Although the jazz offerings are not as prominent as they once were (four bands at four different locations), the Sweet Sounds Downtown Music Festival in Westfield, NJ, offers at least one jazz artist at each of its eight Tuesday night offerings this summer: Here’s the schedule:
- July 11: Hard bop saxophonist Bradford Hayes.
- July 18: Tenor saxophonist/keyboardist Mitch Marcus, leading his post-bop, progressive quartet.
- July 25: Guitarist Joe Taino, presenting an evening of Latin jazz.
- August 1: Vocalist Carrie Jackson and her Jazzin’ All-Star Ensemble.
- August 8: Saxophonist/flutist Don Braden and drummer Karl Latham, leading their band, Big Fun(k), which some have called a blend of Miles Davis and Grover Washington, Jr. A second jazz group on this date is jazz/rock guitarist Glenn Alexander and his band, Shadowland.
- August 15: Pianist Eric Mintel (photo above), with his classic, Brubeck-influenced quartet.
- August 22: Karickter, a jazz/rhythm & blues/soul group.
- August 29: Drummer Mauricio de Souza’s Bossa Brasil, Latin jazz band.
The free music performances begin at 7 p.m. and last until 9. All of the jazz, except Glenn Alexander, is presented at 137 Central Avenue in front of the Turning Point restaurant. Alexander will be at the intersection of Quimby and Elm streets. Wednesday is the rain date for all concerts.