The Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival is set to return on September 8
Live music and more will return to Morristown Green in September and October.
Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the one-year cancellation of the Morristown Jazz and Blues Festival in August and the Green Festival in September. The two free-entry outdoor events draw thousands of visitors to the Green and surrounding businesses.
Last month, organizers announced that the jazz and blues festival would return on September 18. They released the lineup on Wednesday, starring Mendham resident Rob Paparozzi, a veteran of Blood, Sweat and Tears and the Original Blues Brothers Band.
âWe’re obviously keeping an eye on this whole COVID thing again,â said Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty, who has seen the 10th annual music festival he founded postponed to 2020. âFor now. , it looks like an outdoor location should be OK. “
Last week, the Morris County Board of Commissioners announced it was pledging $ 100,000 to revive another Morristown institution, the Festival on the Green, on October 3.
Launched in 1994, the one-day event, rain or shine, brings together up to 50,000 people in downtown Morristown to engage with over 150 exhibitors and a wide variety of entertainment and other family activities.
Exhibitors typically include local businesses and community and civic groups who take the opportunity to offer useful information, services and freebies. Four stages are erected nearby to offer live music, children’s artists and other attractions. Neighborhood restaurants frequently set up shop on the streets to sell prepared meals or offer samples.
The festival was canceled last year, and this year exhibitors are facing significant increases in expenses related to their exhibitions. Tent rentals and set-up labor costs, for example, have doubled since 2019, organizers said.
The Commissioner’s Grant will help participants offset these expenses.
âThe dollars are going primarily to small businesses and nonprofits, the Morristown Festival will have higher vendor participation, and Morris County residents will benefit from a wide variety of offerings,â Commissioner John said. Krickus, who also sits on the county’s COVID-19 strategic planning. Consultative Committee.
The festival is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. Registration of participants is now open. Visit the Morristown Partnership website for details.
Paparozzi, group and “special guests”
At the last jazz and blues festival, in 2019, Paparozzi dazzled the afternoon crowd with his virtuoso blues harmonica, vocals and hot band.
He also brought a friend: Steve Katz, founding member of the legendary band Blood, Sweat and Tears, which Paparozzi then led from 2005 to 2011. On the weekend marking Woodstock’s 50th anniversary, Katz thrilled the Morristown festival crowd. 2019 Morristown. playing “Sometimes in Winter”, a song he sang in front of 400,000 people at the iconic 1969 music festival.
This year, Paparozzi will be back on the front page of the 8pm slot with his show “Juke Joint”. Also back this year is another Morristown favorite: Louis Prima Jr., who always gets the green crowd dancing with a mix of rock hits and his father’s jump-blues hits played by a band with a full brass section.
Paparozzi also hopes to attract special guests, including “a member of the original Blues Brothers Band”.
âWe got stuck last year for the 10th edition because of the pandemic, but we’re ready to come back and do this thing,â Paparozzi said.
The music starts at noon with the 10 Swampadelica musicians, playing the favorites of the big band.
The 2pm slot goes to the Frank Vignola Trio, with his guitarist colleague Vinny Raniolo and Martin Pizzarelli on bass. Vignola’s guests will be guitarists Ed Laub and Gene Bertoncini and violinist Aaron Weinstein.
At 4 p.m., jazz drummer Winard Harper and his band will turn up the volume for an energetic jazz set.
Tributes to flow
Both festivals also return with special tributes to former participants. The Vignola group will pay tribute to guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, whose “Guitar Summit” took the place of noon at the festival for the first eight years. Pizzarelli died at age 92 from complications from the coronavirus on April 1, 2020. His wife, Ruth, died a week later. Martin Pizzarelli, the bassist, is his son.
The jazz and blues festival will also pay tribute to its co-founder and producer, Linda Smith, who passed away last month. Her husband, Don Jay Smith, is hosting this year’s show.
âPaying homage to Linda and knowing how much she loved Rob’s music, it’s bittersweet but appropriate, and it’s going to be a great show,â said Dougherty.
This year’s Festival on the Green will feel the absence of Michael Fabrizio, who was instrumental in launching the festival while he was director of the Morristown Partnership, said Dougherty. Fabrizio, who then headed the Morristown Parking Authority, died suddenly at the age of 55 on June 15.
âHe was part of the committee from the start,â said Dougherty. “It will be a great tribute to Michael and Linda, a great festival, and I look forward to a great day in Morristown.”
Noting the $ 100,000 grant to the fall festival, Dougherty said he had to “speak to the jazz festival commissioners.”
The complete list of artists and sponsors is available on the site festival site.
William Westhoven is a local reporter for DailyRecord.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.