OceanFirst Bank Jazz @ the Point 2017 Festival –

“The Return of Great Jazz to the Gateway Playhouse”

Get your All-Event Ticket now!

Back in the 40’s one of the best places to catch all the great jazz and Big Band acts was “Orsatti’s Gateway Casino” at the southern end of Bay Avenue in Somers Point, New Jersey, Gene Krupa, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich all played at this Somers Point hot spot. After this iconic night spot closed in the 50’s the building was converted into the Gateway Playhouse which staged both musical and drama productions for several years.

Fast forward to 2017 and you will find that what was once old is new again.  The newly opend, newly remodeled Gateway Playhouse, now located on Bay and Higbee Avenues in Somers Point, New Jersey will host 5 great jazz acts there as part of the OceanFirst Bank Jazz @ the Point Festival Thursday, October 12 through Sunday, October 15.

Thursday’s kick off event of the Jazz Festival starts at 7 p.m. and will feature Cathy Rocco with special guest Alex Foster of the Saturday Night Live Band at the Gateway Playhouse located at 738 Bay Ave in Somers Point. Resonance Records Recording Artist Cathy Rocco’s stylistic interpretations create a solid interaction with the melody and are uniquely hers. Her persuasive and emotional vocals give an introspective approach to the lyrics and her seamless style draws equally from a multitude of elements including jazz.

Grammy award winning international Ignacio Berroa will take center stage on Friday at the Gateway Playhouse starting at 7:30 p.m. Recognized as one of the greatest drummers of our time, Ignacio was included in the 2011 Mp3 compilation entitled “Jazz Drumming Legends” which features some of the most renowned drummers in Jazz history. Ignacio Berroa has been recognized by many as one of the greatest drummers of our time.  Cuban born, his numerous contributions to the American music scene have earned him a place among a very selective group of artists known to have set new musical trends for the 20th century.Jazz Legend Dizzy Gillespie best defined Ignacio as:
“The only Latin drummer in the world, in the history of American music that intimately knows both worlds; his native Afro-Cuban music as well as Jazz…” He will be playing the music off his new CD “Straight from Havana.”

A special Saturday Matinee wil showcase multi-Grammy nominated jazz pianist Eldar Djangirov. Eldar was born in Kyrgyz SSR, Soviet Union and began playing the piano when he was just three years old. The family then relocated to Kansas City, drawn there in large part by the city’s rich jazz history.  He was signed to Sony Music at 18 and released 5 albums. Eldar has extensively toured throughout Europe, Asia, North America. Eldar performed at the Grammy Awards telecast and has also been seen on Conan O’Brien, CBS Saturday Early Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live and CBS Sunday Morning.

Saturday night will feature the Festival headliner, legendary jazz guitarist Pat Martino. Pat Martino is an iconic figure in modern jazz and has influenced countless guitarists in all genres of music.  Pat has shared the stage with every major jazz figure of our time and has recorded on every major record label including: Blue Note, Vanguard, Warner Brothers and Columbia. Playing his Signature Benedetto Guitar, he will be performing selections from his new release on High Note Records entitled “Formidable” featuring his longtime band members Pat Bianchi (Organ) and Carmen Intorre Jr. (Drums). He will also have two new additions with him, Adam Niewood on Sax and Alex Norris on Trumpet.

On Sunday Grammy award winning pianist Bill Charlap accompanied by bassist Sean Smith and drummer Kenny Washington will take the stage at the Gateway Playhouse from 6:00 till 7:30 p.m.. One of the world’s premiere jazz pianists, Bill Charlap has performed with many leading artists of our time ranging from Phil Woods and Tony Bennett to Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis. He is known for his interpretations of American popular songs and has recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin.

In addition to the headliners at the Gateway Theater, Jazz artists performing at various venues throughout Somers Point and Ocean City include: Paul Jost, Breckerville (a tribute to the Brecker Brothers), The Hot Club of Philly, Behn Gillece Trio, featuring Paul Bollenback,and Matt Parish and the Tom Angello All Start Band with The Budesa Brothers and Victor North..

The All-Event Ticket package, if purchased prior to  October 12, is only $85 and includes a ticket to see all 10 – shows all weekend long.  For a full list of all ticket options and prices including single show tickets or for more information visit SouthJerseyJazz.org, or call 609-927-6677.


The Ocean First Bank Jazz @ the Point Festival is made possible in part through the New Jersey State Council of the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts through the Local Arts Grant administered by the Atlantic County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs Additional funding is provided by Ocean First Bank and Shore Medical Center.