(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) The New Jersey Jazz Society has contracted with Aventis Pharmaceuticals to be the lead sponsor for Jazzfest 2004, one of the region's premiere jazz festivals. Aventis takes over the festival sponsorship from Atlantic Mutual, which had provided major funding for the weekend event for several years.
The Aventis Pharmaceuticals Jazzfest, as the popular jazz picnic will be known, will take place on June 12-13, on the Madison, NJ campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. Featuring more than three dozen musicians, this year's event will celebrate the 100th birthdays of three giants of American Jazz: Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins and Fats Waller.
"We are thrilled to have such a major multinational corporation recognize the importance of Jazzfest," said Joe Lang, president of the board of the New Jersey Jazz Society. "It would not be possible to present such a great jazz event without considerable support and Aventis has demonstrated a true commitment both to the arts and to New Jersey. They deserve a standing ovation for their generosity."
Sponsored by the nonprofit New Jersey Jazz Society for the past 30 years, Jazzfest is New Jersey's oldest jazz festival. Some of this year's featured performers include Bucky Pizzarelli, Lew Tabackin, Randy Brecker, Kenny Davern, Houston Person, Frank Foster, Joey DeFrancesco and Frank Wess. The gates open at 10:00 AM each day with simultaneous music stretching into the early evening in three adjacent locations ranging from a spacious tent to an air-conditioned auditorium. Tickets are priced at $35 per day and $65 for the weekend if purchased in advance. At the gate, tickets will be $40 per day and $75 for a two-day package. There is a $3 handling fee per order. To encourage families to attend, students are only $10 and children 12 and under are free. –Bob Grosswiener and Jane Cohen