MIDDLETOWN, NJ - This year’s Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Festival will be offered in three different towns on three different dates, with the opener of the series coming to Middletown on the grounds of the Middletown Arts Center on July 23rd, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Festival continues to be free and open to the public and offers three stages of music, featuring headliner Ron Sunshine and His Orchestra. The Festival is a rain or shine event, offering kid’s activities, crafters, delicious food, and for the first time, a craft beer and wine garden.

       The Middletown Arts Center is located at 36 Church St., adjacent to the Middletown Train Station, which offers plenty of free parking. Jazz and Blues lovers may also arrive at the Festival via a convenient NJ-Transit North Jersey Coastline Train, and leave the car at home.

        The Festival grounds open at 11 a.m.  The schedule for the main stage performing groups is as follows:  Noon-1:00 - Colts Neck Swing Band  / 1:20-2:20 - The Cobra Brothers  / 2:35-3:35 - Nine Below Zero /  3:50-4:50 - Mike Barris & Friends with Jennifer Jordan, Tom Bender and Doug Clark  / 5:10-6:10 - Kimon & The Prophets  / 6:30-8:00 -  Ron Sunshine & His Orchestra. 

         Headliner Ron Sunshine is the lead singer, songwriter, harmonica player, and bandleader of his orchestra.  Ron has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Dr. John, the P-Funk Horns, Wilson Pickett, Tower of Power, Charles Brown, Pinetop Perkins, David Johansen, Gary US Bonds, Medeski, Martin & Wood, AWB, and Johnny Copeland.

         The BackBeat Stage presents “Music From The Heart” by JSJBF's Youth Project and some promising young area bands:  12:30-1:15 pm - JSJBF's Youth Project / 1:30- 2:15 pm - Showcase /2:30-3:15 pm - Arthur Place, Regge-Funk-Rock /3:30-4:15 pm - Around the Circuit, Rock-Blues /4:30-5:15 pm – EleFunk, Jazz-Funk  /5:30-6:15 pm - JSJBF's Youth Project.

          The Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation, which produced the Red Bank Jazz and Blues Festival for many years, has turned the Festival into a summer long series that now spreads the fun to three different towns. The next event in the Festival series will be the Long Branch Jazz & Blues Festival on August 27 (featuring the International Blues Challenge Winner: The Lionel Young Band), and the Festival closer will be the Asbury Park Blues Festival on September 17 (with Headliner: The Pat Karwan Band). Complete schedules of all the bands can be found online at www.jerseyshorefestival.org .

           The JSJBF is a tax-exempt, 501(C)3-non-profit corporation and would like to thank all the sponsors, vendors, crafters, and the jazz-and-blues-loving public who help us produce the Festival. JSJBF programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. In addition, the JSJBF receives support from the Ocean First Foundation. More information about the Foundation can be found at www.jsjbf.org . This year’s Festival site is www.jerseyshorefestival.org .