Mercer County Jazz Festival


The Mercer County Park Commission, in cooperation with the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation, is excited to announce that the first Mercer County Jazz Festival at the Festival Grounds will be held Saturday, July 8, from noon to 8 p.m. Come out to Mercer County Park to enjoy a mix of contemporary, big band and bebop jazz.

The day’s musical lineup kicks off with No WiFi, a five-piece band consisting of high school juniors and seniors who represent the future of local jazz. The multi-talented James Stewart and his Quartet of Trenton area veterans are up next. Following them are Jerry Topinka’s G13 Band, led by Jersey Shore-based jazz guitarist Jerry Topinka, world renowned for his intricate playing style and complex melodies; and Orrin Evans and The Captain Black Big Band, led by Trenton native Orrin Evans, a critically acclaimed composer whose band brings an unpredictable sound and vibe that will have concert-goers snapping their fingers to the beat. Rounding out the evening will be celebrated jazz drummer Winard Harper with Jeli Posse, a modern band that draws its unique sound from Afro-Caribbean influences; and the event’s headliner, Philadelphia-raised Joey DeFrancesco & the People. Merging drums, trumpet, guitar, saxophone, vocals and DeFrancesco’s signature Hammond B3 organ, Joey D & the People will create a one-of-a-kind jazz performance, utilizing vintage instruments and incorporating his traditional flair.

Tickets are $15 for VIP seating and $10 for lawn seating and will go on sale Monday, June 12, at 11 a.m. at the Sun National Bank Center Box Office, 81 Hamilton Ave., Trenton. Tickets also will be available online at or by calling 1-800-298-4200. There is a service charge for all online and phone purchases. Tickets may be purchased the day of the festival at 11 a.m. from the Mercer County Park Skating Center and Mercer County Park Festival Grounds ticket offices. Will call is located at the Festival Grounds ticket office by the flag entrance.

The performance schedule is as follows:

Time Artist(s) Name
11:55 a.m. – noon National Anthem: Rebecca Ryan
Noon – 12:45 p.m. No WiFi
1 – 2:05 p.m. James Stewart Quartet
2:20 – 3:25 p.m. Jerry Topinka’s G13 Band
3:40 – 4:45 p.m. Orrin Evans Captain Black Big Band
5 – 6:15 p.m. Winard Harper & Jeli Posse
6:30 – 8 p.m. Joey Defrancesco & The People

Vendors, food and drinks, including the Lagunitas beer & wine garden, will be available and kids activities will be held at the Festival Grounds throughout the Jazz Festival. No outside food or alcohol will be permitted inside the Festival Grounds.

Patrons are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets if purchasing a general admission ticket. VIP ticket holders will have designated seating at the front of the stage. Concert parking will be free. The Jazz Festival will be held rain or shine; please check for any updates prior to the event.

For more information, or if interested in being a vendor or sponsor, call the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation at (732) 933-1984 or the Park Commission Recreation and Events Center at (609) 443-8560.

The Mercer County Park Festival Grounds encompasses more than 200,000 square feet of venue space with a 2,200-square-foot, state-of-the-art performing arts stage with a wide array of electrical, lighting, sound and rigging capabilities.

For information about the Mercer County Park Festival Grounds and other facilities of the Park Commission, visit