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

Article Contributed by Jazz Promo Services | Published on Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Riverview Jazz has been bringing a diverse array of jazz music to the residents of Jersey City and Hudson County for over ten years. This year's Jersey City Jazz Festival is set to be the largest event yet, featuring 40 performances over 5 days, with an expected attendance of over 20,000 patrons. It will also be the most musically diverse festival to date.

The 11th annual Jersey City Jazz Festival kicks off its city-wide celebration on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, and continues until late Sunday, June 2, 2024. Presented by the Exchange Place Alliance, the Festival will be held at various venues throughout the city on weeknights, culminating in a two-day, three-stage event at the newly renovated Exchange Place Pedestrian Plaza on the Hudson River waterfront. The Festival begins with a free opening party at the Canopy Hotel on Wednesday, May 29th, at 6 pm.

Saxophone enthusiasts won’t want to miss the 89-year-old legend and Miles Davis alum George Coleman (6/2), the swinging Jerry Weldon with vocalist Joy Brown (Brennan Courthouse 5/30, with Andrew Wagner & Alex De Lazzari Group opening), and the avant-garde stalwart Tim Berne (Pet Shop 5/30). Master drummers will also be featured, including the in-demand Johnathan Blake with 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 perform with both Trio HGH (John Hébert, George Garzone, Hart - 6/1) and 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 return with his Jeli Posse for another unforgettable performance (6/1). Additional inventive pianists include 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).

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

Fans of Latin Jazz and Salsa will be thrilled with performances by the Tito Puente alum band Mambo Legends Orchestra (6/1), the 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 Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista’s Chama (6/2), the hot-blooded percussion and brass of Nation Beat (6/1), electro-funk soul duo Paris Monster (6/1), marching brass band The Honk Family Band (6/2), harmonica virtuoso Yvonnick Prené, and jazz big band Lance Bryant’s Shout (6/1).

There will be plenty of jam sessions for players to showcase their skills: 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 be highlighted, with performances by the United Children’s Music Project Latin ensemble (6/1) and the NJCU Jazz combo (6/2).

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

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

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

This year’s event is presented by the 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, Skinner's Loft, and Rooftop at the Hyatt House.

"We are thrilled 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 warmly welcome Jersey City residents, their friends, and jazz fans from everywhere to enjoy the 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, visit

The festival is open to all ages and will feature food trucks, artisan vendors, bars, VIP areas, and an RWJ Barnabas Community Zone with family-friendly activities throughout the weekend. Tickets, Prestige Passes, directions, parking, volunteering, and artist information can be found at Riverview Jazz is a Jersey City-based 501(c)(3) non-profit 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, 6-9 pm, Free with reservation
159 Morgan St, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Ian Kenselaar Jam Session
Cafe Corretto, 9 pm, $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, 7 pm, $25
583 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306

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

Hot String Alliance
Skinner's Loft, 7 pm, Free
146 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07302

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

Friday, May 31

Happy Hour with Nobuki Takamen Trio
Canopy Hotel, 5 pm, Free
159 Morgan St, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Johnathan Blake Trion, Mecadon McCune Band
Nimbus Arts Center, 7 pm, $40/45
329 Warren Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Jerome Jennings & ill Philosophy
The Statuary, 7 pm, Suggested Donation
53 Congress Street, Jersey City, NJ 07307

Moore’s Place: Jam Session
7 pm, Free
189 Monticello Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07304

Exalted w/ Nick Masters
Departed Soles, 9 pm, Free
150 Bay St., Jersey City, NJ 07302

Saturday, June 1: Exchange Place Plaza

Ford’s Gin Row ($)

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

Exchange Place Alliance Plaza Stage (Free)

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

City of Jersey City Pier Stage (Free)

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

Hyatt House After Hours

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

Sunday, June 2: Exchange Place Plaza

Bike JC Ward Tour
Exchange Place, 11 am

Jazz Brunch w/ Kate Curran & Ron Affif
Hyatt House, Free with reservation
1 Exchange Place, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Ford’s Gin Row ($)

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

Exchange Place Alliance Plaza Stage (Free)

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

City of Jersey City Pier Stage (Free)

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


Moore’s Place, 7 pm
189 Monticello Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07304