Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival: The Insider's Guide

MORRISTOWN, NJ — Loyal concertgoers have been waiting more than two years for this day, and it’s almost here. The Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival returns from 12-10 p.m. Saturday on the Morristown Green.

© Jack Grassa Rob Paparozzi’s Juke Joint will headline the Morristown Jazz & Blues Festival on Saturday.

The festival draws thousands of fans and several accomplished musicians. Patch will bring you the inside stories behind each act, plus a chance to win a $100 gift certificate for the Morristown Partnership. (See the signup form below.)

The Morristown Partnership gift certificate can be used at more than 100 businesses and restaurants throughout town. All you have to do to become eligible is to sign up for a free subscription to Morristown Patch and then list your email below.

If you’re reading this, and you’ve already subscribed to Morristown Patch, tell a friend to subscribe!

Enter the contest by the deadline of Tuesday. Winners will get notified Sept. 24 via email.

Here are some of the inside stories behind the Morristown Jazz & Music Festival (Patch will publish more before the festival begins):

Opening act Swingadelic formed 23 years ago on a bit of a lie. Dave Post had been performing when an agent walked in, who said they needed a band two Saturdays from then. “I’ve got a band,” said Post, who did not have a band. Read more here.

Louis Prima Jr. essentially left music as he knew it behind. The performer got frustrated with the business side of the industry, he had two boys to raise and he worked a lucrative career in food and beverage management. But around 2010, the music industry called Prima’s name again. So he quit his day job and began performing full-time. Read more here.

Rob Paparozzi has stepped in to play harmonica for some of the biggest musical acts. Dolly Parton? George Jones? Whitney Houston? He’s been there at some point or another when they performed in the area and needed somebody on the harmonica. But, of course, the shows came to a pause during the pandemic for Rob Paparozzi’s Juke Joint. As Paparozzi described it, everyone needed to “re-invent” themselves. Read more here.

This year’s festival will pay tribute to Linda Smith, one of the festival’s founders and co-producers, and Michael Fabrizio, who was also one of the festival founders and on the festival board. Smith and Fabrizio died in June.

Musicians and members of the Morristown arts community paid tribute last June to Smith, who also led efforts to revive Community Theatre — now the Mayo Performing Arts Center. Read more about Smith’s legacy here.

Mayor Tim Dougherty called Fabrizio “Mr. Morristown.” He served as Morristown’s longtime director for the Parking Authority and Partnership. Fabrizio has been remembered not only as one of the architects for Morristown’s modern revitalization, but also for his kindness and generosity. Read more about Fabrizio’s legacy here.

Last but not least, a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic will take place at the festival. The clinic will run from 12-4 p.m. at the Green at West Park Place. Find more info here.

Enjoy the show.

Enter to win a $100 gift certificate to the Morristown Partnership:

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