Free Kids Jazz Concert Series

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WBGO Kids Jazz Spring Concert Series 2014


Discover America's original musical art form at the WBGO Kids Jazz Concert Series - a free concert series bringing jazz culture and performance to your neighborhood. WBGO presents these concerts during the Spring and Fall on Saturday afternoons. These interactive, hour-long concerts give kids opportunities to learn about the distinct qualities of jazz, and why it's a reflection of our community, our nation, and our world! Q&A sessions with the artists, small gifts, and a chance to win a door prize are just some of the reasons to come out and join us!


All concerts begin at 12:30 PM, and last for approximately one hour. Please arrive 30 minutes early to ensure seating.

Tickets are handed out in the lobby of each venue on the day of performance only and on a first-come, first-served basis. The concerts are free and open to the general public. Adults must be accompanied by a child. We cannot guarantee seats prior to each program, except for groups with reservations. More info for groups below.

All venues are handicapped accessible. Sign language interpretation of performances by request.

  • the firey string sistas Saxophonist, flutist, vocalist and composer

    The Camille Thurman Quartet

    Saturday, March 29, 12:30 pm
    New Jersey Historical Society
    52 Park Place
    Newark, NJ 07102

    The Origins of the Blues: What is The Blues?

    An interactive, fun, and engaging performance to learn about the blues and its presence in today’s music.

    The New Jersey Historical Society is graciously opening their museum space for guests to tour free following the concert.

  • courtney bryan and brandee younger Jazz & blues pianist, composer, singer and producer

    The Eli Yamin Quartet

    Saturday, April 5, 12:30 pm
    Montclair Art Museum
    3 South Mountain Avenue
    Montclair, NJ 07042

    I Met Dave Brubeck

    Meet America’s favorite composer, pianist & bandleader through performances of his groundbreaking hits like “Take Five” & “Blue Rondo a la Turk;” while we hear stories about his life.

    The Montclair Art Museum is graciously opening their museum space for guests to tour free following the concert.

  • new york voices Jazz vibraphonist and composer

    Joe Locke & Force of Four

    Saturday, April 12, 12:30 pm
    NJPAC (Victoria Theater)
    One Center St
    Newark, NJ 07102

    Recording Session

    The band will share a look behind the scenes of recording from rehearsing and what the band needs to do get ready for a recording session.
  • ignacio berroa Bassist and composer

    The Nilson Matta Quartet

    Saturday, April 26, 12:30pm
    Newark Symphony Hall (Terrace Ballroom)
    1020 Broad Street
    Newark, NJ 07101

    Nilson Matta's Samba Meets Jazz

    Matta will take children on a music journey revealing how Brazilian music is connected to Jazz.
  • victor jones Saxophonist

    Willie Williams

    Saturday, May 3, 12:30 pm
    Luna Stage
    555 Valley Road
    West Orange, NJ 07052

    The Tenor Sax in Jazz and Blues

    Williams will perform examples of tenor greats as well as teach the saxophones’ place in jazz history through examples like the “Pink Panther theme”, “My Favorite Things,” as well as other popular tunes. The audience will also be invited to participate in a blues sing-along.

Transportation Fund

The KJCS Transportation Fund aims to alleviate the barriers of access between youth and the free concerts of the WBGO Kids Jazz Concert Series. Groups working with youth ages 4-18 who want guaranteed seating at the Kids Jazz Concerts and transportation funding to attend the concerts should apply. Established groups, schools and 501c3 organizations, specifically in Essex County and communities in need of cultural enrichment hold priority for funding, but all groups are encouraged to submit an application. More information about the Kids Jazz Concert Series Transportation Fund is available with the application below and by e-mailing

The KJCS Transportation Fund - Application Guidelines

Spring 2014 Coloring Poster: "A great day at WBGO" By Ramsess

Great day at W B G O Click to download large version

Artists included in "A Great Day at WBGO," and the print's inspiration, the iconic photo "A Great Day in Harlem," in alphabetical order:

Red Allen, Buster Bailey, Count Basie, Emmett Berry, Art Blakey, Scoville Browne, Lawrence Brown, Buck Clayton, Bill Crump, Vic Dickenson, Roy Eldridge, Art Farmer, Bud Freeman, Dizzy Gillespie, Tyree Glenn, Benny Golson, Sonny Greer, Johnny Griffin, Gigi Gryce, Coleman Hawkins, J.C. Heard, Jay C. Higginbotham, Milt Hinton, Chubby Jackson, Hilton Jefferson, Osie Johnson, Hank Jones, Jimmy Jones, Jo Jones, Taft Jordan, Max Kaminsky, Gene Krupa, Eddie Locke, Marian McPartland, Charles Mingus, Miff Mole, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Pettiford, Rudy Powell, Luckey Roberts, Sonny Rollins, Jimmy Rushing, Pee Wee Russell, Sahib Shihab, Horace Silver, Zutty Singleton, Stuff Smith, Rex Stewart, Maxine Sullivan, Joe Thomas, Wilbur Ware, Dicky Wells, George Wettling, Ernie Wilkins, Mary Lou Williams, Lester Young.

Not included in the original photo:
Joe Williams at top left with microphone and Rashaan Roland Kirk with saxophones in back right.

More about the original "A Great Day in Harlem," available here:
Behind 'A Great Day In Harlem': Jean Bach On Piano Jazz
"A Great Day in Harlem," the film

The WBGO Kids Jazz Series is sponsored by

  • The Agnes Varis Trust - Supporting Affordable Access to the Arts, Education, and Healthcare
  • PNC Foundation
  • Turrell Fund
  • Investor's Bank
  • The Clarence B. Coleman and Joan F. Coleman Charitable Foundation
  • Margo Moss
  • NJPAC Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens
  • New Jersey State Council on the Arts

Photos from last season

WBGO Kids Jazz Suggested Reading