A new tradition is coming to the Valley Arts District at the end of July – The Luna Fusion Fest: The Heart & Soul of Rock & Jazz.
will host a 2-day festival of workshops and performances featuring electric jazz and big band rock, at their home stage in West Orange. Some of New York’s busiest studio musicians, composers, and teachers will be on hand to jam, perform and instruct. Fans of arena rock, bebop, big bands and jam bands are invited to attend.
Fusion Fest features two ticketed evening events- percussionist and educator Gregg Bendian who will perform with his Mahavishnu Project and alto saxophonist Ed Palermo, who will debut his new ensemble Eddy's Chemistry Set. Each event is $20 per ticket.
The Mahavishnu Project will take the stage at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 28th. Bendian will be joined by guitarist Jesse Gress, keyboardist Neil Alexander, and bassist Doug Lunn as they reinterpret classic compositions from Jeff Beck, Billy Cobham, John McLaughlin, and Jan Hammer.
The next night, at 7 p.m., acclaimed alto saxophonist Ed Palermo will perform with Eddy’s Chemistry Set, delivering a fresh perspective on the music of Frank Zappa. The band includes electric violinist Katie Jacoby, guitarist Bruce McDaniel, saxophonist Cliff Lyons, saxophonist Barbara Cifelli, drummer Ray Marchica, bassist Paul Adamy, keyboardist Paul Kooshian, and pianist Bob Quaranta.
“Luna Stage is the perfect venue to debut my new band. The seating is so close to the band that the audience can't help but feel that they are an integral part of the experience,” said Ed Palermo in a press release.
The festival’s afternoon programs will begin with a children’s workshop titled Short Fuse, at 3 p.m. on July 28th. This free program will be led by Bendian. On Sunday, July 29th, also at 3 p.m., everyone is invited to Sounds Like Fun, a free recording and production seminar hosted by freelance audio engineer and sound designer Steve Brown, who will sample, chop, and remix classic fusion records utilizing the award-winning Pro Tools audio production software.
“It¹s a pleasure to have an opportunity to bring such dynamic artists into a community and a space known for the presentation of cutting edge artists, says Brown, Audio Engineer and Curator of Luna Stage Fusion Festival. “I anticipate an enthusiastic reception and hope that Luna Stage will become a second home for innovative music. “
For information on this festival and all other events and programs at Luna Stage, or to purchase tickets, visit the company website: www.lunastage.org. Luna Stage is located at 555 Valley Road in West Orange. 973-395-5551. The theatre is handicapped accessible and assisted listening devices are available.