Let’s Get Our Jazz on, Cougars

Spotlight on Kean's Jazz & Roots Music Festival, highlighting performers, food, and information on when/where to attend.

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Let’s Get Our Jazz on, Cougars
The first annual Jazz & Roots Music Festival at The Lawn at Enlow Hall.
Photo Courtesy of Kean University Website
Jaclyn Lukas, Staff Writer

Once again it is time for Kean to host the fun and vibrant Jazz and Roots Music Festival. For the second annual year there will be a FREE outdoor music festival open to the public, located at The Lawn at Enlow Hall in Hillside. Hosted by the acclaimed bassist/producer Mike Griot, this night is one that students and staff won't want to miss out on. 

The festival is being held on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 4 p.m., with a rain date of Sunday, Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. The festival is sure to be in full swing, including the option of packing a picnic basket or visiting the food trucks that will be in attendance. Guests are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets to relax on, as they enjoy the performances from following Jazz artists: 

  • Dianne Reeves
  • Blues People
  • Big Fun(k) - Don Braden & Karl Latham
  • Judah Tribe with Josh David
  • Kean University Jazz Ensemble

Students, staff, and any outside visitors can find The Lawn at Enlow Hall, on the East Campus of Kean University, behind the Nathan Weiss Graduate College building, past the parking lot. On the Jazz and Roots page of the Kean website, one can click on the directions button to be brought right to the festival. 

Kean University President Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D. was the one who got the ball rolling for this event. After getting settled at Kean, he took a walk towards East Campus and noticed the performances that Kean Stage were putting on during July of 2021. He spoke with Executive Director of Theatre Management & Programming, John Wooten, about Kean Stage “going bigger and climbing higher.” 

Manager of Kean Stage, Steven Cochran explained, “On site will be food trucks, vendor tents including Jazz & Roots Music Festival and Kean merchandise, wellness information and even relaxing massages. The event will be diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible to all.”

Some food trucks that have officially committed to the festival are: 

  • Afro Taco
  • Amaras Carribbean BBQ
  • BelleJohn's Soul Food
  • Hadez Food Truck

“Watching folks dancing under the stars and seeing long lines at the food trucks. Oh and going to the Sacred Space for Healing tent to get a foot massage, while eating something special from BelleJohn’s Soul Food Truck”, Cochran said in response to what his favorite part of putting this event together was. 

Hope to see you all there to relax, enjoy some music, and “fun-raise”! 

about the author

Jaclyn Lukas, Staff Writer


Jaclyn Lukas is an English major with a concentration in writing. She joined The Cougar’s Byte staff in Spring 2021. After her time at Kean, Jaclyn hopes to start her professional career in publishing for books or newspapers/magazines.