The 10th Annual Montclair Jazz Festival Ends with a Bang

Mayor Robert Jackson Welcomes Attendees // Photo Courtesy of Richard Conde and Jana La Sorte

On Saturday, August 10th, the Tenth Annual Montclair Jazz Festival, created by Christian McBride and Melissa Walker, closed with a Grand Finale! With an estimated attendance of over ten thousand and a sunny backdrop of gorgeous weather, residents of Montclair and beyond enjoyed a beautiful day celebrating jazz, art, and community. 

An Overhead View of a Packed Nishuane Park // Photo Courtesy of Montclair Deputy Chief Wilhelm Young

The afternoon event was filled with talented performers, from saxophonist Mike Lee to a tribute to Art Blakey from the Jazz House Collective. Other featured performers included the Jazz House Big Band, the Hard Bop Big Band, the Afro-Latin Big Band, and the Jazz House Vocal Ensemble. And the day was rounded out by Christian McBride, Joey Defrancesco, Mark Whitfield, Quincy Phillips, Betty LaVette, and Eddie Palmieri. 

Christian McBride Wows Festival Goers // Photo Courtesy of Richard Conde and Jana La Sorte

To keep festival attendees well-fed and hydrated, various Montclair businesses lined Nishuane Park. Crazy Mocha coffee shop provided much-needed caffeine and refreshing drinks, while Adventure Kitchen gave out delectable samples and gourmet ice pops. 

Jazz House Musicians Outside of Egan’s, The Site of the After-party // Photo Courtesy of Richard Conde and Jana La Sorte

With a delightful soundtrack to match, festival-goers shopped for items from various local vendors, such as Jazz House Kids apparel and watercolor paintings depicting Montclair businesses and landmarks. 

The Montclair Dispatch had the pleasure of attending the festival’s Grand Finale, and speaking with Nathan Farrell, a Jazz House Kids alum, about the importance of the Montclair Jazz Festival. 

The Closing Hours of the Festival // Photo Courtesy of Richard Conde and Jana La Sorte

“It’s great that we have a community fostering event, bringing people of all levels of musician experience and passion and value of the arts together. The festival has great music, and other kinds of mediums of art can be explored. It is even more special because everyone here knows each other to different degrees.”

When the day’s festivities came to a close, all festival attendees were welcomed to Egan’s, located on Walnut St., for an after-party, commemorating two full weeks of wonderful music playing throughout the streets of Montclair. 

The author of the article is a Montclair native class of 2017, currently a student at McGill University, studying history and communications within the Faculty of Arts.

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