Tomorrow is the big day and the weather looks amazing for the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL Grand Finale Downtown Jamboree! Get some sleep tonight because there is a full day of events, three stages featuring internationally-acclaimed headliners, regional favorites and emerging talent, more than 150 artisan food and craft vendors, an expanded all-day Family Jazz Discovery Zone for families — and at the very end — an after party!
Presented by BDP Holdings, LLC and produced by Jazz House Kids, the Montclair Jazz Festival is the largest FREE jazz festival in the greater New York City area attracting 35,000 jazz fans to downtown Montclair with festivities spanning nearly half-mile of Bloomfield Avenue from Lackawanna Plaza to South Park, turning the main avenue of Montclair into an all-pedestrian jazz playground.
With three stages in the nearly half mile Montclair jazz playground, the challenge is how many performers can you enjoy during the eight hours of live music. Make sure not to miss Matthew Whitaker starting off the festival at 1 p.m. at The Fullerton Stage. This incredible musician and composer started with Jazz House Kids at age 7. Whitaker has toured both here in the US and abroad, performing at the United Nations headquarters and on other world-renowned stages, including The Apollo Theater; Carnegie Hall; Jazz at Lincoln Center; SFJAZZ; The Kennedy Center; Monterey Jazz Festival; and at venues all over Europe and Asia. Check him out performing on Late Show with Stephen Colbert here.
Closing out the festival is powerhouse American soul singer Danielle Ponder. In 2020, NPR described her music as anthemic while compassionate; soulful, while bold and strong. At the 2021 Newport Jazz Festival, her performance was hailed as one of the stand-out performances of the event. Ponder continues to advocate for criminal justice reform and has been an influential leader in the Black Lives Matter movement in Rochester, NY. Listen to Ponder’s “Only The Lonely” on New York Times’ The Playlist
In between there are more than a dozen other performers you will want to hear including Jazz House Collective Celebrate Mingus, Nathan Farrell Quartet, The Cookers, Monty Alexander – Harlem Kingston Express, Artemis and so many more. You definitely do not want to miss Montclair Jazz Festival’s artistic director and eight-time GRAMMY Award-winning bassist/composer Christian McBride at 6 p.m. — he’s got a surprise band coming to join him and you know they will bring it.
See the full Downtown Jamboree lineup and performer bios here.
After Party at the Wellmont Theater | 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM
At 9:00 pm, after the final festival performers take a bow, the After Party with turntablist DJ Logic is just getting started at the Wellmont Theater. As one of the world’s most accomplished turntablists, DJ Logic is widely credited for introducing jazz into the hip-hop realms and is considered by most as a highly-respected session musician and an innovative bandleader. Tickets are available at the Wellmont tent at the festival or Ticketmaster ($19.95 with proceeds benefiting JAZZ HOUSE KiDS.)
Getting There, Getting Around
There will be street closures so you can enjoy live music and roam safely up and down Bloomfield Avenue. Plan to bike or walk!
Supporting Street Closures: 7:00 am – 12 midnight
Event Time: 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Bloomfield Ave. between Grove/Elm St. and Park St.
Lackawanna Plaza between Bloomfield Ave. and Glenridge Ave.
Greenwood Ave. between Lackawanna Plaza and Glenridge Ave
N. Willow St. between Bloomfield Ave. and Glenridge Ave.
S. Willow St. between Bloomfield Ave. and Roosevelt Ave.
Glenridge Ave between Bloomfield Ave. and Forest St.
N. Fullerton Ave. between Bloomfield Ave. and the Fullerton Parking Deck
S. Fullerton Ave. between Bloomfield Ave. and The Crescent
Church Street between Bloomfield Ave. and Park St.
Supporting street closures will be managed by the Town of Montclair.
For more information, visit the site map here and download the Montclair Jazz Festival app on your phone.