Wednesday, May 15, 2024

11th Annual Jersey City Jazz Festival Announces Eclectic And Ambitious Lineup


The 11th Annual Jersey City Jazz Festival
Announces Eclectic And Ambitious Lineup

WHEN: Wednesday, May 29, to Sunday, June 2, 2024
various venues in Jersey City

Riverview Jazz has been bringing all varieties of jazz music to the residents of Jersey City and Hudson County for well over ten years. This year’s  Jersey City Jazz Festival is not only expected to be the largest event ever, featuring 40 performances over 5 days with upward of 20,000 patrons expected but it is the most musically diverse to date.

The 11th annual  Jersey City Jazz Festiva, presented by Exchange Place Alliance, will be held at various venues throughout the city on the weeknights and culminate in a two-day, three stage party at the recently renovated Exchange Place Pedestrian Plaza on the Hudson River waterfront.  The Festival will kick off with a free-to-the-public opening party at the Canopy Hotel on Wednesday, May 29th, at 6pm.

Saxophone fans won’t want to miss the 89-year old legend and Miles Davis-alum George Coleman (6/2),  the super swinging Jerry Weldon with vocalist Joy Brown (Brennan Courthouse 5/30, Andrew Wagner & Alex De Lazzari Group open), and the avant-garde stalwart Tim Berne (Pet Shop 5/30). The event features no shortage of master drummers as well. One of the most in-demand drummers of today Johnathan Blake will present his band Trion featuring Donny McCaslin and Boris Kozlov with the talented young drummer Mecadon McCune’s band opening (Nimbus 5/31). 

NEA Jazz Master Billy Hart will be playing drums with both Trio HGH (John Hébert, George Garzone, Hart - 6/1) and the great pianist Dave Kikoski (6/1).  Jerome Jennings will bring his band “ill Philosophy” to The Statuary (5/31),  and Jersey City Jazz Festival favorite Winard Harper will be back with his Jeli Posse for another unforgettable performance (6/1). In addition to Kikoski, a slate of inventive pianists will hold court - Philly-native Orrin Evans and his Trio (6/1), Zacchai Curtis (Curtis Brothers 6/2), Alon Nechustan (6/2), Nick Masters (Exalted at Departed Soles 5/31), and the swinging vocalist and pianist Champian Fulton (6/1). 

For vocal jazz lovers, the 2023 Sarah Vaughn competition winner Tyreek McDole will host the Hyatt House jam session (6/1), the WBGO on-air personality and incomparable singer Lezlie Harrison will perform with the Riverview Jazz All-Stars (6/1), the soulful Brianna Thomas fronts her funky band (6/2), and the swinging songstress Kate Curran will perform a special jazz brunch with guitarist Ron Affif (Hyatt House 6/2). 

Fans of Latin Jazz and Salsa will be thrilled to see the Tito Puente alum band Mambo Legends Orchestra (6/1), the young energetic Salsa outfit La Excelencia (6/2), trumpeter Rachel Therrien’s Latin Jazz Project (6/1), and Spanish Harlem Orchestra trombonist  Juanga Lakunza’s Quintet (6/2). Other eclectic ensembles include the ever-exploring Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista’s Chama (6/2), the hot-blooded percussion and mighty brass of Nation Beat (6/1), the electro-funk soul duo Paris Monster (6/1), the marching brass band The Honk Family Band (6/2), harmonica virtuoso Yvonnick Prené, and the jazz big band Lance Bryant’s Shout (6/1). 

There will be plenty of jam sessions for players looking to ply their wares - Ian Kenselaar Jam session (Cafe Corretto 5/29), the Jersey City jazz institution Moore’s Place (5/31), Hyatt House jam with Tyreek McDole (6/1), and the official afterparty hosted by Winard Harper & friends (Moore’s Place 6/2). Young musicians will also take a front seat as the United Children’s Music Project Latin ensemble (6/1) and the NJCU Jazz combo (6/2) will both perform.

“Eleven years! Wow”, says Festival director Bryan Beninghove. ”We’re in a really good place right now. A permanent home in a beautiful plaza on the water, a number of great festival partners, and an active community audience. This year we have some truly incredible diverse music acts, a number that I personally can’t wait to see myself.”

“We are proud to support Jersey City’s diverse range of talented artists, and we are excited to welcome back the annual Jersey City Jazz Festival, which has deservedly grown in crowds and captivating performances year after year,”  says Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. “The five-day festival not only offers the opportunity to hear great music but also immerses attendees in the vibrant spirit of Jersey City’s community.”

A large majority of the programming will be free-to-the-public, with exception to some of the weeknight club performances and the Ford’s Gin Row tented stage ($20/day advance) at the weekend event. For only $85 (in advance) you can purchase a Prestige pass (presented by the Bergen Lafayette Collection) which will allow weekend access to the Gin Row, a VIP tent w/ private bar & executive bathrooms, discounts to weeknight shows, and a swag bag including the 2024commemorative tee and tote. 

This year’s event is presented by Exchange Place Alliance. Other community and corporate partners include the City of Jersey City, RWJ Barnabas Health, The Bergen Lafayette Collection, the Jersey City Free Public Library, WBGO, NJ PBS, Bike JC, Fifteen, Hyatt House, Canopy, Corcoran Sawyer Smith, and many more. Participating venues include the Canopy Hotel, Nimbus Arts Center, the Brennan Courthouse, Cafe Corretto, Moore’s Place, The Statuary, Departed Soles Brewery, Pet Shop, the Archer, Skinners Loft, and Rooftop at the Hyatt House.

"We are so pleased to support and provide a home for the amazing Jersey City Jazz Festival in the newly renovated Exchange Place Plaza," said Elizabeth Cain, spokesperson for the Exchange Place Alliance.  "We happily welcome Jersey City residents, their friends and jazz fans from everywhere to enjoy the totally reimagined plaza."

Bike JC has partnered with Riverview Jazz for the Jersey City Ward Tour. The annual event, in its 13th year, will begin at Exchange Place the morning of Sunday, June 2nd, and end at the Jersey City Jazz Festival. The 15-mile bike ride draws 3,000 riders and is the largest such event in NJ. For more information go to

The festival is open for all ages and will provide food trucks, artisan vendors, bars, VIP areas, and an RWJ Barnabas Community Zone that will feature family-friendly activities throughout the weekend. Tickets, Prestige Passes, information on directions, parking, volunteering, and links to the artists, can all be found at Riverview Jazz is a Jersey City-based 501(c)(3) non-profit and is supported in part by public funds from the Jersey City Arts and Culture Trust Fund and the Hudson County LAP grant. 

Jersey City Jazz Festival Schedule

Wednesday, May 29

  • JCJF Opening Party 

Canopy Hotel  6-9pm, Free w/ reservation
159 Morgan St, Jersey City, NJ 07302

  • Ian Kenselaar Jam Session

Cafe Corretto 9pm, $10
123 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Thursday, May 30

  • Jerry Weldon Quartet w/ Joy Brown, Andrew Wagner & Alex De Lazzari Group

Brennan Courthouse 7pm, $25
583 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306

  • Milkman & Sons

The Archer 7pm, Free
176 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07302

  • Hot String Alliance

Skinners Loft 7pm, Free
146 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07302

  • Tim Berne Quartet

Pet Shop 9pm, $20/25
146 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Friday, May 31

  • Happy Hour with Nobuki Takamen Trio

Canopy Hotel 5pm, Free
159 Morgan St, Jersey City, NJ 07302

  • Johnathan Blake Trion, Mecadon McCune Band

Nimbus Arts Center 7pm, $40/45
329 Warren Street, Jersey City 07302

  • Jerome Jennings & ill Philosophy

The Statuary 7pm, Suggested Donation
53 Congress Street, Jersey City, NJ 07307

  • Moore’s Place: Jam Session 7pm Free
    189 Monticello Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07304
  • Exalted w/ Nick Masters

Departed Soles 9pm, Free
150 Bay St., Jersey City, NJ 07302

Saturday, June 1: Exchange Place Plaza

Ford’s Gin Row  $

  • Champian Fulton Trio 1pm
  • Orrin Evans Trio 3pm
  • Trio HGH (Hébert, Garzone, Hart)  5pm
  • Dave Kikoski Trio feat. Billy Hart & Joe Martin 7pm

Exchange Place Alliance Plaza Stage  Free

  • Riverview Jazz All-Stars feat. Lezlie Harrison  Noon
  • Lance Bryant & Shout! 2pm
  • Paris Monster 4pm
  • Nation Beat 6pm
  • Mambo Legends Orchestra 8pm

City of Jersey City Pier Stage  Free

  • United Children’s Music Project Latin Ensemble 1:30pm
  • Rachel Therrien’s Latin Jazz Project  3:30pm
  • Winard Harper & Jeli Posse 5:30pm

Hyatt House After Hours

  • Tyreek McDole Jam Session 9pm Terrace
  • Moses Patrou Organ Trio 10pm Rooftop

 Sunday, June 2: Exchange Place Plaza

  •  Bike JC Ward Tour

Exchange Place 11am

  • Jazz Brunch w/ Kate Curran & Ron Affif

Hyatt House, Free w/ reservation
1 Exchange Place, Jersey City 07302

Ford’s Gin Row  $

  • Curtis Brothers feat. Craig Handy 1pm
  • George Coleman Quartet 3pm
  • Brianna Thomas Band  5pm

Exchange Place Alliance Plaza Stage  Free

  • Yvonnick Prené Quintet “Listen”  Noon
  • Honk Family Band 2pm
  • Cyro Baptista’s Chama 4pm
  • La Excelensia 6pm

 City of Jersey City Pier Stage  Free

  • NJCU Jazz Combo 12:30pm
  • Alon Nechustan Quartet  1:30pm
  • Juanga Lakunza Quintet 4:30pm



  • Moore’s Place  7pm

189 Monticello Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07304