In more than one way, Jazz is coming back to Newark. Not that there isn’t Jazz in Newark, but the access to regular live jazz is nothing like it once was here. The options are slim if you want to just pop up on a Friday night and catch a live set. Pop over to Duke’s Southern Table or The Priory…and that’s about it. Until now.
In tribute to the late Dr. Clement Alexander Price, Founder and Director of the Rutgers University-Newark Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, Newark historian, and devoted fan of jazz, Newark Celebration 350 (NC 350) is launching a new, original jazz concert series called NC 350 Live at Clement’s Place in the heart of Newark’s downtown district. The series, curated by Newark Celebration 350 in partnership with the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers-Newark, features live music performances by local and internationally renowned artists every second Friday of the month commencing August 12th and concluding December 9th. In the spirit of honoring the great jazz tradition of Newark and celebrating the City’s 350th anniversary of its founding, these select performances will be free to the public to enjoy.
The series kicks off August 12th with “The Sax Summit,” featuring saxophone and multi-instrumentalist impresarios, Leo Johnson and Anthony Nelson. Johnson is regarded as one of the primary leaders and proponents of Jazz in Newark in the 21st century, performing with the likes of Regina Carter, the O’Jays and Faith Evans. Nelson credits Johnson as a strong force in his development and accomplishments as a professional musician and has played with Jimmy McGriff, Chico Mendoza and more.
Located on the first floor at 15 Washington Street,the historic, neo-classical skyscraper – that was once the headquarters of American Insurance Co. and the home of Rutgers-Newark’s law school – Clement’s Place will be the place to be for jazz music that carries on Clem’s legacy in celebrating Newark as a cultural arts destination.
“We are excited to launch ’NC 350 Live’ with the Institute of Jazz Studies-Rutgers which represents NC 350’s mission to champion the very best of our city’s talented artists and great traditions,” stated Junius Williams, NC 350 Chair and Director of the Abbot Leadership Institute. “These programs echo Dr. Clement Price’s vision of celebrating Newark through the arts during this milestone year and we look forward to witnessing some unforgettable jazz performances in the months ahead.”
“Newark has always been the home of jazz—as the headquarters of the internationally renowned jazz radio station WBGO and Rutgers’ Institute of Jazz Studies —and the birthplace of many jazz greats from Sarah Vaughan to our local artists of today who will be gracing our stage each month at Fifteen Wash,” says Wayne Winborne, Executive Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies-Rutgers. “It is our hope that ‘NC 350 Live at Clement’s Place’ will attract not only local residents but jazz lovers from around the world who will discover that Newark is THE place to be for a world class jazz scene.”
The schedule and lineup for “NC 350 Live at Clement’s Place “are:
Sax Summit” featuring Leo Johnson and Anthony Nelson
August 12, 6-8pm
Newark’s legendary saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, Leo Johnson performs with fellow Newark sax impresario, Anthony Nelson.
Carrie Jackson and Her Jazzin’ All Stars
September 9, 6-8pm
Native Newarker Carrie Jackson and Her Jazzin’ All Stars brings her signature soulful sound back to her hometown.
Bobby Sanabria & Quarteto Aché
October 14, 6-8pm
Grammy nominated percussionist and drummer, Bobby Sanabria and his band Bobby Sanabria & Quarteto Aché bring the exciting sounds of Latin Jazz.
Return To the Source (with Junius Williams)
November 11, 6-8pm
Return to the Source reunites for an unforgettable night of exploring the African-American experience through music. RTS’s repertoire of blues, rhythm and blues, and jazz, is led by NC 350‘s very own Junius Williams and includes some of Newark’s preeminent musicians and artists, such as Anthony Jackson, Janet Van Kline, Wincey Terry, Jeff Motley and Jackie Jones.
The Houston Person Quartet
December 9, 6-8pm
The distinct and expressive soul jazz sounds of Eubie Blake Jazz Award winner Houston Person and The Houston Person Quartet.