IRVINGTON, NJ — Mayor Tony Vauss and the Irvington Municipal Council are bringing music back to the township’s streets this summer with the Taste of Irvington’s “Jazz in the Square” music series scheduled for three Thursdays: June 16, July 21 and Aug. 18.
The headlining acts scheduled are Dimension Band and Valerie Adams on June 16, Hunter Hayes on July 21, and Golden Child Entertainment on Aug. 18. All concerts will be from 5 to 8 p.m. in City Hall Plaza in Civic Square and DJ Qua will provide music to keep the party going between the performers’ sets.
According to Vauss, event organizers are still seeking vendors to add to the festival atmosphere on the various performance dates. Interested parties should contact the township at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Everything that we’ve done since I’ve taken office has been about rebuilding community pride,” said Vauss on Monday, June 6. “We truly believe in one team, one dream, in order to make Irvington strong again. This is just another example of how we bring the community out to have a good time with one another and enjoy what our township has to offer.”
The mayor added, “Other communities have similar types of events and we want to have that for our residents here in Irvington.”
Councilwoman Renee Burgess agreed Monday, June 6, saying “A Taste of Irvington Jazz in the Square is geared towards the mature crowd. This event is designed to have the community come together and enjoy good food, fun, live entertainment and an amazing DJ. I am looking forward to these events because it’s going to prove to our beautiful residents that Irvington is changing into a safe and clean environment, where families and surrounding cities will be proud to call this home.”
Burgess said she believes the Jazz in the Square series is “the start to many good things to come to make our community strong.” Melody Thomas-Scott, the township’s Neighborhood Preservation Program director and a member of Team Irvington Strong, agreed that the concert series is a good way to kick off the township’s schedule of summer activities.
“Irvington will kick off its summer with A Taste of Irvington Jazz in the Square … on the steps of the Irvington Municipal Building,” said Scott on Tuesday, June 7. “Please come out and join us, as we host Valerie Adams and the Dimension Band that specializes in performing soul music, Motown classics, jazz, funk and rock. We are asking our Irvington residents to come out and support a great event that is free for the entire family.”
On Monday, June 6, reiterating that vendors are still being sought for the events, Scott said, “It is important that communities come together and celebrate their diversity, providing a place where segments of our community that may not regularly interact can come together and generate a sense of pride for local arts and culture that ultimately transform communities. I am hopeful that our residents will come out and be a part of our first … Taste of Irvington.”
East Orange City Council Chairman and 3rd Ward Councilman Ted Green, who is also the director of Irvington’s Building Department, knows something about organizing free concerts for the community, based on his nine years running the annual 3rd Ward Summer Fest in Elmwood Park with his East Orange 3rd Ward City Council partner, Councilwoman Quilla Talmadge.
“I think that it’s always good to see that other surrounding towns are bringing entertainment to their constituents,” said Green on Tuesday, June 7. “Sometimes, a municipality might have a negative image, and events like this help to change the perceptions about the township of residents and outsiders, too, so that people know they shouldn’t believe all the negative things that are out there. The mayor and council are bringing a different taste to Irvington that wasn’t there before and I’m proud to be a part of it. I think it’s a good thing for any municipality to do.”