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First Jazz & Roots Music Festival Draws 2,000 Music Fans to Kean University

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First Jazz & Roots Music Festival Draws 2,000 Music Fans to Kean University

UNION, NJ – Over 2,000 community members and Kean students and alumni braved the chilly fall temperatures on Sunday, October 17 for the first annual Jazz & Roots Music Festival at Kean University, a free live concert. air launched by Kean President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D., as a way to welcome people from across the region to campus during reunion week.

“It’s not fundraising, it’s fundraising,” Repollet said. “Kean is the epicenter of Union County, whether it’s music, art and culture or education. This festival is a way of getting involved and presenting yourself to the community. Music fans from across the state are here today and can see for themselves what Kean is. “

Enlow Hall’s lawn was filled with jazz fans and festival-goers old and young, sitting on lawn chairs, bundled up in blankets and lining up in front of food trucks for a bite to eat. They came to see the best artists in jazz, rap and hip hop. The show was the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Latin Experience; the Dave Stryker Quartet; JSWISS, with Casey Benjamin and Mark Whitfield; and the organatomy of Vince Ector.

Presented by Kean University and executive consultant and producer Mike Griot, the Jazz & Roots Music Festival will be an annual event.

“The first year festivals are especially fun because you still have the unknown, like, are people coming? But, it’s just good to be in the saddle again after the pandemic kept us indoors last year, ”Griot said.

Edison’s Janice Bland, her husband Lee Margolis and stepdad Scott Margolis were among the first to arrive. They set up their chairs in a privileged place in front of the stage.

“We don’t want to miss anything. We want to hear everything, see everything and not miss a thing, ”she said.

Tamaya Upchurch, a criminal justice student from Kean, Connecticut, came with her roommate, Oyebola Falode from Philadelphia, who is also studying criminal justice in Kean. They were joined by Davaughnia Wilson, a communications / journalism major from Irvington.

“I was really excited when I heard they were having a jazz festival because I had never been to a jazz festival before,” Wilson said.

Falode said they wanted to experience all of Homecoming’s events and called the concert a “great idea.” Upchurch agreed it was a good change after being away from campus for a year due to the pandemic.

“The campus coming together as a whole, you know, we’re finally out and safe as a campus and a community – that’s the best part,” Upchurch said.

Associate Professor of English Studies Mia Zamora, Ph.D., brought her teenage sons to the festival.

“It’s a fantastic way to celebrate. The music is inspiring and the crowd is diverse and energetic, ”she said. “I want my kids to share what I know is such an amazing and vibrant place.”

The Music Festival is one of Kean’s many cultural events, featuring concerts and theatrical performances via Kean Stage, groundbreaking plays via Premiere Stages, art exhibitions via Kean Galleries and a full range of performances. musical and theatrical and art exhibitions by Kean’s Students of the School of Fine and Performing Arts.

“With the festival, we’re reaching a whole new group of viewers and letting them know that Kean is a place for the arts no matter what you like,” said Steve Cochran, director of Kean Stage. “We look forward to an even bigger event next year. “

Union’s Paul Perkins, who attended this year’s festival with his brother, Clyde, said he would be back.

“Every year! We will be there,” he said.

PHOTOS / LEGENDS:

Community members and Kean University students and alumni braved the cool fall temperatures on Sunday, October 17 for the first annual Jazz & Roots music festival at Kean University.

Screenshot 2021-10-20 at 10.47.44 AM.png

The lawn of Enlow Hall was filled with jazz fans and festival goers old and young, who sat on lawn chairs and bundled up in blankets at Kean University’s first annual Jazz & Roots Music festival, held on Sunday October 17th.

Screenshot 2021-10-20 at 10.50.02 AM.pngJazz band Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Latin Experience performed at The Lawn at Enlow Hall during Kean University’s first annual Jazz & Roots music festival on Sunday, October 17.

A group of people lining up in front of a food truck at the Kean University Jazz & Roots Music Festival

Festival-goers line up at the food trucks for a bite to eat at Kean University’s first annual Jazz & Roots music festival, held on Sunday, October 17.

Two men seated on garden chairs enjoying the atmosphere of the Jazz Roots Festival.

Union’s Clyde and Paul Perkins, who attended this year’s Jazz & Roots Music Festival at Kean University, said they would be back next year.

Three Kean students pose for a photo at the Jazz Roots Festival.

Kean students Davaughnia Wilson, Tamaya Upchurch and Oyebola Falode concluded reunion week at the first annual Jazz & Roots music festival on Sunday, October 17.

ABOUT KEAN UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1855, Kean University is one of the region’s largest metropolitan institutions of higher education, with a highly diverse student, faculty, and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in teacher training and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving more than 16,000 students. The University’s six undergraduate colleges offer more than 50 undergraduate degrees in a full range of academic subjects. Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers seven doctoral programs and over 70 graduate options leading to master’s degrees, professional degrees, or certifications. With campuses in Union, Toms River, Jefferson and Manahawkin, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University continues its mission of providing affordable and accessible world-class education. Visit www.kean.edu.

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