Hoboken Arts & Music Festival! Food, music and creations Sunday, May 6

What better way to welcome in the warm weather than with the all-day-long outdoor arts and music festival?

Today (Sunday, May 6), thousands will pack the mile-square city for the sumptuous food, the local arts & crafts, and the rousing music, including New Orleans’ own Dr. John, who is this year’s headliner. The booths, food, and the festivities span Washington Street from Observer Highway to Seventh Street from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The event

This is the 13th year for the bi-annual festival, which has grown from a few blocks and a few dozen vendors to the over 300 artists and restaurants.

One can find almost any kind of art, from paintings, blown glass, hand-painted furniture, photography, and ceramics.

Specialty items are available as well, including: clothing, jewelry, hats, candles, hand-crafted items, and much more.

One of the biggest draws of the day is easily all the spectacular food offered like Mexican, Italian, BBQ, Thai, Greek, Cajun, Indian, and seafood.

In addition to the activities along Washington Street, many local stores and bars offer specials to entice customers.

It’s also a great day to enjoy some local color at one of the many outdoor cafes or watering holes in town.

According to Geri Fallo, director of cultural affairs, each year the festival draws a larger crowd. Last spring there were over 40,000 people and they expect close to 50,000 this Sunday.

Fallo said that every year, there are more local artists who take advantage of the festival as a place to showcase their work.

Jazz legend

This year’s band lineup features jazz, Americana roots-rock, reggae, Latin, R&B, folk rock, and even a few show tunes!

The live music can be enjoyed in two spots – the Sixth Street Stage and the Observer Highway Stage (which is in front of City Hall) and starts at noon (see sidebar for set list).

The headliner this year is none other than jazz great Dr. John. Dr. John (who was born Mac Rebennack) won four Grammy awards during his illustrious career and was nominated for several other awards.

According to Geri Fallo, they wanted to bring a little bit of the New Orleans jazz festival to Hoboken.

“We are so excited to have such an accomplished musician,” said Fallo. “He will bring some of that New Orleans flavor to Hoboken. This is something that we wanted to do for a long time – ever since Hurricane Katrina.”

“New Orleans still does need our help,” added Fallo. “It’s good to keep it in mind.”

A few highlights

Hazmat Modine, the New York based blues band, is sure to be a highlight of the festival with their soulful sounds.

This nine-piece band includes: Wade Schuman, Randy Weinstein, Joseph Daley, Richard Huntley, Pete Smith, Pamela Fleming , Scott Robinson, Steve Elson, and Michael Gomez.

Schuman, one of the original members and lead singer, said that although they played well-known venues in Manhattan, this is the first time the band will play in Hoboken.

“This is a great time of year to be outside,” said Schuman. “Hoboken is kind of like an outer borough. Although we haven’t played there, I’m looking forward to making up for that.”

Schuman said each of the musicians brings their own influences to the music. He considers their sound to be an eclectic mix of American roots, blues, Calypso, and New Orleans.

“We love music, so all sorts of things are in the mix,” said Schuman. “Everyone in the band brings their own influences.”

Hazmat Modine will play some of their original music plus a few covers.

“We are a band that likes to have fun,” said Schuman, “and I think the audience really responses to us.”

Another band with a local hook is none other than the Wild Carnation, which includes bassist Brenda Sauter, a former member of the Feelies – a popular band that played at Maxwell’s in the 1980s.

Other members of Wild Carnation features Christopher O’Donovan (drums), Anne Hopkins (keyboard), and Richard Barnes (guitar).

According to Sauter, the band will primarily play music from the album Superbus and a few from the album Tricycle.

Sauter said that she considers their sound to be alternative rock with a “warm, fuzzy guitar sound.”

“I think the music kind of carries you from beginning to end,” said Sauter. “It’s good road trip music.”

Although fans might be used to the mellow strumming on the albums, they should expect a slightly different live show.

“With the adrenaline rush you just can’t help but play fast,” said Sauter.

The Third Street Stage, which is hosted by Polka Dot, has children’s music and an entire children’s area filled with fun, family activities.


The festival was made possible by the generous donation from the sponsors including: Optimum, Q104.3, Z100, KTU 103.5, PATH, Port Authority of NJ & NY, The Hoboken Reporter & The Hudson Current, Northfolk Bank, NJ Division of Travel & Tourism, The Hudson County Division of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, and County Executive Thomas DeGise and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Don’t forget your cash! With thousands of people in town, the ATMs run out and some vendors only take cash.

Parking is available at the municipal lots. (Locations all over town plus several by the Hoboken terminal.) For further information, please call: (201) 420-2207 or visit: www.hobokennj.org . Popout The headliner this year is none other than jazz great Dr. John. Sidebar LIVE MUSIC

Observer Highway Stage

Noon – Tones of Joy
1:00 – Demolition String Band
2:00 – Hazmat Modine
3:00 – The Slip
4:45 – Dr. John
Sixth Street Stage

12:30 – Engineered Improvisation (Stevens Institute)
1:15 – The Wiz (Hoboken High School)
2:00 – Wild Carnation
3:00 – Karyn Kuhl
4:00 – The Verdict
5:00 – Joe Taino
Third Street Stage (for kids)

12:00 – Yosi
12:45 – Hilby, the skinny German juggle boy
1:30 – Yosi
2:15 – Silly Willy
3:00 – Hilby, the skinny German juggle boy
3:45 – Patience Moore, the cowboy girl
4:45 – Hilby, the skinny German juggle boy


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