By Gregory Burrus | Posted Tuesday, May 14, 2019
To curate a fabulous season of music, Gregory Burrus holds an Open Call in March every year using the Downtown After Sundown page on Facebook. Gregory then roams the internet and social media to gauge the popularity of these potential bands in SOMA and the surrounding towns. He then negotiates with these top notched, very talented musicians to come on out and entertain us.
For this upcoming 2019 Downtown After Sundown Live Concert season, Gregory is very happy to bring about a few prestigious sponsorships with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the Rutgers University Institute of Jazz Studies and the longstanding New Jersey Jazz Society. These sponsorships will expose our audiences to some brand new highly prestigious talent.
2019 First Look Downtown After Sundown Live Concert Schedule
A few highlights this year:
May 24th. Opening Weekend - Bassist Destiny Diggs-Pinto Trio
A recent West Orange High School graduate is one of the 2019 YoungArts Competition winners, selected from a field of over 7,000 high school musicians nationally. Destiny Diggs-Pinto has performed at the Montclair Jazz Festival for 5 years, the 2018 New Jersey Central Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, NJPAC and the 50 anniversary of the New Jersey Jazz Societies Pee Wee Russell Memorial Stomp. Destiny has also played professionally with artists like Christian McBride and John DeJohnette, amongst others. Destiny has attended the Jazz House Kids program for 5 years under the direction of Christian McBride and Melissa Walker.
June 21st. Lynette Sheard Live with DC Fusion
Lynette Sheard is a gifted and versatile vocalist, actor, producer and director. She is the unseated "West Orange Idol." Her performances have been acknowledged in numerous publications, including NY Times, The Record, The Chronicle and most recently, The Star Ledger, which proclaimed that, "Her voice reaches deep into one's soul and finds a soft spot." She performs Jazz, R&B, Gospel, Soul and Pop music in NY, NJ, PA and Las Vegas. Theatre credits include principal roles in: Smokey Joe's Cafe, Ragtime, Swing, Aida, Outcasts, and Downtown After Sundown Live Concert Series at Jazz On Sloan South Orange Gazebo. Bring a chair and come join us.
June 28th Leonieke Scheuble Trio
17-year-old Leonieke Scheuble at age 5 or 6 started playing piano after being inspired by the movie Ray. Named 2016 “Best Up and Coming Young Artist” by Hothouse NYC and featured in a PBS-filmed TEDx TALK, in 2017 she won the New Jersey Governor’s Award for “Exceptional Promise in Music” and also performed for the New Jersey Jazz Society’s 45th Anniversary Gala. She was also awarded the “Youth in Action Award” from the International Women in Jazz for the 2nd time.
July 26th. NJPAC Weekend - NJPAC Inspired Dance Night
Rev Eyesha K. Marable. A former professional dancer with Footprints Dance Company, Forces of Nature Dance Theatre and Showtime at the Apollo, she has shared the stage with LL Cool J, R. Kelly and gospel artists like Donald Malloy. To see her perform with other liturgical dancers or conduct a dance workshop is in a word, uplifting. She founded the National Liturgical Dance Network, which trains and supports dance ministers, and she is celebrating 29 years of spreading the ministry of dance here and abroad.
July 27th NJPAC Weekend - NJPAC Jazz Jam
Led by a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano competition is the accomplished pianist and bandleader James Austin Jr.. Currently leading a sold-out jam performance in Newark Clements Place, James has performed alongside an illustrious list of singers and musicians in diverse settings throughout the world, including numerous celebrity functions and televised shows. He recently served as pianist and arranger for two star-studded concerts at Carnegie Hall under the baton of esteemed musical director, Ray Chew. James will lead his band into South Orange, NJ and all vocalists and musicians are welcome to join the inaugural NJPAC DAS Jazz Jam.
Aug 17th. Ricky Persaud, Jr.
Returning favorite and the group that always draws our largest audience, Ricky Persaud Jr. is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and arranger whose music style is Pop infused with Reggae, Rock R&B and Latin. Ricky is Berklee College of Music Class 2021 and is a voting member at The Recording Academy / GRAMMY. He studied voice, guitar, piano and band at Mark Murphy Music in South Orange, NJ. He also studied drums, bass, guitar, piano and music production at the Newark School of The Arts in Newark, NJ. Ricky is an alumni of the New Jersey Performing Art (NJPAC)/Wells Fargo Jazz For Teens Ensemble and NJPAC's George Wein Scholars Ensemble. Ricky was the recipient of the 2016 Governor's Award for Excellence in Music.
Aug 17th. Darryl Clark Fusion and Friends
Join us for this year’s returning performance of the very smooth Darryl Clark Fusion Band. Darryl was inspired by professional basis Kim Clarke resulting in Darryl attending Jazzmobile in Harlem, and he eventually ended up studying under the legendary bassist Earl May of the Cab Calloway, Frank Foster, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis era bands. Darryl has spent a musical lifetime living, learning and becoming accomplished in a spectrum of styles; traditional jazz, fusion, funk, gospel, rock and alternative make up an inclusive repertoire playing with jazz artists including Nat Adderley Jr., Tina Fabrique, Peter Lin, Marshall McDonald and Slide Hampton. Because of this, Darry’s Downtown After Sundown performances usually consists of jazz veterans from all over the Greater New York and New Jersey area, and last season’s Nat Adderley appearance made for a very special night. Schedules permitting, 2019’s performance with Nat Adderley and others promises to be another very special night. Also of special note is that this year Darryl will profile a few tunes from his recently released CD’s Sleeve 340 and West Coast Dreamin that was produced to benefit the children's charity LoveHallie.org.
Jazz On Sloan at the South Orange Gazebo
More events and highlights are coming, so tay tuned as we update our events.
Learn more at:
These outdoor events are open to all, are cross-generational friendly, very kid-friendly, senior-friendly and more, so just bring your favorite lawn chair and join us.
Gregory Burrus, Live Music Ambassador
Gregory Burrus curates the South Orange Village Center Alliance’s Downtown After Sundown Live Music Concerts. This SOMA resident arrived in South Orange 23 years ago and just loves South Orange, NJ. Gregory enjoys all music genres, but his first love jazz began as a boy when his father played jazz on the good old record player at home and took him to clubs all over Manhattan. Greg was an executive in the telecommunications industry and has consulted on telecom, technology and operational business processes systems all over the world. Now he is putting his expertise, gain from his former business environment to work producing music, art and community events across South Orange, Maplewood, Newark and other towns around Northern New Jersey and New York.