(Princeton is about an hour’s drive one way from here, which is a pretty respectable time commitment for a college student on a Sunday in late April, so— props to them for making it!)
Nothing speaks to the holidays like a brass band! Well, I don’t know how true that is, but brass bands are pretty great any way you slice it.
I found these guys (Chatham Brass) packing up after a gig at the Livingston Mall. I’m mad that I missed the concert, but they were still a friendly bunch of people, happy to answer all my questions. What more can you ask?
I’ve never seen a lot of Native American culture around here. We’re taught from an early age that the Lenni Lenape were the original people in New Jersey, but Europeans chased them west in 1758 with the Treaty of Easton. That was before the U.S. even became its own country!
A lot of town and road names in New Jersey are derived from Lenape words, and most park systems will include historical educational exhibits on the mundane aspects of Lenape life, but the people themselves have been displaced from this area for so long that we rarely see active aspects of native culture in New Jersey.
With this in mind… watching the Red Storm Drum and Dance Troupe perform at the Harvest Festival was something I’ve never seen before.
As with everyone in this Big American Melting Pot, different nations have commingled for years and years— just as I’m German and English and Irish and Swedish and who knows what else, most of the performers who were introduced came from at least three or four different heritages. Robert Boldeagle (featured in the top photo, and the one below), for example, is of Mayan, Taíno, Cherokee, and Natchez descent, according to the troupe’s website.
Without aligning themselves with any specific nation, the Red Storm Drum and Dance Troupe offers an opportunity for Native American people to celebrate their own culture and share it with the rest of us.
I’m glad they did!
The Stirling Street Fair (which I touched upon yesterday) is your standard street fair— lots of food, lots of people trying to sell you things. The BBQ stand let me get a shot of cutting their second pig of the day for pulled pork.
“Reunited” sang classy doo-wop…
There were also loads of people who were happy to talk to me even after it was obvious that I wasn’t going to buy anything. I didn’t get pictures of any of them, but they’re worth a mention, I think:
* Victor Davis, freelance writer and hobbyist sunspot-spotter, who brought out his solar telescopes for everyone to look through. I saw sunspots (in the white light wavelength) and feathery prominences (in the Hydrogen-alpha wavelength), neither of which I’d ever seen before.
* Luce’s Gluten-Free Artisan Bread. Mr. Luce, as it turned out, used to teach photography, so we got to discussing cameras. (And if there’s one thing I can blather on about, it’s cameras!)
* Restore, a furniture restoration shop on Main Avenue. The owner had his beautiful mostly-antique furniture in the street for everyone to look at, including a refinished carousel pig. Apparently he used to have *loads* of these carousel critters on hand, but that’s no longer the case, and he’s selling this one for a friend. He’s been running that little old store for 40 years!
All good fun. If you’re in the area, check it out next year! There was a lot more breathing room than there is at a lot of these overcrowded street fairs I’ve been to.
Today is/was the New Providence Family Fun Street Festival! Kids from Elefante Music, a local music/performing arts school, were the first musicians to perform at the event.
I finally had a cup of Zita’s homemade pumpkin ice cream, which I’ve been meaning to try for the past year and a half. It was yummy. <3
I wouldn’t exactly call them a “marching band,” since they weren’t exactly marching, but this mobile band wandered around the Scotch Plains Italian Festival, playing Italian tunes like the Tarantella.
Sure, there was a rock band on the main stage, and I guess guitars and drum kits are nice and all, but I’m a sucker for wind instruments. Aren’t you?
After the Rusty Paul Band, the Rob Paparozzi and the Hudson River Rats got to play!
The guy above is George Naha on guitar, in keeping with my apparent penchant for NOT featuring the person-the-band-is-named-after in the lead photo. (See also: the Rusty Paul Band, leading with Mark Friedman the sax player.)
Rob Paparozzi (below) is a harmonica player and singer extraordinaire, and he apparently got his start in Morristown (“the Thirsty Ear,” he said, which was apparently a coffee shop back in the day).
And the guy on keys was Dave Keyes. Ha! I’m sure he’s gotten jokes about that his whole life, though, so.
Also: one last shot of Rob Paparozzi singin’ the blues about GODDAMN TECHNOLOGY, ‘cos I like it and maybe you will too.
At this point, I realized that it was 4:45 and I was parked in a “permits required 5pm-9am Monday-Sunday” area, so I needed to leave.
This concludes NPDP’s coverage of the Morristown Second Annual Jazz and Blues Festival! w00t.
From the 2012 Morristown Jazz Festival— here’s a brief montage of was happening between sets and away from the stage:
(1) The audience checked its mobile devices (and yes, we really do wear those Vibram FiveFinger shoes around here).
(2) Rusty Paul said hello to some enthusiastic fans.
The second annual Morristown Jazz and Blues Festival featured a performance by the Rusty Paul Band, which, according to the press release, plays a “blend of jazz, blues and funk [that] includes a tribute to the great Les Paul.”
Above is Mark Friedman on sax.