Summer JazzFest


Les Paul’s Trio



For Summer JazzFestʼs opening weekend, longtime bandmates of the great innovator Les Paul take the stage to pay tribute to one of musicʼs true visionaries. Nikki Parrot, John Colianni, and Lou Pallo joined Les Paul at the Iridium Jazz Club every Monday evening for many many years before his passing in 2009. They all come to Red Bank to kick off the festivities with one of the most entertaining shows in jazz.

Ralph Bowen Quartet

The second weekend welcomes Ralph Bowen, one of the premier tenor saxophonists of his generation. After getting his start with the Blue Note Labelʼs “Out of the Blue” band, Ralph has gone on to play with such luminaries in the jazz world as Horace Silver, Charles Fambrough, Michel Camillo, and a whole host of others. Bowen has been described by Carlo Wolf of Jazz Times Magazine as an “…assured saxophonist and versatile composer who clearly enjoys spontaneous conversation with his [band]mates.” This is certain to be a fantastic show with one of the true legends of the instrument.

Charenee Wade

Brooklyn native Charenee Wade has emerged as a notable singer, composer, arranger and educator. Charenee has performed at many prestigious venues including the Jazz Gallery and Jazz at Lincoln Centerʼs Dizzyʼs Club Coca-Cola. She appears regularly at The Zinc Bar, The River Room, and at various other venues in the tri-state area. Inspired by Sarah Vaughn and after many years of intense studies in jazz and classical music, Charenee was accepted into Betty Carterʼs Jazz Ahead Program and performed her original music at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. In 2006, she was 1st Runner-Up in the Jazzmobile Vocal Competition. Her debut CD, “Love Walked In” was released in July 2010.

Wallace Roney

Wallace Roney earned the admiration and respect of his colleagues and his elders since the age of 16. He has been an integral part of the band with Tony Williams, Ornette Coleman, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Walter Davis Jr., Herbie Hancock, Jay McShann, David Murray, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Curtis Fuller, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Dizzy Gillespie to name a few. He was one of the few musicians in his generation who learned and perfected his craft directly from alliances with Jazz Masters. But his most important and meaningful relationship was with Miles Davis. This year Wallace comes to the Two River Theater to add some more fire to our already potent lineup.

Mingus Dynasty Quartet

One of the most important figures in twentieth century American music, Charles Mingus was a virtuoso bass player, accomplished pianist, bandleader and composer. In Summer JazzFestʼs penultimate weekend, we will be celebrating his work with a combo contingent of members from the great “Mingus Big Band,” including renowned bassist Boris Kozlov and others. The Music of Charles Mingus continues to be played, enjoyed and studied, and some of the greatest musicians on the New York scene come to the Two River Theater this summer to put their spin on his work and celebrate one of the true legends of jazz.

Bruce Williams Quintet 

One of the New York Areaʼs most electrifying improvisers, Bruce Williams closes out the festivities at the Two River Theater. Bruce has toured and played with some of the premier musicians working today, including Roy Hargroveʼs “RH Factor” and Big Band, the Count Basie Big Band, the World Saxophone Quartet, and Frank Foster. Bruceʼs soloing style is electrifying and exciting, and he puts the cherry on the top of this yearʼs program with a hard hitting group that is guaranteed to satisfy.

Plus a Special Student Showcase: Friday night will feature the students of the Jazz Arts Academy Summer Camp, showing off some of what theyʼve learned. This group will be opening up for our main event, and begins at 7:30pm.