Singer Tony DeSare, the Harlem Renaissance Orchestra, and Emily Asher’s Garden Party were some of the headliners at Jazzfest 2012, presented by the New Jersey Jazz Society (NJJS), on the campus of the College of Saint Elizabeth (CSE),. The Northeast’s longest running jazz festival featured nine hours of nonstop jazz on Saturday, June 16, 2012, from noon to 9:00 p.m., in the air conditioned comfort of two (CSE) concert halls, Dolan Hall in the Annunciation Center and the Octagon Theatre right next door. Plus, there was outdoor entertainment, a food court, and open-to-the-public vendors selling everything from hard-to-find CDs to crafts and interesting merchandise.
Other artists included Eddie Monteiro and Shades of Brazil, the Jon Burr Trio who performed a Tribute to Stephane Grappelli, Andy Farber’s Swing Mavens who featured Champian Fulton and a Tribute to Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan and Louis Prima with Swingadelic.
Proceeds from the festival support the many educational programs of NJJS including scholarships for young students studying jazz at New Jersey colleges.
The gates opened at 11:30 a.m. The Harlem Renaissance Orchestra launched the Festival at noon. The orchestra is dedicated to performing the music of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong and other giants of the Swing Era. On the second stage, the award-winning jazz accordion player Eddie Monteiro led his Shades of Brazil group that includes guitarist Paul Meyers and drummer Vanderlei Pereira.
The afternoon lineup included a Tribute to the great Stephane Grappelli with the Jon Burr Trio and special guest vocalist Lynn Stein. Burr, who played bass for many years with the legendary jazz violinist, was joined by guitarist Howard Alden and teenaged fiddle player Jonathan Russell. The afternoon bill also featured a special tribute to Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan and Louis Prima with the ever popular Swingadelic.
In the food and vendor court, the sounds of Emily Asher’s Garden Party filled the afternoon air and the virtuoso trombonist was by Dan Levinson on reeds, Bria Skonberg on trumpet, Jared Engel on banjo and Wycliffe Gordon on sousaphone.
Before the evening concert, which kicked off at 6:00 p.m, the New Jersey Jazz Society honored Bill Boyle, CEO of Boyle Hotels Management Group that owns properties in Morristown, Westfield, and Murray Hill. Boyle has been a longtime supporter of Jazzfest and regularly presents jazz artists in his restaurants.
The evening concert featured the exciting sounds of Andy Farber’s Swing Mavens featuring the young vocalist Champian Fulton. Although still in her early 20’s, Fulton is earning a reputation as one of the best new jazz singers in the business. Headlining the evening concert was the great Tony DeSare with his trio. Often compared to Frank Sinatra, DeSare has emerged as one of the most popular young jazz vocalists in the country.
JazzFest Receives Support from Multiple Sources
Jazzfest is made possible through the generous support of Toyota of Morristown, Riker Danzig, the Star-Ledger, WBGO Jazz88, PNC Wealth Management, Boyle Hotels, Hot House Magazine and the Madison Arts and Culture Alliance. The Best Western Morristown Inn was the official festival hotel.