Jazz House Kids Announces 2024 Lineup for 15th Annual Montclair Jazz Festival With Christian McBride

September 14th Downtown Jamboree Headliners include Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton, Christian McBride & Inside Straight

Jazz House Kids Announces 2024 Lineup for 15th Annual Montclair Jazz Festival With Christian McBride

September 14th Downtown Jamboree Headliners include Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton, Christian McBride & Inside Straight

Today, on Juneteenth, celebrating the American art form of jazz and its rich cultural heritage rooted in the African-American experience, producer JAZZ HOUSE KiDS announces the lineup and the slate of events for the summer-long 15th Anniversary of the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL. Marking the milestone of this auspicious occasion, headliners include powerhouse GRAMMY-winning vocalist, Lisa Fischer and Grand Baton.  Fischer, who toured with The Rolling Stones for a quarter of a century, was featured in the Oscar-winning film 20 Feet From Stardom showcasing her illustrious career as a backup singer to Luther Vandross, Sting, Tina Turner and many more. Nine-time GRAMMY-winning bassist, and the festival’s music director, Christian McBride will perform with his acclaimed quintet, Inside Straight

“One of the hallmarks of the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL is to bring the very best of new and upcoming talent to the stage, coupled with an all-star cast of legendary artists we are excited to bring to town. More than 250 artists will be featured over the course of the Festival and one of my favorite comedians on the scene today, Alonzo Bodden.  I’ll see you at the Block Party late show for DJ Brother Mister. Get ready!” 

Christian McBride, Artistic Director + Curator

MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL is the largest free jazz festival in the greater NYC region welcoming 25,000 music fans to Montclair. The summer-long festival kicks off with a series of performances at the Wellmont Arts Plaza and around the business areas of town before heading to Montclair State University for the Uptown Showcase featuring talented students from JAZZ HOUSE Summer Workshop.  

September brings the grand finale week with a series of engaging community events leading up to the highly anticipated Bloomfield Avenue Downtown Jamboree.  New this year, after eight hours of live music on two stages, the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL transforms into a giant 15th Anniversary Celebration Block Party as DJ Brother Mister (AKA Christian McBride) and special guest, New Jersey’s own DJ Prince Hakim take over the Downtown Jamboree stage for a dynamic funk & soul dance party. 

With producer JAZZ HOUSE KiDS and together with the County of Essex, Montclair Township, Montclair Center BID, and a host of corporate sponsors, local businesses and individual patrons, Downtown Jamboree stage hosts, comedian and actor Alonzo Boden and SiriusXM Jazz’s Andromeda Turre, the Grand Finale event will welcome music fans on September 14th along nearly half a mile of downtown Montclair’s Bloomfield Avenue commercial corridor, closed to vehicular traffic with hundreds of retailers and restaurant storefronts. The event is jam-packed with great music and activities for the whole family and spotlights internationally-acclaimed headliners, regional favorites and emerging talent on multiple stages, 170+ food & artisan vendors in sponsor Rao’s Homemade Marketplace, and the Family Jazz Discovery Zone in Wellmont Arts Plaza. 

“Montclair has rapidly emerged as the premier festival destination in the state, and we are thrilled to showcase our vibrant community and its diverse dining, retail and arts offerings to jazz enthusiasts from near and far. The MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL’s 15th anniversary year promises to be an unforgettable celebration of music, culture and community, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone to experience the magic of Montclair Center.” 

                                              Jason Gleason, Executive Director, Montclair Center BID

Leading up to the big September date, JAZZ HOUSE KiDS will also be bringing some of the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FEST’s Soundcheck Series events to the Wellmont Arts Plaza in downtown Montclair, including Wallace Roney Jr. on July 25th, and Vanessa Perea and the Robert Edwards Big Band on August 22nd. New to the festival this year is an exciting collaboration with Wellmont Arts Plaza Outdoor Concert Series with performances taking place throughout the summer including Mahali on June 21st, Dopapod on July 11th, Montclair Jamfest on July 27th, and The Ries Brothers on August 8th, Prince/Bowie on August 14 and Spafford on September 18, featuring JAZZ HOUSE musicians in several opening acts (more shows to be announced soon).

“The Wellmont Theater is thrilled to partner with JAZZ HOUSE KiDS for their Soundcheck Series & The Wellmont Arts Plaza Outdoor Concert Series.  Celebrating their 15th anniversary for the Montclair Jazz Festival, JAZZ HOUSE has long been a cornerstone of our local music and arts community, fostering the next generation of talented musicians and enriching our cultural landscape.  We are proud to support their mission and look forward to many more years of collaboration.”   

David Genova Owner, Wellmont Theater

Two more highlights of the 15th Anniversary Celebration megafest: 

 — Uptown Showcase at Montclair State University will take place on Saturday, August 17th with performances by over 150 JAZZ HOUSE Summer Workshop emerging musicians from New Jersey, and across the U.S. and several countries. The student performances are followed by saxophonist Julian Lee and his Quartet.  Lee, now a mainstay of the jazz scene, was in the first classes of the JAZZ HOUSE in Montclair.   Christian McBride & Friends closes evening with his  all-star lineup.

 — Jazz Around Town presents the future of jazz through a series of town-wide Community Emerging Musician Concerts, featuring performances by JAZZ HOUSE current students and alumni. The dates and performers for the Community Emerging Musician Concerts are to be announced.   

This year’s celebrated centennial artist and face of the festival is revered vocalist Sarah Vaughan and depicted by visual artist in residence, Andres Chaparro.  Nicknamed “Sassy” and “the Divine One,” Vaughan, whose formidable vocal range went from baritone to soprano, sublime musicianship, and daring interpretations have inspired all subsequent generations of jazz singers. As tradition at the Montclair Jazz Fest, the JAZZ HOUSE Collective, an ensemble directed by Nathan Eklund composed of JAZZ HOUSE teaching artists, will feature Vaughan’s music with special guest vocalists including Melissa Walker.

“This year’s festival is a thank you to our fans and longtime supporters, who have been with us from the very beginning at Nishuane Park, with just a couple of hundred fans. They’ve weathered the storms, brought us back from the pandemic, danced in the streets and lifted up as one community — making the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL what it is today.”   

Melissa Walker, Founder + President, JAZZ HOUSE KiDS

MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL welcomes all who want to celebrate America’s rich history of jazz, youth development and community building. New this year, JAZZ HOUSE KiDS is introducing a membership program with year-round benefits and festival perks. For more information on how to get involved as a volunteer, sponsor, vendor and business or individual supporter, visit the website and download the MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL App in the Google or Apple store.


June 21st: Mihahi (Wellmont Arts Plaza Outdoor Concert Series)

June 27th: Eric Alexander (Soundcheck Series @ JAZZ HOUSE)

July 11th: Dopapod with JAZZ HOUSE opener, Cabo Brothers (Wellmont Arts Plaza Outdoor Concert Series)

July 25th: Wallace Roney Jr. (Soundcheck Series @ Wellmont Theater Arts Plaza)

July 27th: Montclair Jamfest (Wellmont Arts Plaza Outdoor Concert Series)

August 8th: The Ries Brothers with JAZZ HOUSE opener, Alex Parchment (Wellmont Arts Plaza Outdoor Concert Series)

August 17th: MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL Uptown Showcase at Montclair State University

August 22nd: Vanessa Perea and the Robert Edwards Big Band (Soundcheck Series @ Wellmont Theater Arts Plaza)

Grand Finale week – community performances to be announced

September 14th: MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL Grand Finale – Downtown Jamboree + Block Party featuring DJ Brother Mister and DJ Prince Hakim (Bloomfield Avenue, Downtown Montclair)

September 18th: Spafford with JAZZ HOUSE opener Caelan Bryant (Wellmont Arts Plaza Outdoor Concert Series)

Now in its third decade, the nationally recognized JAZZ HOUSE KiDS transforms lives using the power and legacy of jazz through world-class education and performances that create avenues of access, learning, career development and community building. Recently featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show and celebrated by global superstar STING, the organization and students have received more than 150 awards and honors for excellence in jazz and jazz education.  The JAZZ HOUSE has two locations: its headquarters in Montclair, NJ and a new satellite program in New York City in collaboration with Trinity Church Wall Street.  Every day of the week through a series of in-school programs in New Jersey and out-of-school programs in Montclair and Lower Manhattan, JAZZ HOUSE helps young people gain an artistic edge, fostering community leaders and global citizens who help build thriving communities. JAZZ HOUSE produces 150+ free public concerts per year to audiences close to 150,000, including the organization’s far-reaching cultural signature program, the award-winning MONTCLAIR JAZZ FESTIVAL, the largest free jazz festival in the NYC area, attracting 25,000+ attendees to downtown Montclair each year.

Bass Magazine   By: Bass Magazine