Guild President Tony Damiano said the group has been working since February on the event, which they hope to make an annual offering, after a resident jazz enthusiast approached them with the idea.
“The guild has made the grade on putting together these great events, such as the spring film festival, so I jumped at the opportunity to find out what it was all about,” he said.
They approached three New Jersey native jazz musicians about holding a festival, and Antoinette Montague, Winard Harper and Rob Paparozzi signed on for the show.
“They were all very excited to bring jazz to Ridgewood,” said Damiano.
Harper is a progressive jazz instrumentalist, Damiano said, and Montague and Paparozzi are both vocalists – while the latter is also known for his harmonica playing and toured with the Blues Brothers. All three will play 90-minute sets for the concert.
Applebee’s, Valley Hospital, and Park Avenue Auto Group kicked in sponsorships, and Newark-based public radio station WBGO ran several promo spots for the event, setting the feast up for a strong debut Sunday.
Seventeen restaurants will be selling food, and Van Neste will also feature a wine and beer garden for the show. VIP tickets for seats up close to the stage are available for $40, but seating on the lawn around the park will be free. Food and music will run all day Sunday, Sept. 15 from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.