MORRISTOWN, NJ – The Town of Morristown and Mayor Timothy Dougherty will host a free all day concert on the Green on Saturday, August 18th. The second annual Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival runs from noon until 10:00 p.m. and features blues guitarist Robben Ford, Rob Paparozzi and the Hudson River Rats, the Rusty Paul Band, the all-female quartet the Jazz Chicks, and the Jerry Vezza Quartet with special guest Grover Kemble. On Friday night, the Green will play host to the Fifth Annual MorristownGreen.com Film Festival.
“Last year’s festival was such a success that we are making this an annual event for the town. I am pleased that we can present a great day of music at no cost to our taxpayers.” said Mayor Dougherty who spearheaded the concept. “Thanks to the generous support of many businesses in town, we will present ten hours of music for the entire family. It is free, a lot of fun, and great for our local businesses.”
Major sponsors for this summer’s Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival include PSE&G, JCP&L, Brown and Brown Metro, 40 Park, Morristown Municipal Airport, Atlantic Health, the Jonathan Rose Company, Genova Burns and the Star-Ledger. Additional sponsors include Alaimo, Community Theatre at MPAC, Embroid Me, FJ Rawding, AIA, Greenbaum Rowe, Ingelsino Pearlman, Iron Bar, McEnerney, Mezmar Media, Morristown Parking Authority, Porzio Bromberg & Newman, Riker Danzig, Sona, T&M, Trustees of the Morristown Green and Villa Enterprises.
The music kicks off at noon with a performance by the all-woman quartet Jazz Chicks led by vocalist Laura Hull and featuring Nicki Parrott on bass, Janice Friedman on keyboard and Barbara Merjan on drums.
They will be followed at 2:00 by the Rusty Paul Band, led by the son of the legendary guitarist Les Paul. Their blend of jazz, blues and funk includes a tribute to the great Les Paul featuring a special appearance by long-time member of the Les Paul Trio, Lou Pallo. The Rusty Paul Band also includes Steve Lucas on guitar, Jay Dittamo on drums, Frosty Lawson on keyboards, Mark Friedman on horn and Sonja Hensley on vocals.
At 4:00, Rob Paparozzi and the Hudson River Rats take the stage. Singer and harmonica player Paparozzi has worked with a remarkably diverse list of artists including Bruce Springsteen, Whitney Houston, B.B. King, Dr. John and Cyndi Lauper. He most recently spent seven years as front man for Blood Sweat and Tears and also tours with the “Original Blues Brothers Band.”
Following Rob Paparozzi will be the Jerry Vezza Quartet with special guest Grover Kemble. The two popular jazz musicians will be joined by Tom Hamilton on sax, Tom Sayek on drums and Rick Crane on bass.
The festival closes with five time Grammy nominee Robben Ford and his trio. Considered by critics to be one of the foremost blues guitarists, Ford has worked with a wide-range of artists, including George Harrison, Miles Davis, Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald, John Mayall, Greg Allman and many others.
The weekend kicks off on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. with the MorristownGreen.com Film Festival also on the Green. The fifth annual film and music festival features short comedic films submitted by filmmakers from all walks of life. The audience will be invited to vote for the best picture after all of the films are shown.
Mayor Dougherty concludes that “the two festivals provide a boost for the community at a traditionally slower time for restaurants and retailers and also adds to Morristown’s reputation as an entertainment center for northern New Jersey.”
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.TownofMorristown.org.