We’re Making History! NJJS to Celebrate its 45th Anniversary with All-Star, All-Jersey Concert

Don Braden and Bucky Pizzarelli

“If there is such a thing as a ‘jazz center’ in New Jersey,” The New York Times’ John S. Wilson wrote in 1972 of the New Jersey Jazz Society’s founding, “it must be here.”

In recognition of the New Jersey Jazz Society’s dedication to the performance, promotion and preservation of jazz, and the vibrant role it’s held in New Jersey’s cultural life during its 45 years of existence, the Society is presenting a celebration of our legacy with a concert titled “Big Band to Bebop and Beyond” on Sunday, October 22 from 3-6PM in the Dorothy Young Center for the Arts at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Click here for tickets and program information.

An all-star lineup of New Jersey-based jazz musicians under the musical direction of Don Braden will celebrate NJJS’ heritage, pay tribute to New Jersey’s rich jazz history, and will honor the 75-year career of the Garden State’s own Jazz Legend, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli.

The program will be a tribute to the musical legacies of New Jersey’s native greats Count Basie, Jerome Kern, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, James Moody, Wayne Shorter and Bucky Pizzarelli.  Also on the program will be several multi-media presentations recalling the history of NJJS and video tributes highlighting the influence Bucky Pizzarelli has had on jazz, on other musicians, and on their careers. “I feel you’ve got to pass it on,” affirms Bucky.  Given the rich depth of musicians scheduled to perform, combined with their vast experiences as band leaders, sidemen/women, vocalists and educators, and the 75 year age difference between Bucky Pizzarelli and 15 year old pianist Leonieke Scheuble and 16 year old vocalist Alexis Morrast, this concert will be a celebration of the past, the present and the future of jazz.

Tickets are on sale now! Click here for more information.


The October issue of Jersey Jazz is out – do you have your copy? This award-winning journal is free with your membership!

Jersey Jazz October 2017
Jersey Jazz
October 2017

Click on photo to download pdf copy
  • Our 45th Anniversary celebration, a salute to jazz in the Garden State from big band to bebop and beyond, will be held from 3:00pm to 6:00pm on October 22nd at Drew University. This historic concert will feature the legendary Bucky Pizzarelli, musical director Don Braden, and other all-stars, all of whom either reside or have roots in New Jersey. Don’t delay getting your tickets – you won’t want to miss this memorable event. For more information and to get tickets, visit the 45th Anniversary event page.
  • Our cover story profiles the sixth annual Morristown Jazz and Blues Festival, which took place in August. Rarely seen nowadays in NJ, Vince Giordano and his Nighthawks played to thousands of joyous jazz fans. Another favorite, Jersey’s own Bucky Pizzarelli, followed with a quintet, cramming 20 songs into their 90-minute set – just 2 of the many acts at that festival!
  • Has your school or library signed up for the Generations of Jazz assembly program? There’s a 50% discount to the first 10 schools or libraries that register before December 21st, 2017.
  • Saxophonist Harry Allen is Schaen Fox’s interviewee this month. He has three new records out – one on Arbors records called The Candy Men, a nice mix of big band and small band sound with a wonderful lineup of world class musicians. Another record is Can You Love Once More, an album of originals he wrote together with Judy Carmichael crafting the lyrics. The third CD is a live recording he did with Scott Hamilton. Did you know Harry studied music at Rutgers, and performed often at the iconic Cornerstone? Schaen’s interview has even more tidbits!
  • Louis Armstrong’s 116th Birthday was celebrated in great style with New Orleans’ Satchmo Summerfest, three days of concerts by Louis’ musical descendants on three stages, plus seminars. But oh, that torrential rain and flooding!
  • Wouldn’t you like to know more about the classic film Round Midnight? Jim Gerard interviews director (and jazz lover) Bertrand Tavernier. Did you know the performances in the film were recorded live? Your copy of Jersey Jazz has more interesting backstory.
  • Jack Stine has a wonderful series – part 1 of Getting Even is in your copy, and starts an intriguing recollection of his service in WWII.
  • Are you participating in the DIVA Jazz Orchestra’s 25th Anniversary? This all-female big band, led by drummer and musical director Sherrie Maricle, is commemorating their 25th Anniversary with a special CD recording, DIVA Plays DIVA. You can be an important part of this endeavor by participating in their crowd-funding project on ArtistShare.com

In addition to many other interesting pieces in this month’s issue, there are ads for dozens of opportunities to enjoy live jazz in New Jersey and its surrounds. To receive your copy of the Jersey Jazz Journal, become a member.


Records at Play: The Institute of Jazz Studies @50

Jan 23, 2017 – Dec 22, 2017

The Large Gallery at Express Newark
54 Halsey Street, 3rd Floor
Newark NJ

Records at Play: The Institute of Jazz Studies@50The Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS) has been collecting jazz records at Rutgers University—Newark and sharing them with a wide audience for the past 50 years. These not only include sound recordings of jazz music, but also the “record” of jazz history found in photographs, documents, written music, and historic artifacts. Expanding on the original vision of IJS founder Marshall Stearns, the Institute has grown to become one of the biggest centers in the world for the study of jazz history. Most importantly, the IJS preserves these valuable materials that document jazz history so that people can use them now and into the future. IJS users listen to recordings, study archival documents, read books about jazz, or look for a piece of music to play, to name a few common uses. Records at Play: The Institute of Jazz Studies @50 is the first time the IJS has exhibited so many of its treasures at once. Although they represent only a small fraction of the Institute’s collections, the artifacts, documents, and sound recordings in this exhibit provide a record of IJS history and the music at its core.