EAST ORANGE, NJ — East Orange is gearing up for the 3rd and 4th Ward 10th annual Summer Jam and House Music Festival in Elmwood Park on Saturday, Aug. 25, from noon to 10 p.m.
This year’s installment of the city’s official end-of-summer event, dubbed “Music for the Soul,” features DJ Teeramz, DJ Fuquan, Eric Wigfall, Soulful Messiah, Omar Abdullah, Jihad Muhammad and MC Ras Anthony. The event is a collaboration between 3rd Ward council members Quilla Talmadge and Bergson Leneus and 4th Ward council members Tyshammie Cooper and Casim Gomez.
Gomez coined the phrase “the Soul of East Orange” to describe the 4th Ward; the 3rd Ward has been known as the “Heart of the City” for years, and the 5th Ward is commonly referred to by residents as “the mighty 5th Ward.” The councilman’s son, Casim Gomez Jr., even designed custom T-shirts printed with “Soul of East Orange.”
However, Talmadge and Mayor Ted Green, a former 3rd Ward councilman who co-founded the annual Summer Jam as a 3rd Ward event, said the event is all about unity in East Orange, and that’s why they decided to share it with the 4th Ward a couple years ago.
“This is the 10th annual Summer Jam concert and it’s going to be a good time,” said Talmadge on Monday, Aug. 20. “The mayor is joining with us. He was one of the first originators with me 10 years ago. We want to make sure that we carry on his legacy and make sure that it’s bigger and better than ever.”
This year’s Summer Jam will be Green’s first as mayor and he said it’s fitting that it has grown to encompass the entire city, not only the 3rd Ward. In fact, he said the event is a perfect example of his administration’s motto: “One city, one community with one goal and that is progress.”
In case of inclement weather, the event will be held Sunday, Aug. 26, but Talmadge said she doesn’t think that will be necessary.
“We got Laura Stylez from Hot 97 hosting this year, then we’ve got a lot of deejays and house music, because people like that,” Talmadge said. “This year, I’ll be doing the concert, along with my new partner, Councilman Berg Leneus, and our council colleagues from the 4th Ward. It’s going to be good. I hear the weather is going to be nice.”
For more information about the 10th annual Summer Jam concert and other events and activities in East Orange’s other parks, call 973-266-5120.