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Meurkens, a virtuoso on both the chromatic harmonica &the vibraphone, is the most important jazz harmonica player since Toots Thielemans. German-born-now NY based, Meurkens' records and performances garner worldwide acclaim because the transcendent beauty of his music has universal appeal.
"The ease with which Meurkens masters a chromatic harmonica
is evident in the fluidity of his lines and phrasing." —Nance Ann Lee, Jazz & Blues Report
Neer, a jazz artist/instrumentalist whose main instrument is steel guitar leads a group through original arrangements of classic jazz compositions by Monk, Mingus, Horace Silver and others. Back in October of 2016, Mike released a CD of Thelonious Monk compositions with unique arrangements featuring lap steel guitar. The CD was met with critical acclaim, beginning with writer Marc Meyers of The Wall St. Journal and Jazzwax, who was "blown away" by the CD, to Dan Forte of Vintage Guitar Magazine, and Bill Milkowski of Down Beat.
Alex Collins is a composer/ orchestrator/pianist and recording artist born and raised in Teaneck, NJ. Alex earned a BA from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and his MA at the Manhattan School of Music. Alex can be seen as a leader and sideman throughout the tri-state.
"Larsson represents a new class of vocalists who are pushing the limits of jazz vocals to the edge of post bop conventional wisdom into a realm not otherwise traveled." - All About Jazz
Mark Gross' extraordinary musicianship has led to live and recorded efforts with many of the greats in jazz music--he has been on 80+ recordings, including 2 Grammy Award winning projects by the Dave Holland Big Band. Mark has toured the world with Delfeayo Marsalis, Nat Adderley, Mulgrew Miller, Nicholas Payton, Dizzy Gillespie, Nancy Wilson, James Moody, Jimmy Heath, Freddie Hubbard and more.
Thanks to our Main Stage Sponsor, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, in Flemington, New Brunswick & Somerville, we will be giving away a chance to win a "Martone for Peroni"- multicolor limited edition $900.00 bicycle with each 2018 Central Jersey Jazz Festival t-shirt purchase! (You MUST be PRESENT to win!)