James Austin Jr Quartet

James Austin Jr

James Austin Jr.

Semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano

The soulful stylings of James Austin Jr., reveal his jazz pedigree and gospel roots. James, originally from Chicago, is an accomplished pianist and bandleader. He honed his craft under the tutelage of a number of legendary musicians, including extensive study with renowned jazz educator, Barry Harris.

In recognition of his highly skilled musicianship, James has received numerous accolades and awards, including the honor of being selected as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano competition.


James Austin Jr

Ben Rubens Bass

Ben Rubens

Upright and electric bassist Ben Rubens, currently the bassist with the Johnny O’Neal Trio, has rapidly developed a reputation for being a supportive and well-rounded rhythm section stalwart. His blessings include being the final bass player to play with drum heroes Al Harewood and Killer Ray Appleton; Additionally, Ben was personally invited into the home of saxophone icon Frank Wess three different times to play marathon length sessions. Performances include The Kennedy Center, The Apollo Theater, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Blue Note Milano and Roseland Ballroom. Ben has performed with Randy Weston, Winard Harper, civil rights era percussion pioneer Warren Smith and renowned bebop pianist Hod O’Brien on his 80th Birthday Celebration at the Kitano. Ben was also a featured artist on Johnny O’Neal’s 60th Birthday Celebration Concert at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, which received widespread acclaim due to its international live stream. Rubens has recorded a whole album of Jerry Dodgion’s original music with Dodgion featured as the leader. In addition, Rubens’ bass playing has been emphasized on a number of other record dates, four of which took place at the heralded Rudy Van Gelder’s studio with Judy Niemack, Joe Cohn and others. Ben has also performed with many pop and musical theater greats including Jennifer Hudson, Liz Callaway, Michael McCoury-Rose and Doug Katsaros. Fortunately, Ben’s love for education and connection has happily blossomed further through being a faculty member at the world class Wells Fargo Jazz For Teens program in Newark, NJ, which he initally attended as a high school student. He has toured through Italy, France, Belgium, Germany and the West Coast of America. Studying bass with such renowned players as Harvie S and Bob Cranshaw, Rubens graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz

Jackie Jones

Jackie Jones

Jackie Jones, delivers a brand of performance excellence and professionalism that places her among an elite category of vocalists of exceptional caliber and unsurpassed capability. 

Her presence on the greater Newark/New Brunswick/New York Metro jazz scene is nothing short of prolific – it speaks volumes about what she has achieved since her emergence in the late 70’s and early 80’s — a musical journey that has carried her to destinations near and afar. 

A product of the Jazz program at Rutgers University – she studied with a coalition of legendary talents led by bassist Dr. Larry Ridley, pianist Kenny Barron, alto saxophonist James Spaulding, vibraphonist Steve Nelson and drummer Keith Copeland who established a program of world renown during the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s,

Among her career achievements, Jackie has been blessed to establish musical associations with many noteworthy talents including: appearing as the opening act for Lou Rawls, as well as performing with a host of jazz luminaries such as — saxophonist Houston Person, vibraphonist Roy Ayers, pianist Nat Adderley, guitarist Jimmy Ponder, Bassist Christian McBride and drummers Winard Harper and Cecil Brooks, III. Her abundant talents have carried her overseas to perform at festivals in Russia, Berlin and Switzerland while at home, she makes regular appearances at local music festivals. 

Errol Lanier

Errol Lanier



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