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Newark Museum Launches Jazz in the Garden Festival

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The Newark Museum's Jazz in the Garden series, one of the nation's longest running jazz festivals, debuts its 45th consecutive year with The Louis Hayes Quintet on Thursday, July 1, in the Alice Ransom Dreyfuss Memorial Garden.

The 2010 Jazz in the Garden concerts are presented on five consecutive Thursdays, rain or shine, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., July 1 to July 29. The Newark Museum is at 49 Washington St. in Newark. Call 973-596-6550 or visit NewarkMuseum.org.

Throughout his 40-year career, jazz legend Louis Hayes' percussion prowess has lit a fire under some of the most distinguished ensembles in the genre including extended stays with Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson, Cannonball Adderley and McCoy Tyner.

Hayes has been a catalyst for energetic, unrelenting swing in his self-led bands and is an authentic architect of post-bop swing. The sound of his quintet is structured from the bottom up, with Hayes' crackling drums and cymbal dominating the ensemble and exhorting the soloists at every turn.

The high profile jazz series is a perennial favorite of Newarkers and those who work in downtown Newark. Seniors, students, members and Newark residents are treated to the lunchtime performance in the beautiful Dreyfuss Garden setting at no charge while other attendees are charged $3. Lunch is available for purchase at the Museum Caf, but brown-baggers are welcome.

Jazz in the Garden continues on July 8, with Carrie Jackson and Brandon McCune.

Newark takes center stage on July 8 with a jazz doubleheader featuring native Newark vocalist Carrie Jackson and pianist Brandon McCune. Born in Chicago, McCune makes his home in Newark. For the past 18 years, Brandon has accomplished much as a pianist, organist, drummer, trumpeter, bassist, and choir director with a special concentration in the jazz, classical, and gospel genres.

He serves as musical director for all music and dance ministry programs at Union Baptist Church in Montclair.

Currently working on his debut CD, McCune has been a much in demand sideman for artists such as Abbey Lincoln, Miki Howard, Terence Blanchard, Neena Freelon, Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Ted Dunbar, Larry Ridley, Russell Malone, Lenora Zenzalai Helm, Mark Gross, Antonio Hart, and Orbert Davis. Between 1998-99 he was named a U.S. Jazz Ambassador to Africa, following a national selection process, and traveled extensively abroad.

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