“The Red Hook Jazz Festival exists contentedly on the margins, like its namesake neighborhood and much of the music on its bill…The mood in the audience was neighborly, with a higher ratio of small children to youngish adults than I’ve seen at any musical event not expressly pitched as a kids’ show.”  

    — Nate Chinen, New York Times

“The lineup seems to get better every year at the Red Hook Jazz Festival, held on two successive Sundays at the Urban Meadow. These bands have widely varying instrumentation but a shared independent spirit, an ethic as purposeful and rigorous as it is experimental.”

    — David R. Adler, Village Voice

“The Red Hook Jazz Festival deserves an award for ‘event deserving wider recognition’.”

    — Tom Greenland, New York City Jazz Record

“Lemme tell ya, this is what makes Brooklyn Brooklyn, it really is.”

    — former Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz, proclaiming “Red Hook Jazz Festival Day” in Brooklyn at the 2012 RHJF

Celebrating its ninth continuous year presenting the finest jazz musicians playing today — and proudly from the grassroots — the 2016 Red Hook Jazz Festival will be presented on two consecutive Sundays, June 12 and 19 from 1-6 PM in the community garden and ecological center the Urban Meadow, located at the corner of President and Van Brunt Streets near the Columbia St. waterfront in Brooklyn, NY. General admission will be $15 and will be available at the Meadow entrance — no advance tickets will be sold. As with all past editions of the festival, all children will be admitted to both days of the festival free of charge.

The lineups represent the state-of-the-art in modern jazz, reaching across multiple styles and demonstrating the breadth and originality that defines the new jazz of this century. The schedule for the 9thannual Red Hook Jazz Festival will be (in order of appearance each day):

June 12

Joe Fiedler's Big Sackbut

Joe Fiedler, Ryan Keberle, Luis Bonilla: Trombones

Jose Davila: Tuba

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up

Tomas Fujiwara: drums/compositions

Michael Formanek: bass

Mary Halvorson: guitar

Brian Settles: tenor saxophone/flute 

Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet

Rez Abbasi’s Junction

Rez Abbasi: guitar/compositions

Mark Shim: tenor saxophone/MIDI wind controller

Ben Stivers: keyboards

Kenny Grohowski: drums

Judi Silvano’s Zephyr Quintet (with special surprise guest)

Judi Silvano: vocals

Bruce Arnold: guitar

Kenny Wessel: guitar

Ratzo Harris: bass

Bob Meyer: drums



Steven Bernstein: slide trumpet

Briggan Krauss: alto saxophone

Tony Scherr: bass

Kenny Wollesen: drums


June 19

Jeff Davis Authorities Trio + 1

Jeff Davis: drums/compositions

Kirk Knuffke: cornet

Eivind Opsvik: bass

Special Guest Jonathan Goldberger: guitar


Matt Pavolka Horns Band

Matt Pavolka: acoustic bass, trombone

Kirk Knuffke: cornet

Loren Stillman: alto saxophone

Jacob Garchick: trombone

Mark Ferber: drums


Ari Hoenig Group

Ari Hoenig: drums

Other players TBA


James Brandon Lewis Trio

James Brandon Lewis: tenor saxophone

Luke Stewart: electric bass

Warren Trae Crudup III: drums


Bobby Previte & the Visitors

Bobby Previte: drums/compositions

Mike Gamble: guitar

Michael Kammers: saxophones/keyboards

Kurt Kotheimer: bass

The Red Hook Jazz Festival is co-directed by Mike Golub, Tamar Smith and James Keepnews. It was conceived by Mike in 2008 as an opportunity to present artists who lived locally and to bring new attention to the work of the Urban Meadow, which had been reclaimed from an abandoned lot down the street from the Smith-Golub home. Over the course of subsequent years, while remaining an entirely volunteer-run event, the Red Hook Jazz Festival has established itself as a major annual event for jazz listeners globally, recognized for its relaxed vibe, family-friendly environment, strong commitment to giving younger ears an opportunity to hear this vital music by waiving admission costs for children and by the RHJF’s continued presentation of the greatest jazz talents performing today. In June 2012, then Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz declared one day of the RHJF "Red Hook Jazz Festival Day" in Brooklyn. 

Please read Tom Greenland’s review of the 2015 RHJF in the New York City Jazz Record:



And see Nate Chinen's review of the 2012 RHJF for the New York Times:  



Watch George Coleman Jr.'s Rivington Project throw down at last June's fest: 


Here are video excerpts from past RHJF performances:

Local Red Hook musician Willie Martinez and his La Familia Sextet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIv-XhEnhL4

Clarence Penn Quartet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfoaiwaUjV0

Mike Pride's Bacteria to Boys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdQort5zOOA

Allison Miller's Big Molasses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiRXtLbKFTw