performing in this area, including the Louis Armstrong Big Band and the Roots of Rhythm Performance. In addition, North Coast Brewing Company will sponsor the annual Beer Garden, and will donate its proceeds to Jazz House Kids. There will be portraits of iconic jazz artists by artist Andres Chaparro on display, and photographs by Richard Conde, the Montclair Jazz Festival’s official photographer, will be on display and available for sale.

Lastly, this year for the first time the festival will be streamed live online, so viewers who couldn’t make it in person will have the opportunity to watch at home. The live stream will be broadcasted at as well as at

With great headliners and amazing entertainment, there’s no question why the Montclair Jazz Festival is so popular in Montclair. But if you needed one more reason to go, there are no tickets required – the event is free and open to the public! So come on down for an undoubtedly great time.

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