Friday Night Jazz at the Priory

 
As Live Music Month continues we can't discuss "Live Music" without discussing the Priory that people often forget still is around.

The Priory sits inside a beautiful old church (St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church) on West Market. The church closed in 1980 and New Community purchased the church and neighboring property from the Archdiocese of Newark in 1983 and renovated the church, at a cost of nearly $2 million. The transformed brownstone church re-opened two years later as New Community’s new headquarters in 1985.

The Priory Jazz shows are now a featured attraction every Friday night. For more than 20 years ago, “Friday Night Jazz” has been attracting aficionados of America’s original art form to the New Community Priory. It started with Emily Jukes coordinating the line-ups and then Bradford Hayes. Chase Jackson took it to another level, bringing in names such as the late jazz vocalist Etta Jones, organist Jimmy McGriff and the “Mighty Burner,” Charles Earland, a composer, organist and saxophonist, with some shows being broadcast live by Newark’s own Jazz station, WBGO. Jazz Pianist Randy Weston and tenor saxophonist, Houston Person, were also big draws in the early days.

Denise McCoy has been booking the talent for the last nine years, highlighting artists from the New Jersey metropolitan area. Featured performers include saxophonist Leo Johnson, drummers Rudy Walker and Don Williams and vocalists “Madame” Pat Tandy, Yvette Glover, Lady Cici and Carrie Jackson, just to name a few. The genre of music includes Afro-Cuban and contemporary jazz, featuring vocalists like Lynette Sheard, Jan Carden, Carlos Francis, Spirit of Life Ensemble and Dwight West.

Every Friday evening, The Priory offers "Friday Night Jazz" from 7-11pm. There is no cover charge and a food and beverage purchase is required. The light menu, at a cost of $7.95 per person, includes chicken, meatballs, fish, rice, string beans and salad. There is a full-service bar on site and security is provided, along with free parking. For more info: 973-242-8012



Date posted: October 25, 2013
By: Tamara Remedios

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