Grammy-winner Aaron Diehl performs New Brunswick native James P. Johnson’s “Charleston” on Sept. eight at New Brunswick Performing Arts Heart.
Bob Makin, @ReporterBMakin

The seventh annual Central Jersey Jazz Competition, an unprecedented partnership of three county seats, will happen Friday in Flemington, Saturday in New Brunswick and Sunday in Somerville.

The free three-day, mega-musical occasion  will kick off with famend drummer Winard Harper, a toddler prodigy who studied on the Conservatory of the College of Cincinnati and Howard College, earlier than being awarded a scholarship to check below the steerage of the late Jackie McLean on the College of Hartford. Upon commencement, Winard’s first gig was with the legendary Dexter Gordon (“’Spherical Midnight”). Ever since, Harper has been an in-demand bandleader and sideman. 

NYC-based singer songwriter Jeanne Gies holds the second spot on the invoice. She has toured in Scotland, France, Germany, England, Austria, Italy, and Brazil. Gies is acknowledged for her full-bodied, emotionally expressive voice and distinctive phrasing. Opening the present will probably be rising star pianist-organist-composer Willerm Delisfort, a flexible fusion of jazz, gospel, R&B, hip hop, soul and extra. NJPAC Jazz for Teenagers will carry out between units.

SEE ALSO:$172M New Brunswick PAC opens


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On Saturday, Dizzy Gillespie Afro Latin Expertise, led by the late jazz nice’s bassist John Lee will headline the all-star New Brunswick arm of the competition. The group’s musicians will embody trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, saxophonist Sharel Cassity, Brazilian pianist-vocalist Abelita Mateus and drummer Tommy Campbell. New Brunswick’s lineup additionally contains FIVE PLAY, the sister group of the world-renowned DIVA Jazz Orchestra. FIVE PLAY, helmed by drummer-music director Sherrie Maricle, contains pianist Tomoko Ohno, bassist Noriko Ueda, trumpeter Jami Dauber, and saxophonist-clarinetist Janelle Reichman.

Dynamic drummer Jerome Jennings will open the New Brunswick present. Performing, touring and being resident conductor of the Julliard Jazz Orchestra preserve Jennings lively on the worldwide jazz scene. His debut recording, “The Beast,” was named one of many high three jazz releases by Nationwide Public Radio and was nominated for the celebrated French Grand Prix du Disque award for 2016 Album of the 12 months. The New Brunswick Jazz Brass will get the afternoon off to a swinging begin and preserve the music going between predominant stage performers. 

SEE ALSO: New Brunswick PAC opens Sept. 4

The Somerville Jazz Competition, which advanced to turn into the Central Jersey Jazz Competition seven years in the past, began in 2009, and on this, its 10th yr, Somerville is bringing again three favorites. On Sunday, the weekend will culminate with pianist Nat Adderley Jr. topping the invoice. Adderley is the son of Nat Sr. and nephew “Cannonball,” each jazz greats. He’s greatest identified for his work with Luther Vandross having served as his musical director for 24 years till his 2005 dying. He wrote “The Wave” for Kirk Whalum, organized Natalie Cole’s 1987 hit, “After I Fall In Love,” and organized most of Aretha Franklin’s album “Leap To It.”

On Sunday, Adderley actually will probably be working from a 1 p.m. efficiency of “Paul Robeson,” wherein he performs the well-known Rutgers graduate’s accompanist Lawrence Brown, to his set in Somerville. 

Sunday’s lineup additionally contains tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson, who got here to worldwide prominence touring and recording as a member of Artwork Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. One of the gifted younger vocalists on the scene immediately, Brian Thomas opens the present in Somerville. Thomas has carried out with jazz greats Wycliffe Gordon, Wynton Marsalis, Russell Malone, Depend Basie Orchestra, and Dianne Reeves. On the Somerville Courthouse steps, NJPAC Jazz for Teenagers will preserve issues going between units. 

Central Jersey Jazz Competition is a co-production of Downtown Somerville, Arts on Division, Flemington Community Partnership, New Brunswick Cultural Center, and New Brunswick Jazz Project, which provides free jazz concert events 5 nights per week. 

Central Jersey Jazz Competition

When/The place: 6-10 p.m. Friday, downtown Flemington; 1-6 p.m. Saturday, downtown New Brunswick; and 1-6 p.m. Sunday, downtown Somerville

Price: Free admission


Bob Makin has gained 11 New Jersey Press Affiliation Awards and 4 Better of Gannett Awards. A information veteran of almost 40 years, Makin covers enterprise and leisure. Contact him at 732-565-7319 and

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