Pier Fest Returns to Jersey City with Latin Jazz & Salsa Series

Article Contributed by Jazz Promo Services | Published on Thursday, September 7, 2023

Jersey City's annual Latin Jazz & Salsa series, Pier Fest, is back on Friday nights this September. Produced by Riverview Jazz, the same organization behind the Jersey City Jazz Festival, this event is hosted in partnership with Exchange Place Alliance. The festivities will be held at J. Owen Grundy Plaza, situated at the convergence of Montgomery St and the Hudson River. The series kicks off on Friday, September 8th, at 6 pm and continues on consecutive Fridays until the 29th. Each night boasts performances from two top-tier bands, an array of food trucks, a salsa dance lesson, and it's all free for the public.

Now in its fifth year, the series has become an integral part of the community, drawing over 2,000 attendees every Friday. Riverview Jazz continues its collaboration with local entities to spotlight Jersey City's vibrant culture. Salsa Fever on2, a dance studio from Jersey City Heights led by Mario B, will conduct free dance classes at every event. Circle 9, a JC-based record label, has curated a spectacular lineup of world-class Latin bands. Meanwhile, Rooftop at Exchange Place (Hyatt House) will host an electrifying afterparty with DJ Double A wrapping up each evening.

This year's roster highlights world-renowned figures in Salsa and Latin Jazz, including several multi-Grammy® award winners. Opening night will feature the 4-time Grammy® Award-winning leader of Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Oscar Hernández, alongside Alma Libre. The series will also spotlight salsa trombone icon, Jimmy Bosch's "Salsa Masters", the mambo-charanga band led by renowned NYC flautist Karen Joseph, performances by Chick Corea alumnus, percussionist Luisito Quintero, and top-tier latin drummer, Robby Ameen. Not to forget, Tito Puente's veteran, John “Dandy” Rodriguez with his Dream Team, and Michael Tate leading the 3D Rhythm of Life ensemble. The festival finale will star Circle 9's founder, Doug Beavers' Titanes del Trombón, with multi-Grammy® award-winning trombone legend, Conrad Herwig.

Bryan Beninghove, the director of Riverview Jazz, shared, “We're incredibly fortunate to have such an array of talented musicians in our community. Presenting this lineup against the stunning backdrop of city lights, swirling dancers, and resonating music is an absolute joy. It's an experience you mustn't miss. A heartfelt thank you to our partners, especially Exchange Place Alliance, for their unwavering support in keeping these events free to the public.”

Elizabeth Cain, director of Exchange Place Alliance, remarked, “We're delighted to offer Pier Fest as a weekly treat in our blossoming community. Both local residents and those from across the city can immerse themselves in our diverse and increasingly prestigious events. Teaming up with Bryan Beninghove and Riverview Jazz for this Latin jazz and dance fiesta is truly exhilarating."

Come rain or shine, Pier Fest will go on. In the event of rain, the location shifts to Harborside at 210 Hudson St. For the latest updates, visit www.RiverviewJazz.Org, follow RiverviewJazz on Facebook, or check out #riverviewjazzjc on Instagram. Convenient public transportation is available through PATH, Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, NY Waterway ferries, and NJ Transit bus. For more details, head over to www.RiverviewJazz.Org and www.ExchangePlaceAlliance.com.

Doug Beavers, a Grammy-winning trombonist, composer, and Circle 9 founder, added, “Circle 9 is thrilled to collaborate with riverviewjazz.org for Jersey City Pier Fest 2023. We've brought together some of today's paramount performers in Salsa and Latin Jazz, from renowned legends to multi-Grammy® awardees. So, lace up your dancing shoes, enjoy the free salsa lesson, and let the rhythms take over at Jersey City Pier Fest!”

Special thanks to our sponsors, Exchange Place Alliance, a non-profit Special Improvement District. This event is also supported by Mayor Steven M. Fulop, the Jersey City Municipal Council, and the Office of Cultural Affairs. RiverviewJazz.Org is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Event Schedule:

September 8:

    Oscar Hernandez & Alma Libre: 6 p.m.
    Dance Lesson with Salsa Fever on2: 7 p.m.
    Karen Joseph Mambocha: 7:30 p.m.

September 15:

    3D Rhythm of Life: 6 p.m.
    Dance Lesson with Salsa Fever on2: 7 p.m.
    John “Dandy” Rodriguez Dream Team: 7:30 p.m.

September 22:

    Luisito Quintero y su 3rd Element: 6 p.m.
    Dance Lesson with Salsa Fever on2: 7 p.m.
    Jimmy Bosch: 7:30 p.m.

September 29:

    Robby Ameen Group: 6 p.m.
    Dance Lesson with Salsa Fever on2: 7 p.m.
    Doug Beavers' “Titanes del Trombón”: 7:30 p.m.